Conditions that Enable/Constrain Co-Existing with Sea Otters

This research seeks to understand how are coastal Indigenous communities are adapting to the dramatic changes that accompany sea-otter triggered regime shifts. We used a comparative case study approach, where we visited two remote communities that are among the first to have experienced the return of sea otters:
 a Sugpiaq community living in South Central Alaska and the Kyuquot First Nation community on the west coast of Vancouver island. We hosted workshops and conducted survey-interviews with 35-40 people in each community, inquiring about the conditions that enable and constrain people in adapting to living with sea otters. We are in the process of discussing preliminary findings and look forward to sharing more soon!

Coastal Voices – a Collaborative Indigenous Partnership and Learning Platform

Coastal Voices is a diverse group of Indigenous leaders, knowledge holders, scientists and artists from British Columbia and Alaska working together, discussing and planning for the profound changes triggered by the return of sea otters. Through the lens of traditional knowledge and western science, our goal is to collect and share information to build a respectful dialogue to better equip coastal communities and policy makers with socially just and ecologically sustainable strategies to navigate the changes that come with the recovery of this key predator. Visit the Coastal Voices website, where you can see our mini documentary:

and you can see a huge collection of interviews in our “Video Room” that focus on 1) Ancient Use & Management of Sea Otters, 2) Traditional Governance, Principles and Practices, 3) Sea Otters Affect Food, Culture, & Ecosystems, 4) Conflicting Needs, Divergent Values & Lack of Power, 5) Bridge Science & Indigenous Knowledge, 6) Sharing Power and Authority, and 7) Integrate Traditional Stewardship with Contemporary Management

Assessing Adaptive Capacity in Coastal Systems

I was part of a Pacific Working Group of the Oceans Canada Partnership lead by Charlotte Whitney and Nathan Bennett that focused on synthesizing research on ASSESSING adaptive capacity in coastal social-ecological systems. It was a great group of people and discussions and work lead to this publication in the journal Ecology and Society.

Drawing on case studies of coastal communities from around the globe, we describe and compare 11 approaches that are often used to study adaptive capacity of social and ecological systems in the face of social, environmental, and climatic change. We synthesize lessons from a series of case studies to present important considerations to frame research and to choose an assessment approach, key challenges to analyze adaptive capacity in linked social- ecological systems, and good practices to link results to action to foster adaptive capacity. Read the paper…