Event Title

The Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network: Collaborative environmental surveillance, adaptation decision making, and integration of monitoring programs

Presentation Abstract

The LEO (Local Environmental Observer) Network is an online tool and network that enables First Nations communities and others to detect, document, and communicate unusual environmental changes, and it is now being expanded from Alaska to British Columbia and elsewhere. LEO Network observers can record observations in a regional (and global) database, connect and collaborate with communities of subject-matter experts, understand these observed changes in the context of regional or global trends, help design additional studies as appropriate, and access and leverage broad resources, communities, and other authorities to assist with management or adaptation to these worrisome changes. The approach has also been endorsed by the Arctic Council for a circumpolar implementation, and generally by President Obama, but the Salish Sea region and the broader Cascadia bioregion are among the first identified for expansion. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) developed the LEO Network beginning in 2012, and currently has participation by over 150 Native Tribal Alaskan communities. It is embedded in a ‘OneHealth’ approach wherein ecological and human health are considered as one. It has already engaged local Alaskan communities in the surveillance and detection of a wide variety of environmental changes, and in connecting those communities with experts, agencies, and networks that are helping them understand and communicate those changes so that appropriate planning, prioritizing, and actions can be taken at all levels of government and society. LEO Observers report an overwhelming satisfaction with the network (e.g. 97% observer approval of LEO webinars), and they report that 20% of their observations of environmental change are associated with adaptation actions. LEO has been well received by potential partners in British Columbia, Washington State, and California where planned implementation involves development of coordination hubs and observer development and training, as well as integration of existing and planned monitoring programs.

Session Title

Tools and Strategies for Growing Citizen Science

Conference Track

Engagement

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Comments

Climate change, surveillance, monitoring, adaptation, environmental change, decision support, citizen science, networking, First Nations, community-based, partnership, collaboration.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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The Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network: Collaborative environmental surveillance, adaptation decision making, and integration of monitoring programs

2016SSEC

The LEO (Local Environmental Observer) Network is an online tool and network that enables First Nations communities and others to detect, document, and communicate unusual environmental changes, and it is now being expanded from Alaska to British Columbia and elsewhere. LEO Network observers can record observations in a regional (and global) database, connect and collaborate with communities of subject-matter experts, understand these observed changes in the context of regional or global trends, help design additional studies as appropriate, and access and leverage broad resources, communities, and other authorities to assist with management or adaptation to these worrisome changes. The approach has also been endorsed by the Arctic Council for a circumpolar implementation, and generally by President Obama, but the Salish Sea region and the broader Cascadia bioregion are among the first identified for expansion. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) developed the LEO Network beginning in 2012, and currently has participation by over 150 Native Tribal Alaskan communities. It is embedded in a ‘OneHealth’ approach wherein ecological and human health are considered as one. It has already engaged local Alaskan communities in the surveillance and detection of a wide variety of environmental changes, and in connecting those communities with experts, agencies, and networks that are helping them understand and communicate those changes so that appropriate planning, prioritizing, and actions can be taken at all levels of government and society. LEO Observers report an overwhelming satisfaction with the network (e.g. 97% observer approval of LEO webinars), and they report that 20% of their observations of environmental change are associated with adaptation actions. LEO has been well received by potential partners in British Columbia, Washington State, and California where planned implementation involves development of coordination hubs and observer development and training, as well as integration of existing and planned monitoring programs.