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Tribal Climate Change Newsletter

November 2011 Issue
 Tribal Climate Change Newsletter
November 2011

Welcome to ITEP's Tribal Climate Change Newsletter. This monthly newsletter provides news items, resources, announcements about funding opportunities, conferences, and training, and other information relevant to tribal climate change issues.
 ITEP's Climate Change Program News

Fifty-two people participated in the training, Climate Change Adaptation Planning and Strategies for Alaska Native Villages, offered by ITEP on November 10-11 as part of the Alaska Tribal Conference on Environmental Management (ATCEM) in Anchorage, AK. The participants represented 35 Alaska tribes and tribal organizations and several non-tribal groups. The participants left the training with a better understanding of how to plan for climate change impacts and with information about permafrost thawing and coastal and river erosion and ways to monitor these. ITEP thanks the participants and the instructional team (the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, US EPA, the State of Alaska, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and several Alaska native villages,) for making the training a success.

ITEP and other tribal organizations and groups throughout the US are collaborating to create a chapter on tribes that will be part of the 2013 National Climate Assessment, the first time that a chapter on tribes will be included in the assessment. The chapter will provide an overview of climate change impacts on tribes and current adaptation and mitigation efforts. ITEP is working with Dr. Bull Bennett of Kiksapa Consulting, LLC, to offer a webinar on December 5, 11 am-12 pm Pacific, which will provide information about the National Climate Assessment, the chapter on tribes, who is involved, the timeline, and how you can provide input. Space is limited. Reserve your webinar seat now; after registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

ITEP and US EPA are collaborating to offer quarterly Alaska Tribal Climate Change Conference Calls/Webinars, to provide information about climate change programs/technical assistance resources and funding opportunities available to tribes in Alaska. Please contact Sue Wotkyns ( or Michelle Davis ( for more information.

-- Sue Wotkyns
About Us:
Sue Wotkyns, Climate Change Program Manager
Sue is leading the development of ITEP's Climate Change Program and coordinating ITEP's climate change efforts. Please contact her with any inquiries, suggestions or comments.

Tribal Climate Change Listserve
Did someone forward this to you? Send an email to Sue Wotkyns to subscribe or unsubscribe to the newsletter. We may occasionally send announcements in addition to the monthly newsletters if we have something to share that is time-sensitive. Archived issues can be found at: itep/ climatechange

Tribes & Climate Change website
For more on tribes and climate change issues, visit ITEP's Tribes & Climate Change website at The website includes profiles of tribes that are impacted by climate change, audio recordings of tribal elders offering their views on climate change, general information about climate change and its impacts, links to numerous online resources, and much more!
 In the News

La Jolla Tribal Solar Initiative (Grid Alternatives)
GRID Alternatives has partnered with the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians on a Tribal Solar Initiative for the La Jolla Indian Reservation. The initiative includes installing solar photovoltaic solar systems on residences and conducting energy audits. Copyright © 2010 GRID Alternatives.

USDA Awards Grant to Build Wind Turbines in SD
A grant from the US Dept. of Agriculture will help cover the costs of installing wind turbines in an effort to reduce energy costs on South Dakota's Indian reservations. © Native American Times 2011, 11/9/11.

Alaskans Weather Epic Bering Sea Storm
A giant Bering Sea storm with hurricane-force winds roared up the western Alaska coastline Wednesday, sending waves over storm barriers, knocking out electricity, flooding parts of some villages and leading to evacuations. © Copyright 2011, The Anchorage Daily News, 11/9/11.

Bering Sea storm: Has global warming made Alaska more vulnerable?
Bering Sea storm winds are lashing the coast of Alaska. Sea ice extending out from the shoreline has protected the coast from past Bering Sea storm surges, but there is little such ice this year, and global warming is likely to blame. © The Christian Science Monitor, 11/9/11.

Osage Nation Sues to Block Wind Farm
The Osage Nation has filed a lawsuit to block a proposed wind farm on land west of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, near the town of Burbank. In August, the Osage County Board of Adjustment voted unanimously to allow the project, which comprises 94 wind turbines, each about 400 feet in height, but now the tribe is saying that their construction would interfere with its plans to extract and sell oil and natural gas that has been discovered beneath the same land, to which the tribe owns mineral rights. © 2011 Indian Country Today Media Network, LLC, 11/2/11.

True Wild Rice Probably Isn't What You Think It Is-It's Better
Article about wild rice and concerns about the impacts of climate change on wild rice. © 2011 Indian Country Today Media Network, LLC, 11/1/11. 2011/11/ true- wild- rice- probably- isnt- what- you- think- it- is%E2%80%94 its- better/

International Traditional/Indigenous culture helps with climate change adaptation: report
Governments are ignoring a vast store of knowledge-generated over thousands of years-that could protect food supplies and make agriculture more resilient to climate change, says a briefing published by the International Institute for Environment and Development. © 2011 Current TV, LLC, 10/31/11. green/ 93519667_ traditional- indigenous- culture- helps- with- climate- change- adaptation- report.htm

Disaster Management Climate Change Adaptation
Traditional knowledge is used in adaptation strategies to deal with climatic disasters that impact Bangladesh. 2011 © Copyright to NewsToday, 10/30/11.

Climate Change is Altering the Lives of Alaska's Natives
Although the effects of change are well documented along the coast, where higher tides and ferocious storms have threatened native communities, a study by the US Geological Survey has found indigenous people in Alaska's interior also have felt the transformation to a warmer climate during the past several decades of their lifetimes. This research study tried to match the "traditional knowledge" of people at the site- hunters and village elders-with scientific data. ©™ 2003-2011, 10/25/11.

For Inuits Dealing With Climate Change, Science Can Be Slow and Bumbling
An Inuk woman practicing a traditional craft finds the sealskin she’s working with doesn’t have the nice fur of times past and it has rotten patches that tear easily. Her husband finds that hunting seals is more difficult than in the past because the formerly stable edge of an ice-floe has broken off and fewer seals are there. He carries a gun as protection against increasing numbers of polar bears. They are among Native people in the circumpolar North who experience climate change in their everyday lives and for whom conventional science, despite its ability to describe the change, sometimes has been unhelpful. © 2011 Indian Country Today Media Network, LLC, 10/25/11. 2011/ 10/ for- inuits- dealing- with- climate- change- science- can-be- slow- and- bumbling/

Rich in Coal, a Tribe Struggles to Overcome Poverty
The Crow Nation in southeast Montana has long dealt with unemployment of nearly 50 percent. To create more jobs, Crow leaders are focusing on developing the nation's energy resources. © 2011 The New York Times Company, 10/25/11. 2011/ 10/ 26/ business/ energy- environment/ rich-in- coal-a- tribe- struggles- to-overcome- poverty.html?_r=1

Teaching a Yupik Eskimo Village to Map Climate Change Impacts
Located in Western Alaska at approximately 59 degrees latitude and within one mile of the Bering Sea, Quinhagak is a quintessential Yupik Eskimo community of about 600 individuals who care deeply about preserving their heritage. This article details how the community took advantage of an Esri 4-H Train the Trainer Grant and other resources to conduct a three-week-long GPS/GIS course. They trained four youth and four adults to use these skills to map archeological sites and environmentally sensitive areas. © 2011 Directions Media. 10/17/11. articles/ teaching-a- yupik- eskimo- village- to-map- climate- change- impacts/ 208512

CAMEL—Climate, Adaptation, Mitigation, E-Learning
CAMEL is a free, comprehensive, interdisciplinary, multi-media resource for educators to enable them to effectively teach about climate change and allowing them to create and share curricular resources. Website has links to variety of resources, including articles, risk assessment tools, audio/podcasts, case studies, games, images, lesson plans, presentations, and much more.

Climate Change in Kiana, Alaska: Strategies for Community Health (Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium)
Report describes a comprehensive assessment of climate change related health effects in Kiana, Alaska. Kiana is an Inupiat community of approximately 361 residents, located on the Kobuk River, about 60 miles east of Kotzebue. Described health effects include permafrost thaw-driven damage to water and waste water infrastructure, decreased food security and safety and increased travel hazards related to river change. October 2011.

Climate change and Health Effects in Northwest Alaska
Article provides examples of adverse health effects, including weather-related injury, food insecurity, mental health issues, and water infrastructure damage, and the responses to these effects that are currently being applied in two Northwest Alaska communities. Glob Health Action. © 2011 Michael Brubaker et al. Published online 10/18/11.

Climate Communication for Local Governments (ICLEI)
To help you improve your communication on climate action, ICLEI has compiled guidelines and tips applicable to situations like these: Engaging community members or municipal staff in the development of your energy or climate action plan; "Selling" climate action to your elected officials; Presenting your greenhouse gas inventory results at a city council meeting; Writing text for your climate action plan or website; Creating messaging for your mayor. November 2011.

Federal Actions for a Climate Resilient Nation
The Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force released a progress report outlining the federal government's progress in expanding and strengthening US capacity to better understand, prepare for, and respond to extreme events and other climate change impacts. The report provides an update on actions in key areas of federal adaptation, including: building resilience in local communities, safeguarding critical natural resources such as freshwater, and providing accessible climate information and tools to help decision-makers manage climate risks. This report follows the Task Force's October 2010 Progress Report to the President that recommended that the federal government strengthen the Nation's capacity to better understand and manage climate-related risks. 10/28/11.

National Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate
In October 2010, the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force published a Progress Report to the President identifying freshwater resources as a priority area for greater attention. In June 2011, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released a draft "National Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate," for public review and comment. CEQ has now released the final plan, taking into account public comment. The final national action plan is to be used as the foundation for federal agency efforts to manage freshwater resources as the climate changes. It is designed to help freshwater resource managers assure adequate water supplies, safeguard water quality and aquatic ecosystems, and protect human life, health and property. October 2011.

Strengthening the Scientific Understanding of Climate Change Impacts on Freshwater Resources of the United States
This report assesses the status of scientific information available to help understand the impacts of climate change and other stressors on U.S. freshwater resources and calls for modernization of systems to help monitor and sustain water supplies. The report also reviews the state of existing science and identifies strategies for improving systems to collect climate-related data and water monitoring information. The improvements are intended to help water managers predict, respond and adapt to the effects of climate change on the nation's freshwater supplies so that they can help ensure adequate water quantity and quality. The report was prepared by a federal interagency panel led by the US Geological Survey and in conjunction with the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. August 2011.
 Other Items of Interest

ATNI Resolution #11 - 77 - Traditional Knowledge and Climate Change
An outcome from the September 2011 Traditional Knowledge and Climate Change workshop was a draft resolution presented at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians annual meeting. The resolution was passed and is available at: PDF%20Docs/ resolutions /2011/ annual/ 11-77 _Amen%20an%2 0ff%20 the%20 Flr_ATNI_ 2011_TEK_ an_ Climate_ Change%20 Final.pdf

DOI Climate Science Centers
On October 7, Secretary Salazar announced the locations of the final three Climate Science Centers - those in the Northeast, South Central, and Pacific Islands regions. These centers are not yet formally established, however, and will not be until full year appropriations legislation for USGS is passed. The College of Menominee Nation is part of the consortium of institutions hosting the Northeast Climate Science Center. The consortium hosting the South Central Climate Science Center includes the Chickasaw Nation and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Press announcements are available at:
 Funding Opportunities

NOTE: More Funding Opportunities can be found at the Tribes & Climate Change website:

Governors' Institute for Community Design (US EPA)
The Office of Sustainable Communities in EPA's Office of Policy is seeking proposals to conduct research and studies, analyze state policies and programs, and create and deliver technical assistance programs to leaders of states that are facing air and water pollution, land use, and development challenges. This request for proposals (RFP) seeks to fund one applicant to operate the Governors' Institute for Community Design. The institute will select and work with interested state leadership to deliver technical assistance that supports state efforts to implement smart growth and sustainable communities development approaches that protect the environment, improve public health, facilitate job creation and economic opportunity, and improve overall quality of life. Indian tribes are eligible. Deadline: 12/5/11.

AmeriCorps Indian Tribes Planning Grants FY2012
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announces the availability of funding for AmeriCorps State and National and Indian Tribes Planning Grants. Planning grants support the development of AmeriCorps programs so the applicants are better prepared to compete for an AmeriCorps grant in the following grant cycle. One of the focus areas for funding is programs that increase community resiliency through disaster preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation. Eligibility: Indian Tribes Planning Grant applicants must not have received an AmeriCorps grant in the past and must be an Indian Tribe. Applicants may have received funding through Learn and Serve America, NCCC, Senior Corps, or VISTA. Deadline: 1/18/12.

Activities That Reduce Global Anthropogenic Methane Emissions (US EPA)
EPA is soliciting proposals for investigation, survey, study, training, and demonstration projects (eligible projects) that advance international near-term, cost-effective methane abatement and/or recovery and use as a clean energy source, and support the goals of the Global Methane Initiative. This funding opportunity is only for international activities in support of the Global Methane Initiative. Benefits to the U.S. will result from the mitigation in climate change emissions and the potential use of U.S. technologies and services in projects around the world. Federally-recognized Indian tribal governments are eligible. Deadline: 1/19/12.

WaterSMART: Water and Energy Efficiency Grants for FY 2012 (Bureau of Reclamation)
The objective of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to invite States, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority to leverage their money and resources by cost sharing with Reclamation on projects that seek to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, facilitate water markets, or carry out other activities to address climate-related impacts on water or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict. Water conservation, use of water markets, and improved efficiency are crucial elements of any plan to address western United States water issues. With leveraged water and energy efficiency grants, an important step will be taken towards increasing conservation for a more efficient use of water in the West. Tribes in western US are eligible. Deadline: 1/19/12.

Regional Ecosystem Prediction Program; Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (NOAA/NOS/NCCOS/CSCOR)
NOAA/NOS/NCCOS/CSCOR is soliciting proposals for research under its Regional Ecosystem Prediction Program theme focused on the impacts of ocean acidification on key fish and shellfish species and their supporting ecosystems in US coastal and estuarine waters. CSCOR is accepting proposals which are focused on the development of modeling and prediction tools to determine population-, community-, and ecosystem-level effects of increasing ocean acidification in marine and estuarine systems. As a component of developing the necessary understanding of ecological processes and linkages, physiological research on targeted species or groups of ecologically related species may be included. Proposals must target or be relevant to US commercial and/or recreational fishery species. Indian Tribal Governments are eligible. Deadline: 1/30/12.

Renewable Energy Investment Fund (Grand Canyon Trust)
The Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) is soliciting applications from Arizona tribes and tribal organizations to competitively obtain funds for renewable energy projects that can reduce fossil fuel emissions and reduce total energy use. REIF has allocated $1,000,000 for this program. The program will focus on installing on-site, renewable energy technologies for tribal or tribal nonprofit organization-owned buildings or on tribal land. Arizona Tribes and Tribal organizations are eligible. Deadline: 4/29/12. news/ 2011/ 11/ renewable- energy- grants- available- for- arizona- tribes- and- tribal- organizations/
 Upcoming Events

NOTE: More Upcoming Events can be found at the Tribes & Climate Change website:

December 2011
  • Webinar: Reducing Operating Costs with Energy Use Assessments and Auditing
    December 1, 1 pm EDT. EPA is offering the first webcast of the Energy Management Webcast Series. This webcast will focus on two key elements of energy management for utilities (1) determining how much energy your utility is using in each part of your operation and (2) conducting an energy audit to identify specific opportunities for greater efficiency and expected cost savings. Information on various assessment and audit tools will be provided, including those geared specifically to small and medium sized utilities.
  • Webinar: Tribes and the National Climate Assessment
    December 5, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Pacific time. Kiksapa Consulting, the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) and other tribal organizations and groups throughout the US are collaborating to create a chapter on tribes that will be part of the 2013 National Climate Assessment. This is first time that a chapter on tribes will be included in the assessment—the chapter will provide an overview of climate change impacts on tribes and current adaptation and mitigation efforts. Dr. Bull Bennett of Kiksapa Consulting, LLC, is leading the chapter's technical input team and author team—during the webinar, he will provide information about the National Climate Assessment, the chapter on tribes, who is involved, the timeline, and how you can provide input. Space is limited. Reserve your webinar seat now; after registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
  • Webinar: Climate Action Plan Evaluation: Part 2
    December 7, 2:00-3:30 EST. Sponsored by EPA's Local Climate and Energy Program. The second webinar of this two-part series on Climate Action Planning will focus on helping local governments measure and evaluate the progress of their climate mitigation work. A diverse group of local governments with firsthand experience will discuss their experiences, including methods/tools/indicators used to measure progress; data sources and data management; benefits of climate actions; communicating results; and give an overview of useful EPA resources. Register here:
    More information: web- podcasts/ local- webcasts- by- date.html #upcoming webcasts

©2002 Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals at Northern Arizona University
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