Workshop Information


Three out of four Alaskans, in 175 communities, live either along the state's coastline or along the rivers that bridge freshwater and marine coastal environments. Alaskans understand the dynamic nature of our coasts and river watersheds, and depend on the long-term health of these resources for food, recreation and economic value. With climate change hitting Alaska hard, an accelerated pace of change has heightened interest in local observations.

Recognizing the critical role of long-term environmental monitoring as a means to understand and adapt to change, community-based monitoring (CBM) programs are being initiated by a number of government, nonprofit and tribal entities in communities across Alaska. Programs and applications range from water quality monitoring by tribes to be included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency database, to monitoring shellfish for harmful algal toxins by communities through Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation, to the Smithsonian-sponsored monitoring of nonindigenous species such as tunicates or European green crab and many others. CBM programs are an attractive means to collect environmental data because of their relatively low costs compared to other forms of data collection, and because of the community education, engagement and stewardship that often accompany successful programs. New programs are being initiated regularly both by organizations outside Alaska and within Alaskan communities themselves. Guidance for ongoing and new CBM programs will ensure that they are high quality and culturally appropriate, meet local needs, are designed to actually collect data of value, and eventually return data to those collecting it. Establishing best practices and improving coordination and communication across multiple efforts will not only improve individual programs, but will help funders, managers and participants to clarify what they want to gain from specific programs and how best to achieve those results from available resources.

At the workshop

This two-day workshop will be a gathering place and launching pad to identify and respond to common issues for CBM in Alaska. Participants will hear from model programs, clarify top priorities for funders and community members, develop a set of guidance documents—including Best Practices and Lessons Learned—and network with others across the state who are interested in or are actively doing this work. Anyone interested in CBM of Alaska’s Coastal Environment is encouraged to participate—community members, funding organizations, organizations currently operating or considering operating a CBM, researchers, local governments, K–12 teachers, tribal representatives or extension agents. We hope to see you there!


The workshop will open with registration and breakfast at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 1. It will continue until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2. The agenda and speaker biographies will be updated as necessary until the time of the meeting.

Location and facilities

The workshop will be held at the Hotel Captain Cook in downtown Anchorage. The Captain Cook offers complimentary high speed WiFi, dining, a business center, athletic club, and swimming pool. Guest rooms have great views of the Chugach mountains or Cook Inlet.

Rooms are available at a discounted rate of $99 plus tax. To receive the discount, mention the Community-Based Monitoring workshop when you make your reservations.

Hotel Captain Cook
939 W. 5th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska, 99501, USA


There is no charge to attend this workshop, but registration by March 14 is required to better accommodate the total number of participants.

Steering Committee

Workshop contact information

Ellen Tyler, AOOS,