Climate Change in Selawik, Alaska: Strategies for Community Health

Michael Brubaker, Prithviraj Chavan, James Berner, Mike Black, John Warren
Posted on: 3/07/2017 -

Posted by



Rural Arctic communities are vulnerable to climate change and residents seek adaptive strategies that will protect public health. In the Inupiat community of Selawik, climate change is impacting the weather, land, river, wildlife, plants, and the lives of the people who live there. This report identi es health concerns related to food and water security, and community infrastructure including water and sanitation.

This report documents these issues as described by the local people and interpreted through the lens of public health. It is the fth report in a series describing climate change in Northwest Alaska. Assessments have been performed in two coastal communities (Point Hope and Kivalina), and in two inland river communities (Noatak and Kiana). This is the rst to look at a river delta, speci cally the broad intertidal basin of the Selawik River. These reports were prepared by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Center for Climate and Health in partnership with the Maniilaq Association, the Northwest Arctic Borough, Native Village of Selawik, and the City of Selawik. Funding was provided by the United States Indian Health Service, by the Environmental Protection Agency, and by a Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Information sources for this report include observations of local residents acquired through semi-structured interviews, detailed participant observations as well as on site observations by the authors. Other important sources include reports from government agencies, and scienti c evidence gathered from published studies.