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SIWO Manual

The materials comprise:

  • Survey form

  • Social media link

  • Plain language reports to the communities

  • Scientific publication

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. Forecast products of sea ice and weather conditions and local observations of sea ice, weather, and walrus from 2010 to present can be viewed here: Link to forecast products.


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.


Local observers can submit their observations via email, Facebook, telephone, and most recently via our online submission form.


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.



Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook maintains a Facebook page to share information on weather and sea ice and information from local observers. Weekly outlook information is shared here as it seems to reach a broader audience than the website. Content relevant to weather, sea ice, and walrus is also posted year-round. 









Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook 2017 Season Summary Infographic. Brief infographic report of the 2017 SIWO season, including overview, observers, and summary of user engagement. See the link to other SIWO resources below.

Why climate scientists depend on Alaska’s Indigenous communities now more than ever. Dispatches from Alaska article by Maggie Stone on 11 October 2017.



Subsistence hunters and scientists working together to help Alaskan coastal communities adapt to a changing climate.

Article by Lisa Sheffield Guy written for the Sea Ice Action Network. 





Sheffield Guy, L., Heim, R., and Wiggins, H.V. 2017. How Can We Support Safe Navigation in Sea Ice and Food Security for Alaskan Subsistence Hunters in a Rapidly Changing and Less Predictable Arctic? White paper - NASA ICESat-2 Applications.



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