Tuesday, August 16, 2011

8/15/11 - Great Day in Nome!

Today was an absolutely perfect day in Nome. Temperatures were mild, the sun was out, and there not a cloud in the sky. Local residents said this weather was long overdue as it has rained much of the last 6 weeks.

Larry, Bob, and I picked up our colleagues at the airport. After weeks of planning it was great to have everyone in one location. We checked people into the hotel, had a quick bite to eat, and then back to the hotel for our conference with local community leaders. It was an outstanding meeting; especially as people grew more and more comfortable talking about their various perspectives on environmental change and issues that concerned people of Nome, Council, and White Mountain areas of the Seward Peninsula. There is a great deal of traditional knowledge regarding how the landscape has changed over the years. We talked fairly extensively about how this knowledge could be tapped to provide a rich history of insights that could complement scientific inquiry. There was strong support for how some aspect of this could constitute an educational and outreach activity that would engage residents through the region. We left the meeting with several action items.

Tuesday we head off to Council for the day where we will visit several established research projects in the area. Most of these are addressing some aspect of permafrost degradation which is, of course, a major interest of our NGEE project. We will see first-hand sites where Larry and his UAF colleagues have worked before and have the opportunity to consider whether these are sites that we could also use as part of the NGEE project.