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"The Ocean is Always Changing": Nearshore and Farshore Perspectives on Arctic Coastal Seas

Author(s): Ann Fienup-Riordan | Eddy Carmack

Journal: Oceanography
ISSN 1042-8275

Volume: 24;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 266;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Arctic Ocean | International Polar Year | IPY | Inuit | Yup'ik | indigenous concerns

This essay shares the broad outlines of Yup'ik and Inuit views of their coastal environment, with special emphasis on the role of sea ice and ocean swells. Nearshore conditions in the eastern Bering Sea and Canadian Arctic are used to show how shared knowledge can benefit both local residents and scientists working to better understand coastal processes. We propose a strategy that will allow integration of observations that occur at different scales, required to improve communication between stakeholders in a rapidly changing Arctic. The emerging question is how local observations can be linked to larger environmental issues in ways that speak to both indigenous and Western concerns.
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