The work of ELOKA, or the Exchange for Local Observation and Knowledge of the Arctic, is demonstrating the value of traditional oral history and community participation in scientific research. Since its beginning in 2007 as an NSF Arctic Observing Network project, ELOKA has worked closely with local Indigenous peoples of the Arctic to document traditional knowledge and to share data gathered through community-based monitoring (CBM).
Collaboration between ELOKA and Indigenous communities located in the Hudson Bay region, Greenland, Russia, and Baffin Island has resulted in first-hand knowledge of the consequences of climate change in the Arctic. Specific research projects range from changing sea ice conditions, varying snow and ice thickness, fluctuating temperature and wind velocity, and the altered seasonal movements of animals as documented by local traditional knowledge and oral history. ELOKA works to translate this local knowledge into datasets that can be shared with arctic communities and researchers. As ELOKA begins the third phase of the project, it will continue to document local traditional knowledge and collect data from CBM projects to be preserved in a data management system.
See the ELOKA website for more information.