Title

Food Security in the Aftermath of Relocation: Community Adaptations and Resilience in Kivalina, Alaska

Presenter Information

Markus Chishom

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 201

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

Weakening development of coastal sea ice, record-breaking super-storms from the Bering Sea, and permafrost beaches that crumble into the sea are a few reasons why Kivalina has emerged as the world's canary in the coalmine for communities dealing with the severe environmental impacts of climate change. Scientists, authors, and film crews alike have crowded the ever-shrinking field that is Kivalina—a tiny whaling community situated on a barrier island 80 miles above the Arctic Circle along Alaska's northwest coast. Recent publications focused on Kivalina only seem to address climate change and climate change-induced relocation, called climigration. As Kivalina prepares to relocate several miles inland, food security must come into focus for the village as well as for resource managers at various levels. Baseline studies recently performed by the subsistence division of Alaska's Department of Fish and Game that assessed food security in Kivalina have revealed per capita food harvests have steadily decreased in recent years. As this whaling community prepares to abandon the coast for higher ground, food security must be reassessed. This case-study takes a holistic approach by exploring how environmental, cultural, social, political, and economic issues shape food security for Kivalina as it prepares for its new chapter. In this study, food security will be a measure of resource access, distribution, community resilience, and vulnerability. Based on ethnographic research, this case study explores the current status of food security in Kivalina as well as future food security in the eventuality of inland community relocation.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Jennifer Lipton

Additional Mentoring Department

Resource Management

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May 16th, 8:20 AM May 16th, 8:40 AM

Food Security in the Aftermath of Relocation: Community Adaptations and Resilience in Kivalina, Alaska

SURC 201

Weakening development of coastal sea ice, record-breaking super-storms from the Bering Sea, and permafrost beaches that crumble into the sea are a few reasons why Kivalina has emerged as the world's canary in the coalmine for communities dealing with the severe environmental impacts of climate change. Scientists, authors, and film crews alike have crowded the ever-shrinking field that is Kivalina—a tiny whaling community situated on a barrier island 80 miles above the Arctic Circle along Alaska's northwest coast. Recent publications focused on Kivalina only seem to address climate change and climate change-induced relocation, called climigration. As Kivalina prepares to relocate several miles inland, food security must come into focus for the village as well as for resource managers at various levels. Baseline studies recently performed by the subsistence division of Alaska's Department of Fish and Game that assessed food security in Kivalina have revealed per capita food harvests have steadily decreased in recent years. As this whaling community prepares to abandon the coast for higher ground, food security must be reassessed. This case-study takes a holistic approach by exploring how environmental, cultural, social, political, and economic issues shape food security for Kivalina as it prepares for its new chapter. In this study, food security will be a measure of resource access, distribution, community resilience, and vulnerability. Based on ethnographic research, this case study explores the current status of food security in Kivalina as well as future food security in the eventuality of inland community relocation.