Table 1. Common observations of a total environment of change as described by informants of Noatak and Selawik.


Salient Themes Common Observations
Physical environmental change Less snow in winter
Shallower river water
  High river water events are less common
  Melting permafrost increases erosion and drying
  Later fall freeze-up; new freeze-thaw cycle
  Earlier spring break-up; ice now melts in place
Changes in fish distribution and abundance Less predictable fish movement timing
Increased presence of beaver affects fish
  Less whitefish, more pike observed in Selawik
  Less Dolly Varden observed in Noatak
Travel and access to resources Unpredictable ice conditions hinder winter travel
Lower river and lake levels make boating difficult
  Less predictable fish timing challenges harvesting practices
  Warmer springs cause unfavorable fishing conditions
Unpredictable fish processing weather Warmer, wetter weather causes traditionally dried fish to spoil
New freeze-thaw cycles during fall challenges traditional fermentation and preservation methods
Socioeconomic and cultural change Rapidly changing living conditions
Technological developments alter subsistence needs and activities
  Increasing cost of subsistence equipment limits participation
  High gasoline prices limit access to fishing and hunting locations
  Declining participation of youth in subsistence activities
  Eating more store food and less local food