AURA: Arctic Urban Risks and Adaptations

The NSF-NNA sponsored activity focused on developing a co-production framework for addressing multiple changing environmental hazards.


  1. Work with communities to assess wildfire, permafrost, and rain-in-winter hazards and risks as they have changed since 1980 and are projected to change over the next four decades.
  2. Estimate the public and private costs associated with these hazards and actions taken to mitigate or adapt to them.
  3. Work with government employees, NGOs, and tribal entities to learn how communities are adapting to and mitigating these changing hazards, how the hazards may interacting with each other to cause cumulative effects, and co-develop a vision for improving future adaptation.

Project News

14 November 2022

New Fairbanks Permafrost Map!!

Hi, Fairbanks residents!

Our permafrost group has recently been busy with developing a map showing distribution of ice that is buried underground. Most of this ice formed a very, very long time ago, when mammoth, woolly bison and sable tooth cats were living in Alaska. Since then, the ice was peacefully present in the ground until disturbance occurred such as a house is built on top of it, a trail is created, or simply the land is cleared. This disturbance warms ground underneath, the ice melts, and this causes buildings or trails to settle. We definitely do not want to disturb the buried ice demon and need to have a very good plan if we decide to build on top of it. Actually, don't build on ice, not a good idea. The ground ice map, which is being developed and currently under review can help residents and newcomers, aka Cheechako, make informed decisions while making a life in Alaska. Stay tuned! Do you have a story to tell about the ground ice?

Truly yours the permafrost scientists.

For questions, comments, or more information email Dmitry Nicolsky:

News Archive

Watch Our Intro - Project Overview