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"Walking in two worlds and not doing too well in either" : investigating vulnerability and climate change in Nunavut, Canada

Whitfield, Kathleen LU (2012) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM01 20121
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Arctic communities are currently experiencing the effects of climate change. This paper contributes to a growing body of vulnerability and adaptation research in the Arctic. This case study provides an assessment of current vulnerabilities and offers insight into how climate change is experienced in the hamlet of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. The predominantly qualitative research method involved semi-structured interviews, a focus group, surveys, and community observations. Local residents reported that factors such as higher and less-predictable temperatures and changing sea-ice patterns affected the quality and availability of local country foods, exacerbated hunting risks, and caused emotional stress. Local adaptation strategies included... (More)
Arctic communities are currently experiencing the effects of climate change. This paper contributes to a growing body of vulnerability and adaptation research in the Arctic. This case study provides an assessment of current vulnerabilities and offers insight into how climate change is experienced in the hamlet of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. The predominantly qualitative research method involved semi-structured interviews, a focus group, surveys, and community observations. Local residents reported that factors such as higher and less-predictable temperatures and changing sea-ice patterns affected the quality and availability of local country foods, exacerbated hunting risks, and caused emotional stress. Local adaptation strategies included modifying diets to store foods and altered hunting strategies. Adaptation strategies are not exclusively a result of climate-related changes, as they interconnect with the broader transition toward a less traditional lifestyle, including changes in family networks and a disconnection from traditional ways of hunting. Respondents reported their daily experiences with local environmental changes, including unpredictable characteristics of ice and weather, dwindling caribou populations, new non-native wildlife species and a changing landscape. However, with few subsistence hunters, livelihoods and food security were not significantly affected by climate change. This study provides a snapshot of one Arctic community, where assessing vulnerability encompassed local perspectives of living in times of great environmental and cultural change. Unlike traditional vulnerability studies that typically overlook cultural and social realities, this paper emphasizes them while providing insight into the vulnerability of one particular community in transition. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Whitfield, Kathleen LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM01 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
inuit traditional knowledge, food security, ethnography, Arctic climate impacts, adaptive capacity, sustainability science, inuit communities, hunting, vulnerability scoping diagram
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2012:017
language
English
id
2855730
date added to LUP
2012-06-27 11:44:28
date last changed
2012-11-26 10:28:21
@misc{2855730,
  abstract     = {Arctic communities are currently experiencing the effects of climate change. This paper contributes to a growing body of vulnerability and adaptation research in the Arctic. This case study provides an assessment of current vulnerabilities and offers insight into how climate change is experienced in the hamlet of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. The predominantly qualitative research method involved semi-structured interviews, a focus group, surveys, and community observations. Local residents reported that factors such as higher and less-predictable temperatures and changing sea-ice patterns affected the quality and availability of local country foods, exacerbated hunting risks, and caused emotional stress. Local adaptation strategies included modifying diets to store foods and altered hunting strategies. Adaptation strategies are not exclusively a result of climate-related changes, as they interconnect with the broader transition toward a less traditional lifestyle, including changes in family networks and a disconnection from traditional ways of hunting. Respondents reported their daily experiences with local environmental changes, including unpredictable characteristics of ice and weather, dwindling caribou populations, new non-native wildlife species and a changing landscape. However, with few subsistence hunters, livelihoods and food security were not significantly affected by climate change. This study provides a snapshot of one Arctic community, where assessing vulnerability encompassed local perspectives of living in times of great environmental and cultural change. Unlike traditional vulnerability studies that typically overlook cultural and social realities, this paper emphasizes them while providing insight into the vulnerability of one particular community in transition.},
  author       = {Whitfield, Kathleen},
  keyword      = {inuit traditional knowledge,food security,ethnography,Arctic climate impacts,adaptive capacity,sustainability science,inuit communities,hunting,vulnerability scoping diagram},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {"Walking in two worlds and not doing too well in either" : investigating vulnerability and climate change in Nunavut, Canada},
  year         = {2012},
}