NSF Award # 2225982

INFEWS and Community Resilience

Planning: Building Community Resilience in the Food-Energy-Water and Society Nexus ($200,000)

Team members: Somayeh Asadi (PI); Guangqing Chi and Megan Mucioki (Co-PIs)

Continents being analyzed
Long-term, active projects

This planning award supports development of a community partnership addressing food, energy, and water (FEW) security concerns in rural Alaska.

The team will meet with the partnering community to discuss FEW security challenges in remote villages. Through a series of workshops, meetings, and consultations, the team and community members will explore issues such as water and energy infrastructure, FEW demands, and social and environmental factors that affect security and resilience.

The overarching aim of this project is to design a place-based, challenge-solution matrix to determine FEW security issues, potential solutions, and data gaps that exist in remote Alaska communities while simultaneously considering the influence of localized sociodemographic and economic factors.

Fundamental knowledge about FEW security in rural remote communities is necessary to support availability and affordability of traditional and store-bought foods; the quality and quantity of available water; and the cost and options for energy production, conservation, and use. In addition, disasters magnify the need for FEW security among affected households. For example, in parts of rural western Alaska, supply chain disruptions related to COVID-19 led to food and fuel shortages in already vulnerable communities experiencing rapid climate change.

Increasing our knowledge about the factors contributing to FEW insecurity in a rural setting holds great promise for developing integrated community-driven solutions with broad applicability, complementing sustainable economic and community development.

This research promotes FEW security in rural and remote Alaska communities by directly engaging their residents in identifying FEW security challenges and co-developing potential solutions. With several hundred such communities in Alaska alone, this project offers lessons for Alaska and beyond.