Education and Outreach
We heard from community members across the AAOKH network who would like their children to be involved in observing Arctic change. We give students and educators the tools and training to study the environment around them:
- Students learn more about their changing environment
- Students learn science by doing science
UAF student training and research
We have diverse opportunities for UAF students to contribute to AAOKH activities, including conducting independent research with local observations or data. We also support UAF graduate students to develop research projects in partnership with AAOKH communities.
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Mik’ (Elizabeth) Lindley
Mik’ (Elizabeth) Lindley is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in Fisheries at UAF.
She is Yup’ik from Bethel, and is very excited to be working with AAOKH. Growing up on the Kuskokwim River, salmon have always been a very important part of her life, which is partly why she's chosen to study salmon during her MS program. The Arctic, ranging from Alaska’s North Slope to Canada’s Northwest Arctic, is seeing more salmon than ever before. There are many questions about the increasing number of Alaskan salmon moving into Arctic waters, which is what her research focuses on.
Through her work with AAOKH, Mik' hopes to better understand salmon in Alaska’s Arctic, both in their ecology and how communities may perceive salmon trends. It’s important to her to shape her work in part by the values and priorities of communities that are experiencing Arctic changes first-hand.
Some communities may rely on salmon as a traditional subsistence species, and others may not—some communities may not really care for them. Whether or not salmon are an important species to you, Mik' would love to hear about your salmon observations and any questions or concerns you might have. This will help in getting a more holistic understanding of Alaska’s salmon and help her in capturing your values and priorities in her work.
Kimberly Kivvaq Pikok
Kimberly Kivvaq Pikok Kim recently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology & Wildlife from UAF, and we have been so lucky to have her on our AAOKH team for the past year. We're excited to have her continue to work with us as she transitions to a graduate program at UAF.
She loves to spend time at her family’s cabin up in Utqiaġvik because she enjoys learning about the land, vegetation, and wildlife from her dad and brother.
Her love for learning about natural processes made her interested in outreach and environmental education and hopes to encourage more Indigenous youth to be involved in STEM programs and careers.
Kimberly is excited to work with AAOKH and is thrilled to learn more about different Arctic coastal communities. With the observations gathered from Utqiaġvik and working with observers, she wants to create material that is easily accessible and convenient for community members to use.
Training and outreach for community members and educators
The Arctic and Earth STEM Integration of GLOBE and NASA Assets (SIGNs) project braids Indigenous and western science and ways of knowing in engaging educators, community members and youth in climate change learning and stewardship projects in their communities.
Interested in developing a project for your community? Apply to join the annual course!
Educators: we'd love to hear from you
Elena Sparrow is the AAOKH education and outreach lead. She is a research professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, and has been working with educators and community members for decades in engaging K-16 youth in earth/environmental science education and research.
If you are an educator or college professor in an AAOKH community, contact Elena to learn how students can collect data, participate in field trips or use coastal data in science curriculum to meet education standards.
We partner with other groups too!
In addition to local teachers and educators, we coordinate with several other organizations for various education and outreach activities. Nearly all education opportunities are in coordination with GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment). We also coordinate with:
- Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation
- The Arctic in the Classroom project at ARCUS (Arctic Research Consortium of the United States)
- North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management
- AEROKATS and ROVER Education Network (AREN)
Kite flying. Students launch kites equipped with a camera to safely observe sea ice and landscape, and instruments to measure weather variables.
Sea ice field trips. Students learn to tell the difference between safe ice and dangerous ice from local hunters and scientists, how animals use and rely on sea ice, and what's happening to sea ice as a result of a warming climate.
Cloud observations. Cloud type, height, and percent cloud cover, which are important in understanding weather and climate science. This activity, suitable for all ages, aligns with the Alaska Science Standards.
Strategy and survival game based on the Arctic Marine Ecosystem. Players build food webs, learn about the importance of sea ice, and environmental change impacts.
Community events and publications. Conferences, workshops, and newsletters are a regular part of AAOKH activities to exchange information with communities, youth, and scientists. See our News page for the latest updates.