Who we are:

We are more than what we seem, and less than what we want to be. We are bigger than Science - not constrained by the physical limitations of the scientific mind, yet grounded by analytical truths. We function with a driving respect for the land and realize that the life of our future generations depend on the actions of this generation.

We are a Science research entity developing the modern theory of ‘traditional science’. ‘Traditional science’ is the utilization of ‘best technology’ guided by long-term observations of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) into particular focus areas. Through our water project we apply a transformative approach to collecting observational data in the Arctic. The project was developed by, and uses, an Indigenous Research Paradigm as its end to end approach (or methodology). The Indigenous Research Paradigm comes from the fundamental belief that all knowledge is relational and shared with all of creation (Wilson, S. 2001). By transcending the Western science research paradigm we apply standard methods to collect observational data across vast scales and directly engage Indigenous communities in making those observations. Our methodology uses modern scientific methods (modified and unmodified) to provide education, assistance and direction to communities in the Yukon River Watershed. Our focus is to use TEK to guide focus areas, form strong relationships within communities, train technicians, and build local capacity for Indigenous Peoples to execute their natural liberty as sovereign people.

We live in the moment, striving towards a goal that is not solely defined by measurements and calculations, but rather enhanced by their combination with traditional knowledge. Our survival is intimately linked to the condition of the natural world and we believe in living respectfully with the life around us.



What We Do:

  • Train local technicians with standard protocols for data collection
  • Operate a basin wide Indigenous Observation Network (ION), collecting both field and lab data to detect changes in water chemistry and permafrost active layer thickness
  • Explore opportunities to build focused study areas related to community observations and concerns
  • Translate scientific information into layman's terms so it may be leveraged by community decision makers
  • Develop partnerships with other researchers to broaden the scientific understanding of the Yukon Basin
  • Educate non-Indigenous peoples on the Indigenous Research Paradigm

Strategic Needs of Water on the Yukon (SNOWY)

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Strategic Needs of Water on the Yukon (SNOWY) is an interdisciplinary community-based research project that attempts to understand and map historical and current environmental conditions within the Lower Yukon River Basin (LYRB) and Yukon-Kuskokwim (YK) Delta, Alaska. The SNOWY team is made up of a diverse group of researchers from different backgrounds and organizations. This partnership between scientists trained in different disciplines (hydrology, geography, and social science), government agencies, nonprofit organizations, universities, Lower Yukon River Basin (LYRB) and Yukon-Kuskokwim (YK) Delta communities provided an opportunity to study the effects of climate change using a holistic approach.

Community Photo Map

This is where you will meet the people who do the 'real' work of this observation network. Without the communities and their dedication to the land this work would be impossible. This is their project and they deserve all the credit!

Click here to check out the community photo map.



How We Do It:

Relationships, Relationships, Relationships:

"People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care." - John Maxwell

Hands on data collection workshops:

We use standard protocols (based on the USGS TWRI book 9 standard) and simulated scenario's to create application based learning environments on how to use scientific tools.


Watch Here:


Science Staff Contact

Edda Mutter - Science Department Manager
Phone:  (907) 258-3337

Maryann Fidel - Environmental Scientist
Phone: (907) 258-3337