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Science to Achieve Results: The Yurok Tribe Assesses Environmental Vulnerability

Published November 20, 2017

With nearly 5,000 members, the Yurok Tribe is the largest Native American Tribe in California. Their reservation stretches along Klamath River in the northwest part of the state and much of their food and water supplies depend on the health of the river. With the support of an EPA Science to Achieve Results grant awarded in 2014, the Yurok Tribe Environmental Program is currently conducting a study to identify areas of water resource vulnerability and resiliency, assess impacts on Yurok food security and tribal health, and increase the Tribe’s adaptive capacity to prepare and respond to changes in the environment.

Data from the study has helped them complete development of the Yurok Local Environmental Observer, a hub of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s Local Environmental Observer Network, also known as the LEO network. The LEO network is a tool that allows local residents and practitioners of traditional knowledge capture and share environmental observations and changes that they see. The observations help remote Arctic communities communicate with one another and with experts in universities and governments. It can also be used by industry and other stakeholders to understand the current weather and climatic situation in areas where monitoring data is sparse.

An application is now available for download to both Apple and Android products.