Pacific walruses, indigenous hunters, and climate change: Bridging scientific and indigenous knowledge
This paper presents and evaluates two perspectives on changing climate-walrus-human relationships in the Beringian region, from the viewpoints of marine biology and ecology, and from that of indigenous hunters. Bridging these types of knowledge is vital in order to grasp the complexity of the processes involved and for advancing understanding of subarctic marine ecosystems that are currently experiencing rapid ecological and social change. We argue that despite substantial gaps and distinctions, information generated by scientists and indigenous hunters have many similarities. Differences in interpretation are primarily due to scaling and temporal rates of change of knowledge, which could be rectified through more active sharing of expertise and records, enhanced documentation of indigenous observations, more collaborative research, and increased insight from the social sciences.