Earlier this month, Nautilus staff convened a gathering of some of Alaska’s top salmon experts, marking the culmination of an extraordinary multiyear, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural effort to establish a shared baseline of understanding of the status of Alaska’s salmon and people system.
The three-day discussion was held at the Santa Barbara headquarters of project partner NCEAS (National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis), with the goal of synthesizing two years of collaborative work by more than 100 people into a ‘research roadmap’ for the future of salmon research in Alaska.
State of Alaska Salmon and People
This multidisciplinary effort, known as the State of Alaska’s Salmon and People (SASAP) project, was implemented by Nautilus to generate integrated, accurate, and up-to-date information that will help to support better salmon decision-making in Alaska.
Following the ‘Working Group’ model developed by NCEAS, groups of 15 or more people from diverse backgrounds worked together on specific areas of salmon knowledge. This model has proved to be an efficient and powerful way to achieve broad perspectives on pressing environmental and social issues.
The SASAP project is recognized for its sincere effort to be inclusive of Indigenous as well as Western knowledge—essential when considering the future of salmon in a state where the complex, intertwined relationship between salmon and people has continued unbroken for more than 10,000 years.
In a time of ever-more-scarce resources, the knowledge gained from SASAP’s cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural collaborative research will be of fundamental importance in directing our ability to manage and sustain Alaska salmon in the future.