Local Observations from the Seasonal Ice Zone Observing Network (SIZONet)
This data set contains observations of sea ice, weather, and wildlife collected by Indigenous Inupiaq and Yup'ik sea ice experts in several communities along the northern and western coasts of Alaska, beginning in 2006. The product is a database of local observations spatially referenced as near or around Alaskan villages and is available via a web interface. The database was developed to serve as an interface between the two distinct knowledge systems of western science and local and traditional knowledge. It is serves as an archive and instruction tool for the collaborating hunters and their communities. It is designed be flexible enough to change in response to the evolving nature of the observations while providing a framework that allows researchers to track and compare specific climatic, environmental, and ecological features and events across geographic locations and over time.
The goal of this collaboration is to preserve and pass on local and traditional knowledge of sea ice and its use knowledge and documenting local sea ice change and how that change is affecting community and cultural activities. Arctic coastal communities have long recognized that sea ice conditions are not what they once were: the ocean is freezing later in the fall and the ice is melting earlier in the spring, shorefast ice is less stable, there is far less of the thicker multiyear ice than in the past and environmental conditions overall are less predictable. While such changes have been recorded in detail in the oral history, science and policy makers are not adept at using or accessing information from the oral tradition.
To view the observations in the database, visitors must agree to the Use Agreement and enter as a Guest. Members of the participating Alaskan communities can log in as a Registered User for more robust use of the interface.
The following example shows how to cite the use of this data set in a publication. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.
Apangalook, L., P. Apangalook, S. John, J. Leavitt, W. Weyapuk, Jr., and other observers. 2013. Local Observations from the Seasonal Ice Zone Observing Network (SIZONet). [indicate subset used]. Edited by H. Eicken and M. Kaufman. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5TB14VT.