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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(9), 11863-11886; doi:10.3390/rs70911863

Developing Theoretical Marine Habitat Suitability Models from Remotely-Sensed Data and Traditional Ecological Knowledge

1
Department of Geography, University of Idaho, 875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3021, Moscow, ID 83844, USA
2
Kawerak, Inc., P.O. Box 948, Nome, AK 99708, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Raphael M. Kudela, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 21 June 2015 / Revised: 25 August 2015 / Accepted: 6 September 2015 / Published: 16 September 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4138 KB, uploaded 22 September 2015]   |  

Abstract

There is a lack of information regarding critical habitats for many marine species, including the bearded seal, an important subsistence species for the indigenous residents of Arctic regions. A systematic approach to modeling marine mammal habitat in arctic regions using the lifetime and multi-generational Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of Alaska Native hunters is developed to address this gap. The approach uses lifetime and cross-generational knowledge of subsistence hunters and their harvest data in the place of observational knowledge gained from Western scientific field surveys of marine mammal sightings. TEK information for mid-June to October was transformed to seal presence/pseudo-absence and used to train Classification Tree Analyses of environmental predictor variables to predict suitable habitat for bearded seals in the Bering Strait region. Predictor variables were derived from a suite of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric remote sensing products, transformed using trend analysis techniques, and aggregated. A Kappa of 0.883 was achieved for habitat classifications. The TEK information used is spatially restricted, but provides a viable, replicable data source that can replace or complement Western scientific observational data. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine habitat; time series; MODIS; Theil–Sen estimator; traditional ecological knowledge; Bering Strait; bearded seal marine habitat; time series; MODIS; Theil–Sen estimator; traditional ecological knowledge; Bering Strait; bearded seal
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Olsen, P.M.; Kolden, C.A.; Gadamus, L. Developing Theoretical Marine Habitat Suitability Models from Remotely-Sensed Data and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 11863-11886.

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