Community concerns and knowledge are central to our work. Focal communities were selected through conversations with Indigenous partners in Russia and Alaska, USA. Researcher S. BurnSilver worked with the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission to identify Alaskan communities - they proposed Sivuqaq (Gambell) and Tikigaq (Point Hope). Researcher and Indigenous scholar T. Degai worked with Russian collaborators who suggested Tilichiki and Sireniki as Russian focal communities.

Photo by Sergey Furman in Tilichiki, Russia

To build our transdisciplinary team we completed one trip to Kamchatka, Russia in December 2019 - participants included American and Russian PIs and Russian community collaborators from Kamchatka and Chukotka. Work is ongoing with Russian Indigenous partners, although has been impacted both by the pandemic and conflict in Ukraine.

In the USA, the team has completed five trips to Sivuqaq (Gambell). A community research lead and community research consultant joined the team in 2023 - ice observations and social science research protocols and priorities are being developed jointly with Gambell. Two trips to Tikigaq (Point Hope) occurred in late 2019-early 2020 to build relationships with the Native Village Corporations, Tribal Office, and Municipal Governments.

The pandemic slowed our work - it also has deepened our reflection on the meaning of coproduction of knowledge. In 2023, we are finalizing our community partnerships and work with our communities to hire liaisons to facilitate knowledge coproduction. We recognize sovereignty and self-determination of communities and embrace principles of equity and justice.