Human and chemical ecology of Arctic pathways by marine pollutants

Updated 2001-01-19

1. Research area # 2 in the 1998/99 Announcement of Opportunity by CIFAR, "Study of anthropogenic influences on the Western Arctic/Bering Sea Ecosystem", and 2. Research area #4 in the 1998/99 Announcement of Opportunity by CIFAR, "Contaminant inputs, fate and effects on the ecosystem" specifically addressing objectives a-c, except "effects." a. "Determine pathways/linkages of contaminant accumulation in species that are consumed by top predators, including humans, and determine sub-regional differences in contaminant levels..." b. "Use an ecosystems approach to determine the effects of contaminants on food web and biomagnification." c. "Encourage local community participation in planning and implementing research strategies." The objectives of Phase I, Human Ecology Research are to: 1. Document reliance by indigenous arctic marine communities in Canada, Alaska and Russia on arctic resources at risk from chemical pollutants; and, 2. Incorporate traditional knowledge systems of subsistence harvesting. The human ecology components of the project were conducted within the frameworks of indigenous environmental knowledge and community participation. Using participatory mapping techniques, semi-structured interviews and the direct participation of community members in research design, data collection and implementation, research and data collection on the human ecology of indigenous arctic marine communities was undertaken in the communities of Holman, NWT (1998), Wainwright, Alaska (1999), and is underway in Novoe Chaplino, Russia. (2000).

This is not a National Implementation Plan (NIP) project

Time frame

Status
Ongoing
Project time span
1998 -
Data collection
not specified
Data processing
not specified
Data reporting
not specified

Contact information

Contact person
Todd M. O'Hara
Address
Department of Wildlife Management, North Slope Borough, P.O. Box 69, Barrow, AK 99723 USA
Phone
+1 907 852 0350
Fax
+1 907 852 0351
Email
su.ka.epols-htron.oc@arahot
Other project contacts
Larry Duffy, Department of Chemistry, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7000 Erich Follmann, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7000 Karim-Aly Kassam, Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Derek Muir, National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington ON L7R 4A6 Dave Norton, Arctic Rim Research, 1749 Red Fox Dr., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99709

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Heavy metals
Other metals/elements
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Algae (algae, phytoplankton)
Marine fish
Marine mammals
Seawater/suspended particulate matter
Terrestrial mammals
Additional information or further specification of types of data / information collected, species / tissues / organs sampled, etc.

Species sampled: Bowhead whale, ringed seal, beluga whale, marine invertebrates, marine fish, arctic fox Analyses: Stable isotopes (muscle), organochlorines (blubber, fat, heavy metals (Se, Ag, Cd, Cu, Zn and Hg)(kidney and liver).

Geography

Regions studied
Alaska
Alaska, North Slope
Arctic Ocean
Beaufort Sea
Canada
Chukchi Sea
Chukotka peninsula
Russia

Data availability

Are data archived or planned to be archived at an AMAP Thematic Data Centre?
yes-partly
Data centres
Marine TDC
Terrestrial TDC
Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?
Yes
Specimen banking information

Some samples banked by the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project (AMMTAP)

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

Organochlorine analysis by National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington ON L7R 4A6 Stable isotope analysis by National Water Research Institute, Saskatoon, Canada Mercury analysis, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA (laboratory of Dr. L. Duffy) Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA (laboratory of Dr. G. Bratton)

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Yes
Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research, University of Alaska Fairbanks (CIFAR)

Indigenous AND traditional knowledge used in this project

The human ecology components of the project were conducted within the frameworks of indigenous environmental knowledge and community participation. Use of participatory mapping techniques, semi-structured interviews and the direct participation of community members in research design, data collection and implementation, research and data collection on the human ecology of indigenous arctic marine communities was undertaken in the communities of Holman, NWT (1998), Wainwright, Alaska (1999), and is underway in Novoe Chaplino, Russia. (2000).

Other related projects

The Bowhead whale as a potential indicator species for monitoring the health of the western Arctic/Bering Sea ecosystem using blubber, histology, metal and mineral indices

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