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Title: Alaska Native Responses to Climate Change: The Role of Community Values in Housing Adaptation
The Arctic is experiencing intensified impacts from climate change, resulting in unprecedented rates of change, especially for Indigenous communities. Alaska Natives are experiencing transformations in housing, food security, economic stability, and cultural practices as a result of the biophysical changes such as thawing permafrost and coastal erosion. In response, communities are prioritizing adaptation. Although Indigenous communities have been adapting for hundreds of years, adaptation strategies, or actions that seek to moderate harm through the adjustment to actual or expected climate change effects, are not well documented. Housing adaptation strategies are especially understudied, which include any adaptation strategy that is in response to or in preparation for a biophysical change affecting housing. Housing adaptation strategies in response to climate change are primarily focused on physical dimensions (e.g., retrofitting homes, constructing sea wall). Nevertheless, adaptations to changes in biophysical systems are closely interlinked to sociocultural systems, which are often neglected in adaptation discourse. Analyzing existing strategies through the lens of community values captures the sociocultural aspects of adaptation and is critical for sustainable adaptation. This paper presents a research design that addresses these gaps in adaptation discourse by asking: How are community values represented in housing adaptation strategies in response to climate change? This research will employ interviews, focus groups, and observations in partnership with two Alaska Native communities in Oscarville, Alaska and Point Lay, Alaska using community based participatory research methods (CBPR). Understanding the role of community values in housing adaptation is essential for developing sustainable adaptation plans, engineering designs, and future research studies. Further, employing CBPR methodologies in the context of adaptation, grounds identified strategies and resulting plans in community experience. As a result, future findings will not only contribute to the intellectual understanding of adaptation processes and theory, but also facilitate actions in response to climate change.  more » « less
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Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Chinowsky, P; Taylor, J; Tech, G.
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Engineering Project Organization Conference
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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    Materials & Methods

    Building on previous research suggesting the critical importance of these networks to community resilience, we use network analysis to investigate whether patterns in resource transfers between households are associated with subsistence harvest diversity—the diversity of species harvested by a household unit. We use exponential random graph models to describe the structure of a sharing network from Aniak, Alaska, and model the links between harvest productivity, harvest diversity, and household position in this network.


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