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Award Abstract #1262722

Collaborative Research: Water, Energy, and Food Security in the North: Synergies, tradeoffs, and building community capacity for sustainable futures (Sustainable Futures North)

NSF Org: PLR
Division Of Polar Programs
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Initial Amendment Date: September 12, 2013
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Latest Amendment Date: September 12, 2013
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Award Number: 1262722
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Anna Kerttula de Echave
PLR Division Of Polar Programs
GEO Directorate For Geosciences
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Start Date: September 1, 2013
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End Date: August 31, 2017 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $128,345.00
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Investigator(s): Henry Huntington hph@alaska.net (Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Huntington Consulting
23834 The Clearing Drive
Eagle River, AK 99577-0000 (907)696-3564
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NSF Program(s): ARCTIC SYSTEM SCIENCE PROGRAM
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Program Reference Code(s): 1079, 9150, 8060, 8560
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Program Element Code(s): 5219

ABSTRACT

The Sustainable Futures North project addresses the question of whether synergies can be found among the related goals of food security, water security, energy security, and resource development in the North American Arctic. Historically, development in one or more of these areas has presented trade-offs in others; for example, petroleum exploration and development is often associated with negative impacts on traditional subsistence species and practices. Similarly, residents of the Bristol Bay region of Alaska are currently embroiled in a debate over the risks and benefits of developing of a copper and gold mine, which would ostensibly provide jobs and economic development opportunities, at the headwaters of a watershed that supports the world?s largest sockeye salmon run. With an eye toward eliciting best practices for community development and resource management that target synergies rather than trade-offs, we plan to combine integrated regional assessments of water, food, and energy systems in three regions of the North: Bristol Bay (Alaska), Baffin Island (Canada), and Kotzebue Sound (Alaska), where people and communities share a variety of challenges relating to climate change, socioeconomic change, and industrial development. The research methods that make up our interdisciplinary toolkit include key informant interviews, integration and analysis of secondary datasets, climate change downscaling, engineering best practice and gap analysis, and rural-urban network analysis. We will link these qualitative and quantitative research methods to explore cause-and-effect relationships between development activities and societal and environmental changes, and will integrate social and ecological datasets with climate change scenarios to project future community responses to climatic and environmental change. The findings of this research will inform a collaborative education and outreach program designed to build capacity through workforce development, STEM internships, and post-secondary curricula and programs in environmental management and engineering.


PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED AS A RESULT OF THIS RESEARCH

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P.A. Loring, S.C. Gerlach, H.P. Huntington. "The new environmental security: linking food, water, and energy for integrative and diagnostic social-ecological research.," Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 3(4):55?61., v.3, 2013, p. 55. 

 

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