Mapping Vulnerability and Adaptation Pathways

The Arctic Community Vulnerability Index (ACVI) is a platform we have developed to quantify and predict vulnerability dynamics across the Canadian Arctic.

While Inuit communities are strong, have resilient characteristics, and have a deep history of adapting to changes, high rates of vulnerability reflect both the notable rate of environmental change occurring in polar regions as well as social and economic stresses across the region. Increasingly, policymakers, emergency managers, and researchers are working to quantify vulnerability and disaster resilience as a means of identifying hot spots and tracking changes in risk. Quantifying vulnerability dynamics promotes more proactive adaptation policies and allows for targeted planning.

Key elements of the ACVI include:

• Exposure: We assessed projections of physical characteristics of the environment around each community at various periods – present (baseline), 2040, 2070, and 2100.

• Sensitivity: We quantified sensitivity of infrastructure and transportation systems as well as sensitivity of communities to disaster (social and physical characteristics). We did not project sensitivity; sensitivity is static for all analyses.

• Adaptive Capacity: We quantified community capacity to change in the face of risks and ability take advantage of new opportunities using social data from 2011 to 2016. Similar to sensitivity, adaptive capacity remained static during all models.

Arctic Search and Rescue Strengths and Opportunities

I am working with Nunavut communities and the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre to assess search and rescue gaps and opportunities for communities across Nunavut. We are exploring potential uses for UAVs in hazard identification and SAR, as well as other community-centered avenues to prevent incidents and improve response.

Landuse Index

To better understand how changing climatic conditions may impact Inuit harvesters and travelers, we are assessing what ice and weather trends have been over the past 40 years in numerous communities across the Canadian Arctic. Using historical daily observations of conditions, we use hypothetical scenarios to understand potential impacts to travel on the land, water, and ice.