Human Use of Reindeer and Caribou
Heterogeneity and Resilience of Human-Rangifer Systems: A Circumpolar Social-Ecological Synthesis
Photo Credit: Gary Kofinas
The Human-Rangifer System is defined at the regional scale as the set of ecological-social processes underlying the human use of Rangifer. These processes include bio-physical interactions, socio-economic dynamics, the role of social institutions and organizations in shaping human adaptation. Resilience in these systems is the amount of disturbance to individual or multiple components that can be accommodated without change to alternative domains.
The overarching goal of this project is to improve understanding of the relative resilience and adaptability of regional Human-Rangifer Systems to forces of global change, and to derive generalized propositions about their functional properties as critical aspects of the Arctic System.
This study of resilience goes beyond the regional analyses of Human-Rangifer Systems considered in past studies, to address the heterogeneity present in the drivers and responses found across the circumpolar North. This circum-arctic synthesis undertakes a comparative retrospective analysis of six regional case studies in North America and Russia. The project develops a conceptual framework for measuring and assessing resilience in three components of the Human-Rangifer System: ecological processes, socio-economic processes, and institutional processes. In addition, simple synthesis models will be developed and simulated to examine resilience in each subcomponent process interactions, as well as in the coupled social-ecological system. This project is the first to provide a comprehensive synthesis of heterogeneity and resilience of Human-Rangifer Systems, and the first such project to predict means of accommodating changes in drivers and enhancing resilience of Human-Rangifer systems in the circumpolar North.