Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook local observers are free to report the ice, weather, and walrus observations that they feel are most relevant to safe navigation for hunters in their local area. Observers are encouraged to include photographs, but this is not required. Use of Indigenous language and terms is also welcomed. Guidelines for reporting are inclusion of date, location, and description of conditions as follows: “Please include descriptions such as sea ice and weather conditions, local safety hazards and concerns, how you were traveling, or presence of game. Your own thoughts on how conditions compare to historical patterns, use of Native language, and other relevant information are welcomed.” Optional information includes observer name (to allow for anonymity) and photographs.
The most important achievement to date is the network itself, which includes Indigenous experts, weather forecasters, scientists, and project managers. The relationships built through eight years of collaboration and co-produced outlooks continue to strengthen.
The Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook
The Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO) is a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others interested in sea ice and walrus. The SIWO provides weekly reports from April through June with information on weather and sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in the northern Bering Sea and southern Chukchi Sea regions of Alaska. The Outlooks are produced with information on weather and sea ice conditions provided by the National Weather Service - Alaska Region and Alaska Native sea ice experts.