What is IPY
Saturday, 30 December 2006 05:59
SIKU: Sea Ice Knowledge and Use; Assessing Arctic Environmental and Social ChangeWritten by Administrator
Fig. 2: The Yupik village of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island will be actively involved in IPY 2007–2008 via local sea ice observations and knowledge documentation efforts. Photographer, Igor Krupnik, 2000
The Alaska-Chukotkan portion of SIKU has its ‘hubs’ at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Washington, D.C., USA (Igor Krupnik), Russian Institute of Cultural and Natural Heritage in Moscow, Russia (Lyudmila Bogoslovskaya), Research Center “Chukotka” in Anadyr, Russia, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Fairbanks, USA. It coordinates activities in several Alaskan and Chukotkan communities, such as Gambell and Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, Shaktoolik, Wales, Shishmaref, and Barrow in Alaska, also in Uelen, Lavrentiya, and Sireniki on the Russian Chukotka Peninsula. Local residents, elders, and community experts are partners in the SIKU research and documentation activities, including daily sea ice and weather observations, collection of local terms for sea ice and weather phenomena, documentation of traditional ecological knowledge related to sea ice and sea ice use from local elders and experienced hunters, search for historical records of sea ice conditions, and the like (Figs. 1,2,3). This first ‘pilot’ version of the SIKU website will be updated and maintained through the length of the project to provide current information on the project activities and main results.
Fig.3: The new ice is being formed from the pieces of floating icebergs and newly formed young ice. There are terms for every single piece of ice in this picture and many more in the local language. Photographer, Chester Noongwook, St. Lawrence Island, 2000
Fig.4: Few hunters dare to venue onto the young unstable ice these days and only if they are accompanied by an experienced elderly person. Photographer, Hiroko Ikuta, 2006
Main photo: Leonard Apangalook, Sr., the SIKU project participant and local observer in the village of Gambell, St. Lawrence Island
Apangalook was featured on September 17th, 2007 in the main story on Arctic climate change broadcasted by the U.S. National Public Radio, ”Climate Changes Life of Whalers in Alaska.
Link to Climate Changes Life of Whalers in Alaska
Link to SIKU Blogs on www.IPY.org
Hunters wait at the edge of a polynya near Cape Dorset, Nunavut, discussing a seal hunt. Current strength and direction in this area of open water surrounded by sea ice is an important consideration, since seal retrieval is made with small boat launched off the ice edge. Photo: Gita Laidler, January, 2005.
The Inuit Sea Ice Use and Occupancy Project (ISIUOP), the Canadian component of the international SIKU initiative (IPY, #167), builds on previous sea ice research in Nunavut and Nunavik communities (for the past 4 – 8 years), and aims to further document and map local sea ice expertise. Conventional maps show terrestrial variations and features in great detail, while water bodies are outlined and left “blank.” Therefore, inspired by the Inuit Land Use and Occupancy Project of 1976, ISIUOP will undertake collaborative investigations to document and map sea ice knowledge and use around several Inuit communities, including: i) a characterization of seasonal sea ice conditions; ii) the extent and areas of sea ice use; iii) the nature and location of notable sea ice hazards; iv) key harvesting areas; v) traditional and current ice routes; vi) Inuktitut toponyms (placenames) or terminology associated with ice features, conditions, or dynamics; and, vii) shifts in patterns of sea ice use due to social and/or climatic change. These efforts also aim to develop new technologies or protocols for: i) community-based sea ice monitoring related to Global Positioning Systems (GPS), satellite imagery, and local ice/weather indicators to
improve forecasting services; and, ii) new northern-focused multi-media educational tools through the development of an online, interactive atlas framework. Combined, these efforts will contribute to the provision of a new map conception where the dynamic nature, use, and importance of seasonal sea ice cover is portrayed according to current Inuit practices, and perspectives, based upon the rich local knowledge base and oral history.
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