Alaska Arctic Observatory & Knowledge Hub: Community-based observations of changes in the seasonal cycle in Alaska's Arctic

The Seasonal Cycle

Community activities can be linked with observations

Ice roughness affects whaling trail routes as well as pupping areas for ice seals

Pack ice persistence near communities affects travel distances and access to walrus and ice seals

Snow cover affects building of ringed seal lairs

Ice stability and thickness affects ability to travel on ice and use as a platform for harvested bowhead whales


Coastal Observers wanted!

We are hiring observers for Kaktovik, Kotzebue, Point Lay, and Wales. Learn more

Pacific cod. (Steven Patkotak)
Pacific cod. (Steven Patkotak)
Collecting murre eggs.
Collecting murre eggs.
White-fronted goose.  (Billy Adams)
White-fronted goose. (Billy Adams)

Willard Neakok


In 1998 people would leave for fishing cabins in late August or early September, now it is as late as the end of November.

Harry Brower


Freeze up is coming later and melting earlier, in between the ice is more difficult to read.

Quaiyaan Harcharek


Now we’re lucky to start ice fishing in October. By the time the river is safe the fish have already spawned.

Moses Tcheripanoff


In asking what the story is I think number one is food and water security. It is the most important story.

Noah Naylor


Ice is important for Ugruk [walrus] hunting. The ice was a lot thinner this past year, so it is necessary to hunt earlier and earlier.

Austin Ahmasuk


There are different migration patterns ... we are getting used to the frequent changes.