Bering Sea Sub-Network Annual Report 2008 (Aleut International Association), CAFF Technical report No.17.
The Bering Sea Sub-Network: International Community-Based Environmental Observation Alliance for the Arctic Observing Network, known as BSSN, is a 2008-09 International Polar Year project implemented by the Aleut International Association in collaboration with the University of Alaska, United Nations Environment Programme – Global Resource Databank Arendal and the Alaska Native Science Commission under the auspices of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna working group of the Arctic Council. BSSN is funded by the United States National Science Foundation under the Cooperative Agreement ARC – 0634079. The project’s pilot stage, which began in June 2007, runs through May 2009. The project is expected to continue, pending further funding. BSSN is a network of coastal communities. It consists of six villages representing six indigenous cultures: three in the Russian Federation (Kanchalan – Chukchi, Tymlat – Koryak, and Nikolskoye – Western Aleut/Unangas) and three in the United Stated (Gambell – Siberian Yup’ik, Togiak – Central Yup’ik, and Sand Point – Eastern Aleut/Unangan). This project creates a structured network that provides the means for the systematic collection of information about the environment and lays a foundation for future community-based research. The network also provides for the efficient management of data gathered from community-based environmental observations. The overall goal of BSSN is to increase our understanding and knowledge of pan-Arctic processes, thereby enhancing the ability of scientists, Arctic communities, and governments to predict, plan, and respond to environmental changes and their subsequent socio-economic effects.This report provides an overview of the BSSN concept, outlines the project’s activities and summarizes its firstyear results. The purpose of this report is to inform the broader community of scientists, governments, and Arctic residents about the project’s progress, to solicit critiques that may help improve BSSN, and to seek possible partnerships with interested organizations.