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Title: Infrastructure Adaptation to Climate Change: Institutional Support in Rural Alaska
As climate change impacts intensify, communities in rural Alaska are undergoing and adapting to changes to infrastructure from increased permafrost thawing, flooding, and coastal erosion. Climate change adaptation, defined as a process, action, or outcome in a system to better adjust to actual or expected climate change impacts, is needed to address significant structural failures and safety concerns. Despite the recognition of the need for support from stakeholders and adaptation of infrastructure, the level of adaptation activity remains limited and inconsistent across regions and communities in rural Alaska. We address this need by identifying drivers and barriers of adaptation based on stakeholder perspectives (N=25). Stakeholders included people who work for government agencies, non-profits, engineering firms, or academic institutions in rural Alaska. Results show that strong community leadership and flexibility of funding conditions were drivers to adaptation of infrastructure. Further, results show that the high cost of technology and infrastructure and lack of access to and stipulations on funding were barriers to adaptation of infrastructure. These drivers and barriers emphasize the importance of adaptation processes that effectively accommodate the unique contexts of addressing impacts in rural Alaska. Results demonstrate the need for national adaptation funding and policy that encourages local decision-making power. Specifically, results outline the need for adaptation funding and policy that supports the collaboration of Alaska more » based institutions and rural Alaska communities in adaptation. « less
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Faust, K; Kanjanabootra, S
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Engineering Project Organization Conference
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National Science Foundation
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