Wednesday 7
Pathways of Resilience in a Rapidly Changing Alaska
Berill Blair, Winslow Hansen
› 14:35 - 15:30 (55min)
› JOFFRE 1-4
Facebook as a tool for monitoring social-ecological system challenges: An exploratory study
Richard Hum  1, 2, 3@  
1 : University of Alaska Fairbanks
2 : Resilience and Adaptation Program  (RAP)  -  Website
3 : Department of Communication  -  Website
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, Alaska -  États-Unis

Growing awareness that the earth has shifted into the anthropocene, characterized by persistent environmental change linked to human action, requires new tools of analysis in order for societies to remain within sustainable planetary operating boundaries. This work explores the possibility of taking advantage of widespread online social media participation to develop a tool for doing so, and will be presented as part of the Pathways of Resilience in a Rapidly Changing Alaska conference session. While global in scope, the impacts and consequences of the anthropocene are felt most intimately at the individual level and are socially expressed through interpersonal communication at the community level. Therefore, this exploratory work focuses on a need to identify and assess local level social-ecological system (SES) relationships. To do so, spatially grounded public exchanges on the social media website Facebook were examined with three primary goals in mind; 1) examine the types of SES content being passed through this communication medium, 2) compare community observations to relevant scientific observations, and 3) develop a practical system for monitoring these communications signals. Eight communities, two each from four broadly defined regions in rural Alaska, were selected as case studies. Communication patterns were assessed using a combined content and network analysis methodology. Results clearly indicate that SES signals are passed through this mode of communication, and that they do indeed align with relevant instrumental environmental observations. Further, by using combined content and network analysis techniques within the broader communication system expressed via social media channels, a practical tool can be developed for exploratory identification and assessment of community-based SES relationships.

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