“It’s difficult to work from silos on something that is so fundamentally cross-disciplinary.”
The Alaska Climate Adaptation Community of Practice (CoP) met in Anchorage earlier this fall for a two-day meeting. The goal of the CoP is to establish greater connectivity across disciplines so that research projects related to climate adaptation and resilience can be more coordinated and effective.
The first day began with a session of welcoming and small group sharing and discussion, followed by two panels. The first panel included presentations on climate adaptation planning and resilience. The second panel focused on workforce development.
On the second day, the group participated in a series of facilitated roundtable discussions. Each discussion centered around themes from the first day, and addressed funding, geography, project focus areas and project priorities. The discussions provided an opportunity to process information from the presentations and share ideas among climate resilience professionals and practitioners.
“Each Tribal association might be reinventing the wheel. How do we create peer-to-peer mentoring networks to learn from each other?”
The closing session asked participants to make an offering or share a request with the CoP. Offerings included leading the group through a mindfulness exercise, and requests included making available to the group a list of climate adaptation and resilience practitioners and resources.
“This community of practice emerged during the pandemic,” explained workshop organizer Davin Holen, coastal community resilience specialist with Alaska Sea Grant. “Many of our members, who know each other well, have had little opportunity to get together to share what they are working on and ideas for moving forward. This workshop was also a great opportunity to attract new members and be more inclusive. With this in mind, we focused on group discussion, sharing, and learning from one another.”
Workshop participants included representatives from agencies, universities, tribes, and local governments, including the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the US Army Corps of Engineers, Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office, the Alaska Federation of Natives, and others. The CoP is open to practitioners who are working with communities across Alaska to provide data, decision tools, technical tools, funding, and other types of support to address the changing climate. The planning committee is currently reviewing feedback from participants and is producing a workshop report with ideas for future CoP activities. If you are interested in joining, contact Davin Holen.