POLARIS: The Pursuing Opportunities for Long-term Arctic Resilience for Infrastructure and Society

Alaskan coastal Indigenous communities face severe, urgent, and complex social and infrastructural challenges resulting from environmental changes. However, the magnitude and significance of impacts are unclear; as is how local communities will respond to resulting disruptions and disasters. This POLARIS project investigates how interconnected environmental stressors and infrastructure disruptions are affecting coastal Arctic Alaskan communities and identifies the important assets (social, environmental, infrastructural, institutional) to help them adapt and become more resilient to climate-related changes. The POLARIS project has identified three convergent research pillars to help communities adapt: environmental hotspots of disruption to communities and infrastructure, food in complex adaptive systems, and migration and community relocation. The pillars are interconnected and build upon the convergence of social and natural systems and built environments. The research will integrate the pillars where system responses and uncertainties will be predicted under several socio-environmental scenarios. We will work directly with local stakeholders in three study communities representing different regions of the coastal Bering Sea and the Arctic, with varying social, cultural, demographic, and ecological characteristics. We will combine data from surveys, interviews, focus groups, and economic experiments with environmental and secondary social data, to be analyzed with a combination of spatial analysis, agent-based modeling, and scenario planning within a complex systems framework. The co-produced knowledge will be generalized and transferred to other Arctic Indigenous communities. This integrated research project will enable communities to become more resilient with both stronger societies, civic culture, and improved infrastructure needed as the new Arctic continues to emerge.

Tuesday Poster Session
Guangqing Chi
Davin Holen
E. Lance Howe
Chris Maio
Ann Tickamyer
Kathleen Halvorsen
Erika Smithwick
Andy Baltensperger
Matthew Berman
James Ford
Kathleen Hill
Anne Jensen
Leif Jensen
Nic Kinsman
Philip Loring
Joshua Moses
Bronwen Powell
Todd Radenbaugh
Alyssa Rodrigues
Douglas Wrenn
Junjun Yin
Qiujie Zheng
Related Conference Themes
Built Environment
Land Use
Women & Girls