Coastal Community Ocean Observers (C2O2): A network of community-driven coastal ocean observations

Project Description

The Alaskan coast is the region of the country that most lacks modern infrastructure, and yet it is arguably at the greatest social-ecological risk from climate change impacts. This is because of the potential for coastal erosion, flooding, loss of sea ice, loss of economically and culturally important food resources, and even loss of indigenous culture, languages, and dialects. Monitoring provides a reference point for describing and understanding ecosystem conditions and change, and opens the door to community involvement in scientific research that can help deal with the unknowable. For this reason, we have launched the Coastal Community Ocean Observers (C2O2) program: a cost-efficient means for communities to collect environmental data of local and regional interest. C2O2 will also promote mutually beneficial community-scientific partner engagements which will build relationships for collecting and sharing information. C2O2 is first and foremost designed to help build long-term community-driven monitoring of oceanic environmental variables. Though we hope this program will grow in time, currently we are focused on the following goals: forming partnerships between the University of Alaska and three Alaskan coastal communities (Kaktovik, St. Paul and Old Harbor); monitoring key environmental parameters of interest to these communities; building a two-way bridge that connects larger-scale monitoring of the open oceans with local waters; and developing frameworks that allow comparison within and along well-defined gradients of climate and environmental stress to serve as a basis for adaptive management strategies.

Project Funding

NPRB North Pacific Research Board
Start Date: 2014-07-00 End Date: 2016-06-00

Research Team

Principal Investigator

picture of Peter Winsor

Peter Winsor

Associate Professor
  • Alaska Ocean Observing System
  • Physical Oceanography
(907) 474-7740
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Co-Principal Investigators

picture of Courtney Carothers

Courtney Carothers

  • Environmental Anthropology
  • Political Ecology
  • Marine Policy
  • Fishing Communities
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picture of Seth Danielson

Seth Danielson

Associate Professor
  • Continental shelf circulation processes
  • Data processing and analysis
  • Atmosphere-ocean interactions
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Research Staff

Elizabeth Dobbins, 907-474-5961,

Project Website

Coastal Community Ocean Observers
Coastal Community Ocean Observers
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