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Emergency Management, Climate Change, and Complex Governance in the Arctic

EasyChair Preprint no. 1170

46 pagesDate: June 11, 2019


The increasingly long ice-free season in the Arctic, a consequence of climate change, coupled with the increased maritime activity that is enabled by ice-free seasons, is posing significant challenges for emergency preparedness in Arctic Alaska. This paper outlines the challenges of planning for a maritime accident, such as an oil spill or a stranded cruise ship, in Arctic Alaska. These challenges are compounded by the complex institutional and governmental arrangements that characterize the management of resources and emergency response in Alaska. Governance in Alaska is far more challenging than one would expect in a state of about 750,000 people. Stakeholders in this field include the federal and state governments, local governments that differ in some respects from the form of local government in other states, Alaska native corporations at the regional and village level, as well other private interests. Planning for a maritime response is particularly challenging since the region has no deepwater ports, and the largest community in the Alaskan Arctic, Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow) is not much larger than 4,000 people. The combination of remoteness, the lack of substantial emergency preparedness and support infrastructure, and the sparse population of the Arctic makes planning for emergencies challenging. In this paper, we outline our research project, Emergency Response in the Arctic, in which we plan to develop means for planning emergency response in a way that also affords tangible community benefits in Alaska. This is a departure from past practices that have not accounted for local community needs in Alaska.

Keyphrases: Alaska, Arctic, climate change, emergency management, Governance

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Thomas A. Birkland and Kathryn Schwaeble and Martha Grabowski and Marie Lowe and Tom Sharkey and William Wallace},
  title = {Emergency Management, Climate Change, and Complex Governance in the Arctic},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 1170},

  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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