Tribal Profiles
Alaska Region


The Land

Alaska is a land of extremes. The state consists of 586,400 square miles and includes several ecoregions ranging from coastal rainforest to arctic tundra. In some places temperatures can range anywhere from above 90° F in the summer to nearly -80° F in the winter. Drastic differences such as this has provided a unique landscape that the indigenous peoples of the area have adapted to for centuries.

Currently the change in climate is having an effect on Alaska's ecosystems, resulting in migratory changes in species, melting permafrost, shrinking and disappearing sea ice, earlier thaws and later freezes. Collectively these changes will have a deep impact on the people of the North, endangering their way of life and existence. Climate change is a real and serious factor in day-to-day life. Social, economic, and political variables are all entwined with our future response to global climate change.

Caved In Road In Galena

Permafrost melt is affecting infrastructure in many parts of Alaska. Most recently roads in villages have fallen victim to the melting of permafrost affecting day-to-day life for villagers.







©2002 Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals & Northern Arizona University
Last updated: February 10, 2011