Kongiganak, Second Community to Join Food, Water and Energy Usage Study

Kongiganak, Second Community to Join Food, Water and Energy Usage Study

ACEP researcher Amanda Byrd and Institute of Social and Economic Research faculty member Jen Schmidt traveled to Kongiganak on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta last week for a National Science Foundation project, "Coupling infrastructure improvements to food-energy-water system dynamics in small cold region communities: MicroFEWs."

Byrd and Schmidt met with community members who operate, manage or make decisions about food, energy and water for the community. With the community's input, they will begin the process of collecting baseline data on food, energy and water usage. Kongiganak is the second community to be visited in this study. Other team members will make similar trips to Cordova and Igiugig. A similar visit to Tanana has already been completed.

Other partners involved in the project include Daisy Huang, Erin Whitney, Chris Pike, Bill Schnabel, Rich Wies and Srijan Aggarwal of the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Aaron Dotson of UA Anchorage; Craig Gerlach and Henry Penn of the University of Calgary; and independent consultant Henry Huntington.

MicroFEWs is a four-year project with the ultimate goal of developing a novel systems approach to understanding the linkages between renewable energy use and its downstream impacts upon food, energy and water security in remote Arctic and sub-Arctic communities. 

Photo: An ATV drives along a boardwalk in the coastal community of Kongiganak. Photo by Amanda Byrd/ACEP.