AON: Transitioning the Bering Sea Sub-Network to the Community-based Observation Netwrok for Adapatation and Security
Over the past two years members of the Bering Sea Sub-Network (BSSN, http://www.bssn.net/) have provided input and achieved consensus that BSSN needs to evolve toward a broader range of data for the purpose of developing more tangible metrics and guidelines for adaptation. This evolution, entitled the Community Observing Network for Adaptation and Security (CONAS) requires a bridging period of approximately one year. The team will build off of the key elements of the BSSN data collection mechanisms but expand these to include more variables of interest and place them in a sociocultural context so that arctic communities and governments will be able to anticipate, plan and respond to these changes through the development of Adaptive Capacity Indices (ACIs). A transition year will allow the research team and participating Bering Sea communities to plan for full implementation of CONAS. CONAS will examine environmental change and response within a framework of social-ecological system (SES) science. In an SES context, the ability of a community to respond successfully to change is referred to as its adaptive capacity. Adaptive capacity reflects both the sensitivity of community members to their environment and their ability to institute changes that make them less vulnerable to a given perturbation (Ensor and Berger 2009, Wilkinson 2012). This framing of adaptive responses is critical to better enable communities to identify the spectrum of tradeoffs and their consequences during unusual or rapid change (Alessa et al 2008).