Ecosystems are dynamic, so understanding the current and future distribution of critical ecosystem components is essential for effective natural resource management. Our landscape ecology group collaborates with all of the other programs in ACCS, and with other departments at the University of Alaska, to map ecosystems as dynamic assemblages of species, habitats, and climatological factors. For example, as part of the Rapid Ecoregional Assessments, we developed several metrics of ecological change, including the landscape condition model, a cumulative impacts model, species status models, and impacts to vegetation from changes in climate and permafrost. Core to our mission is to ensure these metrics are mapped, providing an important resource for land managers.
Google Earth Timelapse of the Columbia Glacier retreating into the Chugach Mountain Range in south-central Alaska