Sustainable Futures North (SFN) is a four-year NSF funded project focused on developing a better understanding of the interactions among food security, water security, energy security, resource development, and climate change in Arctic and Subarctic communities. SFN is made up of researchers and professionals in Canada and the United States who have experience in fields from documentary filmmaking to engineering in northern regions and will be learning from rural residents in Bristol Bay, Kotzebue Sound, Baffin Island and Nunavut about their specific education and human resource needs. These needs and challenges will be combined with historical and climate data to answer three core questions:
- How have historical changes in climate, environment, technology, and economic development affected environmental security in the study regions?
- How are modern changes such as climate warming and development affecting current and future environmental security?
- To what extent does existing knowledge and infrastructure promote environmental security, and what gaps exist that can be addressed through new best practices?
Members of the SFN team, Craig Gerlach, Phil Loring, and Harry Penn, were lead authors on Chapter 6 of the newly released "Adaptation Actions in a Changing Arctic report" from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme.
SFN PI Phil Loring has published a new essay on food security in the North in Northern Public Affars:
Food insecurity is a chronic problem in the North American North, one that has numerous consequences for local families and communities. Despite decades of work on the problem by researchers, policymakers, and communities, limited progress has been made toward addressing its root causes. Read More Here
Kavya Balaraman of E&E News wrote an informative piece on our research on climate change and migration in arctic Alaska (Hamilton et al., "Climigration?"). The article can be found here. It may be behind a paywall, so you can access the PDF of the story here.
Sustainable Futures North teamed up with the Rural Routes Podcast, a production of the Harris Centre at Memorial University Newfoundland, to produce a podcast featuring climate change issues and Fairbanks' own Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC).
A new paper, led by SFN PhD student Harry Penn (now a post-doctoral researcher at the Arctic Institute of North America), is out in Weather Climate and Society, a journal of the American Meteorological society.
SFN researchers Henry Huntington, Phil Loring, and Shari Gearheard contributed to a commentary on rural community sustainability for Alaska Dispatch News. The gist? That while new technology and systems are important, people remain rural Alaska's best asset for sustainability. Click here to check it out.
The Sustainable Futures North team is pleased to announce that we will be leading a panel discussion at the upcoming AAAS meeting in Boston in February. Entitled “Sustainability in the changing Arctic: interdisciplinary insights for policy,” the session will present new policy-focused arctic systems research in Alaska and Canada that links studies of sea-ice, human migration, socioeconomic and ecological change, and food, water, and energy security.
In a new, publication released this weekend by Population & Environment, SFN researchers, led by Larry Hamilton, look for demographic changes in rural Alaska that track with what we expect to happen as a result of rapid and dangerous climate change in the region. Surprisingly, we've found none.