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Human dimensions of thawing permafrost

Trainee Achievements

Human dimensions of thawing permafrost

Allison Woodward's PhD research focuses on the Human Dimensions of thawing permafrost. The research included surveys of residents and thaw depth study transects in rural villages. Anaktuvuk Pass is situated on consolidated gravel permafrost in the mountains. Selawik rests on ice-rich permafrost in lowland tundra. She hypothesized that residents of both villages will report permafrost change, and that the impacts and perceived implications of thawing permafrost will be greater in Selawik. Thaw depths were greater overall in Selawik. Most research participants in both villages reported changes in climate and permafrost. Selawik residents expressed higher degrees of certainty that change is occurring, and anticipate larger and more negative impacts. Of the two villages, Selawik faces greater and more immediate challenges to the resilience of its social-ecological system. Allison presented the preliminary findings of her research and won an award at the 2013 IGERT Poster Competition.