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Art & Science Collaborative: Alaskan Kids Know Climate Change

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Climate change impacts in Alaska are more pronounced than in other regions of the United States. These impacts are well documented in the Kenai Peninsula, where communities are coping with a variety of impacts related to a warming climate. These include reductions in wetland areas, glacial ice coverage, and freshwater availability as well as increases in temperature, ocean acidification, and harmful algal blooms. Although efforts to document these changes can create a long-term, local strategy for climate change adaptation, challenges such as the uncertainty of future climate change trajectories, the need for regional data synthesis, and limited capacity for interagency collaboration have presented barriers to effective climate change planning. A 2015 Science Transfer project led by the Tijuana River and Kachemak Bay Reserves aimed to address these challenges by helping coastal communities on the Kenai Peninsula plan for a changing climate.

This art collection stems from one of the workshops hosted by the project team, where researchers and decision makers identified the opportunity to explore climate change with the involvement of Homer, Alaska's vibrant arts and education communities. The collection includes work from 3rd-6th graders who investigated the science behind climate change, graphed real data related to impacts, and illustrated the issues in silk paintings. It also includes tools for creating your own Art and Science Program in your region, including a job aid tool, student booklet, and climate resilience project infographic.