Connecting Alaska's landscapes into the future

What we did

A workshop was held in May 2008 to identify conservation strategies with partners. This was also an exercise to identify ecologically important corridors and/or barriers that impact connectivity, not to plan for new designated lands.

What we found

The workshop initiated discussion points included: -exploration of how to incorporate climate change into modeling efforts -how to define land cover and/or ecosystem categories -how to select an appropriate scale of analysis -whether to focus attention on individual species, species groups, or biomes/ecosystems After the first workshop, all agreed that this project is a relevant and timely first step in addressing the impacts of climate change in Alaska. However, because of uncertainty about the outcomes of various methods for modeling corridors, and the accuracy and resolution of currently modeled biome shifts, we have decided to approach the problem more incrementally.

What this may mean

In the interim between the first and second workshops, Falk Huettman will develop a more Alaska-specific model of vegetation and biome change over the next 100 years, and use these layers in corridor modeling for important but disparate single species: caribou, blueberry, trumpeter swan, and Alaska marmot. Our collective evaluation of the outcomes of these pilot efforts at our second workshop will help us to refine the goal(s) and modeling approach(es) for the final product.

Areas of expertise: 
Scenario planning
Research collaboration
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