As communities in Alaska’s Kenai Lowlands prepare for a changing climate, information about groundwater is essential to manage the watershed for both people and salmon. To better understand the availability of groundwater and how human activities impact this resource, a collaborative research project led by the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and University of South Florida built a model that shows the depth and extent of aquifers and predicts groundwater discharge and recharge. The project team joined this new science with local expertise to interpret the groundwater model for use in land use planning, permitting, policy decisions, and habitat protection. The project developed a suite of tools and trainings to help stakeholders better understand groundwater dynamics.
As part of the project, the team provided field based learning opportunities for students in Homer and the Alaska native village of Tyonek. Students learned about groundwater connections to salmon and people, to collect and use scientific data, and to communicate their projects to decision-makers through presentations to the Kachemak Bay NERR Community Council, and through letter writing, radio presentations, and engaging with younger, elementary school students.
About this resource
This video was created by two high school students from the Alaska Native village of Tyonek, documenting their community's groundwater uses, and represents one output from engaging with students.