Dylan Blaskey is a PhD student and research assistant at the University of Colorado Boulder. As part of the Arctic Rivers Project, he is developing a hydrologic model to assess discharge dynamics across various watersheds in Central and Northern Alaska, and how river dynamics are being affected by climate change.
Guided by the direction of the Indigenous Advisory Council, Dylan hopes that outputs from his model can also possibly be used to estimate the integrity and reach of winter ice roads or the impacts on salmonid species based on headwater catchments. “One of the things that I’m very excited about in this project is having that direction from the people that live there...What I find is interesting is what communities need and what they say they want to understand...I think this project will be a continuous dialogue...much more interwoven, and I find that as a necessary component in the research that I do.”
Dylan hopes that future projects embrace a similar intersectional dialogue between researchers, stakeholders, and policymakers, “You can’t operate in a vacuum of just your scientific bubble because no one’s going to buy the argument ‘Well the science says this is the only thing we can do’. It definitely has to be a conversation to figure out the best solution, because the best solution is a solution that’s actually implemented.”