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Meaningful Research as an Indigenous Woman | CO2 in Siberian Boreal Forests

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Learn about meaningful Arctic research as an Indigenous woman and whether Siberian boreal forests are sources or sinks of CO2 emission.

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In recent years, women researchers, scientists, knowledge holders, and local champions have elevated their visibility and empowered their voices across the world. The polar regions are no exception. In 2021, a coalition of organizations including The Arctic Institute, Women in Polar Sciences, and Women of the Arctic are organizing a webinar series, Breaking the Ice Ceiling, that aims to illuminate polar research and achievements (past and present) by those who identify as women and to foster discussion on systemic change in polar sciences (Indigenous, natural, and social sciences) to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this webinar, you will learn from Nicole Kanayurak about meaningful Arctic research as an Indigenous woman, and from Dr. Anastasia Makhnykina on whether Siberian boreal forests are additianal sources or sinks of CO2 emission.

Nicole Kanayurak is Inupiaq from Utqiaġvik, Alaska, the northernmost point in the U.S. She is Deputy Director of wildlife management at the North Slope Borough, a municipal government, where she monitors Arctic fish and wildlife through research. Nicole graduated from Dartmouth with her Bachelor’s. She earned her Master’s in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington. Nicole engages in Indigenous co-management of natural resources in the Arctic and represents Inuit in Arctic Policy. She is the Inuit representative to an Arctic Council working group for the marine environment. Nicole will present on her passion to work for her communities in Arctic research with an Indigenous lens. She will discuss examples of her experience and goals to bring to light different approaches to looking at key arctic environmental issues.

Dr. Anastasia Makhnykina works in the Laboratory of Biogeochemistry of Eurasia ecosystems. her position is graduate research assistant; this past February she completed her PhD in biology. Anastasia studies unique boreal ecosystems and features in Siberia. Why are the forests an important object for study? Because the world's forests are a major stabilizing element of the Earth's climate system. Besides forests have some important functions - water protection, soil protection, and many other useful things. Most of them are the carbon stock, which is one of the most informative indicators that reflect the physiological condition, productivity and vitality of forest ecosystems. It shows the degree of influence their main environmental factors and human impact. Her research focus on the actual and difficult problem that is being developed to date. In view of the increasing damage to the Siberian forests, due to climate changes we have to understand how we can protect the balance in these ecosystems. Soil respiration as a second largest flux in forest ecosystem can give us information about functional role of our ecosystem – is it source or sink of carbon? Nowadays for huge Russian territory, there are a lot of estimates but the uncertainty is still around 50%. For the first time, she will present the results from the analysis of 3 years of water manipulation experiment and 1 year of nitrogen manipulation experiment as an assessment of soil emission dynamics by these two main limiting factors for the boreal region. These 3 years of measurements are highly different between each other mainly through the climatic conditions: two of them regarded to huge fire seasons in that area. For her and her team was very important to find out how the boreal forests could reflect the decrease of precipitation and increase of temperature – do they shift to carbon source or not? And they definitely found the answer - and you can too by attending this webinar!

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