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WA6 Alaska North-Slope Environmental Monitoring
(378) ANIMIDA Task Order 004: Annual assessment of subsistence bowhead whaling near Cross Island.
Galginaitis, Michael1, 1 Applied Sociocultural Research, Anchorage, AK, USA
ABSTRACT- Many different groups express concern about the potential environmental effects of oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) of Alaska. The residents of the North Slope Borough, predominately Native American Inupiat, are perhaps the most directly affected of these publics, in almost all aspects of their lives (economic, physical well-being/health, social, cultural). The most salient of these potential effects of OCS development to local residents are those on subsistence whaling. The ANIMIDA project monitors environmental conditions in the proximity of the Northstar and the potential Liberty offshore oil developments. This Task Order has as its broad objective the description of subsistence whaling as currently conducted near Cross Island (near the Northstar and Liberty developments) by residents of Nuiqsut. This effort is designed to measure basic descriptive parameters of Cross Island whaling so that observed changes (if any) can be analyzed in relation to such factors as oil and gas activities, weather and ice conditions, or other variables. Special attention is devoted to geospatial information through the sharing of GIS information by participating whaling crews. As a second broad objective, the project is designed as a collaborative effort of MMS and its contractor, Applied Sociocultural Research (ASR), the subsistence whalers from Nuiqsut, and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC). Beyond the goal of two years of descriptive information, the project will develop a system for collecting such information that local whalers themselves can adopt, adapt, and maintain. The presentation will first briefly discuss the social context of the project (the North Slope Borough and the village of Nuiqsut), followed by a quick review of the research design. It will finish by describing recent subsistence whaling on Cross Island through a series of slides and a summary of quantitative measures.
Key words: subsistence, alaska, whaling, socioeconomic
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