Arctic Urban Risks and Adaptations (AURA): a co-production framework for addressing multiple changing environmental hazards, presented by Jen Schmidt, University of Alaska Anchorage and
Forest Insect and Disease Surveys In Alaska: Cankers, Miners, and Beetles presented by Lori Winton & Garret Dubois, USFS Forest Health Protection
AURA abstract: In 2019 the National Science Foundataion (NSF) funded a Navigating the New Arctic project called "Arctic Urban Risks and Adaptations (AURA): a co-production framework for addressing multiple changing environmental hazards". This project looks at three hazards: wildfire, thawing permafrost, and rain-in-winter from 1980 through 2060. Our study area includes Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Whitehorse, and given the large spatial extent we are using the ABoVE vegetation dataset to assess the effect of wildfire on vegetation and succession in an effort to model wildfire hazard. Our results indicate that without wildfire changes in vegetation over 30 years is minimal. Post-fire succession captured by remote sensed data such as Landsat largely agrees with field observations and literature. Woodlands result in the greatest amount of post-fire diversity among vegetation types. As part of the risk assessment process we have worked with Alaska EPSCoR to build a statewide database of fuel treatments (> 1,000) with the goal of providing an online resource to aid wildfire suppression activities.
POSTPONED (check back for reschedule date): Forest Insect and Disease Surveys In Alaska
Forest Insect and Disease Surveys In Alaska Abstract: A main mission of the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection program is to survey and monitor insect and disease impacts on the nation’s forested lands. In Alaska we rely heavily on annual Aerial Detection Surveys to monitor remote areas and ground surveys for areas that are accessible. Since 2015 we have seen significant mortality on trembling aspen due to a “running canker” disease. Aspen leafminer, along with drought, are widespread stressors that contributed to weakening the canker-killed trees. Aspen leafminer is present in nearly every stand of aspen encountered in the Interior, but doesn’t kill trees on its own. Spruce beetle is a native tree killer with a long history of outbreaks in Alaska; in the 1990’s it caused over 90% tree mortality over 1.3 million hectares in Southcentral and is currently in the fourth year of a substantial reemergence. All our survey data is publicly available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r10/forest-grasslandhealth.