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Ice Edge– The Ikaaġvik Sikukun Story

A film launch and discussion of a climate study meshing Indigenous and western science expertise and perspectives.

Thursday, Jan 27, 2022 at 10:00 am 11:30 am

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Five years ago, facing momentous changes in coastal sea ice, Iñupiaq residents of Kotzebue, Alaska, began a collaborative research project with scientists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Columbia University to clarify trends and choices. 

The project, called Ice Bridges, or Ikaaġvik Sikukun in the Iñupiaq language, melded Indigenous observations, aerial monitoring, and ocean and marine mammal science to address questions forged from the beginning through dialogue. The first peer-reviewed studies are emerging, along with the film “Ice Edge,” which chronicles the years-long study and the relationships it forged. 

An “Ice Edge” launch party will be held on Facebook and YouTube. The event is hosted by Andy Revkin, one of America’s most honored and experienced environmental journalists, with discussion by Indigenous and scientific team members.

The launch will celebrate the film, discuss the research and explore lessons that can inform efforts around the world to bridge local and Western science expertise and perspectives when tackling urgent challenges where the impacts of climate change are greatest.

Guests will include the documentary filmmaker Sarah Betcher, of Farthest North Films, and the following research team members:

  • Elder Advisory Council members Ross Schaeffer, Bobby Schaeffer and Cyrus Harris, depending on Internet connectivity and the pandemic 
  • Alex Whiting, director of the Native Village of Kotzebue’s Environmental Program 
  • Donna Hauser, marine mammal scientist, UAF International Arctic Research Center
  • Christopher Zappa, oceanographer, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University Climate School

Watch “Ice Edge” ahead of time and join us with questions:

The research and film was funded by an innovative grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation aimed at bringing new depth to the concept of coproduction of knowledge.