Food For Thought: Differences of Geographic Food Habits Between Alaska and the Lower 48

Authors: Courtney Rome*,
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, United States
Keywords: food, climate change
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Climate change is expected to alter the normal patterns and timings of food resource availability world wide. For the United States, Alaska is predicted to be the first state impacted majorly by climate change. Thus, the food acquisition process as it exists currently is threatened most in Alaska. Before examining the potential implications, an understanding of the Alaskan acquisition process is necessary. To get a baseline understanding, the food acquisition processes of Alaska and the Lower 48 were examined. Differences in food acquisition processes are presumed to differ geographically. The purpose of this study was to gather and analyze data concerning these differing processes, specifically in Alaska and the Lower 48. Five dimensions of the acquisition process -Seasonality, Time, Level of Enjoyment, Subsistence, Community Collaboration- were created and defined to measure the differences. Using a survey distributed to residents in both State College, Pennsylvania and Juneau, Alaska, it was determined that the processes are indeed different. However, these results are inconclusive given that only five residents of Juneau participated in the survey; we cannot confidently say the processes differ. A larger sample size could lead to more conclusive results. Further study could aid in the future planning of agriculture in the Lower 48 and help develop mitigation strategies for the implications of climate change.

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