Coastal Resilience Community of Practice

Strengthening coastal community resilience and advancing stewardship of coastal natural and cultural resources by engaging in research related to the interconnections of people, natural, and built environments.

Scope of Activities

The Coastal Resilience Community of Practice was created under the Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021 to strengthen coastal community resilience and advance stewardship of coastal natural and cultural resources by engaging in research related to the interconnections of people and natural and built environments. It continues to meet and contribute to the goals and objectives of the Arctic Research Plan 2022-2026.


Team Leaders

Christina Bonsell
BOEM

Tahzay Jones
Fish and Wildlife Service

Elizabeth Walsh
University of Cambridge

Thomas Ravens
Arctic Coastal Risk Network (Website)


Deliverables from the Arctic Research Plan

1.2 Address emerging threats to food safety and access, as well as food and nutrition security in the Arctic, through research that addresses how climate and environmental change is affecting the abundance, accessibility, and use of traditional foods and traditional ways of life.

  • 1.2.3 Conduct research and produce a report on seabird mortality events in the Bering Sea, including severity, causes, and ecological implications.

1.3 Provide research and technical support for water and sanitation infrastructure.

  • 1.3.1 Synthesize and expand upon existing efforts to create data visualization maps of areas at high risk for coastal erosion, permafrost thaw, and flooding within specified future time periods (e.g., 10 years, 50 years, 100 years) to identify at-risk areas and inform investments in climate resilient infrastructure.

2.2 Observe, understand, predict, and project Arctic ecosystem change and its impacts on humans and the entire Earth system.

  • 2.2.2 Carry out and synthesize research and monitoring needed to improve understanding of important Arctic ecosystem processes and feedbacks. This will include responses to environmental changes, such as the associated impacts on wildlife and human communities and infrastructure. This work will include conference sessions and scientific publications.

2.3 Understand interactions between social, ecological, and physical Arctic systems, particularly in the context of coastal, climate, and cryospheric change.

  • 2.3.1 Observe, understand, and model processes to manage and mitigate potential and realized threats from coastal invasive species, biotoxicoses, and wildlife diseases on animals and human populations via existing research networks and initiatives, publications, participation in scientific meetings, and public engagement.
  • 2.3.7 Improve high-resolution models’ ability to capture coastal processes at the interface of ocean, land, and atmosphere by supporting targeted collaborations among model developers, users, and decision-makers. Products will include an interagency scientific peer-reviewed publication and conference sessions that address these models.

4.1 Summarize currently available data and information requirements associated with hazard and risk mitigation, adaptation, and response efforts. Synthesize community-led activities and information to identify potential needs for future efforts.

  • 4.1.1 Conduct a study identifying where information used in decision-making and planning can be improved through access to new or additional data sources. This study should consider a wide range of activities associated with ongoing responses to common and emerging hazards, including risk reduction efforts and emergency preparedness and response.
  • 4.1.2 Share findings of deliverable 4.1.1 as a means (1) to spur additional research and science communication aimed at addressing unmet needs for planning, prevention, response, and recovery and (2) to inform time-sensitive decision-making and planning processes.

4.2 Update and improve the “Statewide Threat Assessment: Identification of Threats from Erosion, Flooding, and Thawing Permafrost in Remote Alaska Communities.”

  • 4.2.1 Undertake a study to identify the top 10 threats/hazards to communities and critical remote state and Federal government infrastructure in the state of Alaska that should be included in the Statewide Threat Assessment. This might include coastal and river erosion, flooding, thawing permafrost, and changes in the seasonal snowpack.
  • 4.2.2 Upon completion of 4.2.1, establish a data collection and collation plan to include mechanisms to collect threat/hazard data that may not be readily available.
  • 4.2.3 Collect and integrate disparate threat/hazard information and perform modeling and analysis to understand where natural and human-made threats and hazards pose a risk to Arctic communities.

DATA 1 Encourage and implement FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) and CARE (Collective benefit, Authority to control, Responsibility, and Ethics) data management principles in the Arctic.

  • DATA 1.1 Identify verified points of contact (e.g., agency champions, data practitioners, Arctic residents, Indigenous organizations) and their areas of expertise and interests for working with the data team on exploring and implementing FAIR and CARE in Arctic data management. As part of developing the points of contact, identify and track representation across many axes of diversity (demographics, disciplines/sectors, IARPC experience, career stage, and others) to ensure a diverse and representative group of contributors. The data team will check in with these groups regularly to ensure the points of contact are up to date.
  • DATA 1.3 Based on input from engagement activities, develop and update centralized documentation of thematic areas of interest, ongoing activities, and key documents and resources that can inform deliverables and future Biennial Implementation Plans.
  • DATA 1.4 Convene quarterly seminars, discussions, and training on FAIR and CARE data management in the Arctic. Ensure a diverse group of presenters and contributors are represented in these activities.

PILR 1 Fulfill Federal requirement to consult with Federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.

  • PILR 1.1 Create a best practices document on meaningful consultation and engagement on Arctic research with Alaska Indigenous communities that is applicable to all Federal agencies.
  • PILR 1.2 Evaluate the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic 2018, and update as needed based on the evaluation.
  • PILR 1.3 Develop and deliver training for agencies to implement the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic.

PILR 2 Engage Arctic communities and individuals in research in a way that is meaningful to them.

  • PILR 2.1 Create a training toolkit for scientists that can be self-guided and used as needed. Topics may include cross-cultural communication, consultation, participatory research, Indigenous Knowledge, overview of Indigenous culture groups, formal agreements, and how to contract and consult with Indigenous companies and individuals.
  • PILR 2.2 Create a report of examples where IARPC member agencies have engaged Indigenous Knowledge holders in research.
  • PILR 2.3 Request that each Priority Area Collaboration Team host regular meetings that meaningfully engage with Indigenous leaders, groups, and/or communities. This includes developing a list of contacts to support requests for engagement or tracking engagement with Indigenous participation.
  • PILR 2.4 Analyze and develop a report on broader impacts of science/research teams on Indigenous health and resilience.
  • PILR 2.5 Hold interagency meetings/workshops to identify mechanisms for Federal agencies to effectively communicate science plans and findings among themselves and with communities.

PILR 3 Develop guidance for agencies to consistently apply participatory research and Indigenous leadership in research.

  • PILR 3.1 Co-define “Indigenous leadership in research” with Tribes, Indigenous organizations, and Federal agencies; and integrate into the Principles for Conducting Research in the Arctic and its training toolkit and best practices documents.
  • PILR 3.2 Hold interagency meetings/workshops to identify methods to streamline contracting/agreements and compensation processes to make co-stewardship and co-production in research more equitable and achievable.
  • PILR 3.3 Convene discussions to identify mechanisms to foster equitable pathways for Indigenous leadership in research.
  • PILR 3.4 Identify best practices for Federal agencies to support capacity for Tribes and Indigenous Knowledge holders in research. Distribute guidance on best practices to IARPC agencies.
  • PILR 3.5 Ensure consistent terminology for Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and Local Knowledge for IARPC. Suggest primary language for IARPC be Indigenous Knowledge.

Accomplishments

Under the 2017-2021 Arctic Research Plan, the Coastal Resilience Community of Practice:

  • Actively sought out perspectives and efforts of coastal community members in research and cooperative opportunities with others, and sponsored conversations on how to best encourage and strengthen conversations and collaborations between researchers and coastal community members.
  • Hosted conversations and updates on the successes of Tribal and collaborative efforts on the topic of supporting community-based monitoring.
  • Shared information about economic development research for the sustainable development of resilient communities.
  • Held discussions with community based researchers and federal agency representatives on efforts to identify and document archaeological sites at risk to coastal change. Agencies also supported research that addressed submerged human habitation sites, archaeological research, and the rescue of vulnerable sites at risk from coastal erosion.
  • Gathered and shared information regarding efforts to document and forecast changes in storm surge across coastal Alaska.
  • Supported research and information sharing on trends, processes, and feedback loops affecting the distribution, abundance, and ecology of coastal species in relation to food security, biodiversity, and ecosystems.
  • Supported agency efforts to develop ecological modeling and informatics tools to understand issues related to the coastal Arctic.
  • Supported agency efforts to develop models to understand factors contributing to the future persistence of polar bear and walrus populations in the Alaska Arctic.
  • Shared information about collaborative efforts of coastal community observers and researchers to document and understand mortalities of wildlife in marine and coastal areas of Alaska.
  • Worked with other IARPC Collaborations teams to share examples of research informing changes in wildlife hunt, harvest, and conservation management.
  • Highlighted new research, monitoring, and tool development on shoreline change and sea level rise across coastal Alaska.
  • Highlighted collaborations among federal agencies and universities regarding the role of hydrology on permafrost dynamics and research into subsequent ecosystem responses to thawing permafrost.
  • Shared information about integrating baseline geospatial datasets in coastal areas to support research and predictive capabilities across the coastal interface.
  • Highlighted new sensor technology developments by several entities, including cameras installed in coastal areas of coastal areas to monitor erosion and ice detection buoy systems and the pilot study by AOOS and collaborators on ultrasonic gages deployed in Alaska communities to monitor storm surge and flood forecasting.
  • Highlighted research and development on modeled tide predictions for the U.S. Arctic.

For a full summary of the Coastal Resilience Community of Practice’s accomplishments under the 2017-2021 Arctic Research Plan, see the 2021 Performance Element Summary Statements.