Five New Working Groups Selected for State of Alaska’s Salmon and People

To better understand and respond to the pressures on Alaska’s salmon and salmon communities, the State of Alaska’s Salmon and People (SASAP) program has selected five new cross-cutting synthesis working groups from the Round 2 Call for Proposals. Led by NCEAS and Nautilus Impact Investing, SASAP’s mission is to create an equitable decision-making platform for all stakeholders by addressing the information gaps in Alaska’s salmon system through information synthesis, collaboration and stakeholder engagement.

To increase the cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural dialogue necessary to sustain salmon populations, Round 2 working groups will address: (1) What are the causes and consequences of declining salmon size and age? (2) How will a changing ocean climate and at-sea resource competition influence salmon distribution? (3) How is salmon valued and are people willing to make tradeoffs between salmon and development? (4) Can we improve management decisions in the face of uncertainty with community-based monitoring? and (5) How do salmon and human connections contribute to our well-being? These expert working groups will use a collaborative, science-based process that bridges the information gap between indigenous knowledge and western science perspectives.

Three SASAP Round 1 working groups were identified in summer 2016 to lay the groundwork and document the state of knowledge for: (1) salmon distribution and habitat; (2) the sociocultural and economic dimensions of salmon systems; and (3) current governance and management of salmon.

Together, these eight working groups will engage a wide range of experts and stakeholders to improve the ecological understanding, management, and social sustainability of Alaskan salmon systems.

SASAP Working Groups and their Corresponding Principal Investigators

Round 1


Bio-physical State of Knowledge of Salmon Distribution & Habitat

Principal Investigators: Peter Westley (University of Alaska Fairbanks), Dan Rinella (US Fish and Wildlife Service)

Sociocultural and Economic Dimensions of Salmon Systems

Principal Investigators: Courtney Carothers (University of Alaska Fairbanks), Tobias Schworer (University of Alaska Anchorage), Jessica Black (University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Governance and Subsistence

Principal Investigators: Steve Langdon (University of Alaska Anchorage), Taylor Brelsford (US Fish and Wildlife Service), James Fall (Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

Round 2

Well-Being and Alaskan Salmon Systems

Principal Investigators: Dr. Rachel Donkersloot (Alaska Marine Conservation Council), Jessica C. Black (University of Alaska Fairbanks), Dr. Courtney Carothers (University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Using participatory modeling to empower community engagement in salmon science

Principal Investigator: Michael L. Jones (Michigan State University)

Consistency, causes, and consequences of declining size and age of Alaskan Salmon

Principal Investigators: Eric Palkovacs (University of California Santa Cruz), Peter Westley (University of Alaska Fairbanks), Bert Lewis (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), Marissa Baskett (University of California Davis), Stephanie Carlson (University of California Berkeley), Andrew Hendry (McGill University)

Interacting effects of ocean climate and at-sea competition on Alaskan salmon

Principal Investigators: Peter Rand (Prince William Sound Science Center), Robert Campbell (Prince William Sound Science Center), Kristen Gorman (Prince William Sound Science Center)

Kenai Lowlands salmon research synthesis and design of tools for integrated watershed management

Principal Investigators: Coowe Walker (Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve), Marke Rains (University of South Florida), Dennis Whigman (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center), Ryan King (Baylor University), Charles Simenstad (University of Washington)

More information on the State of Alaska’s Salmon and People is available on the SASAP website:

The State of Alaska’s Salmon and People has been generously funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


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Posted on November 29, 2016