USGS - science for a changing world

Alaska Science Center

white dothome: white dotproducts: white dotoutreach/media: white dotcontact us:   white dotinternal:
All USGS This site only

Scientists At Work

Outreach Home | Prior Scientist At Work |

Koyukuk River Subsistence Use Area and Traditional Place Name GIS Database

Interviewing elders in the Native Village of Huslia. Left to right: Sarah McCloskey (SISNAR intern), George Yaska Sr. (Elder from Huslia), Susan Paskvan (Koyukuk School District), Eliza Jones (Elder from Koyukuk), Karin Bodony (USFWS)

This project provided an opportunity for a SISNAR supported student intern to interact directly with members of the Native Villages of Huslia and Koyukuk in Alaska as well as refuge staff from the Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge in the development of a traditional land use, subsistence resource, and place name GIS database to serve both communities in the Koyukuk River region as well as the Fish and Wildlife Service. We compiled more than 900 place names in a GIS database and created a series of maps that were presented to the communities of Huslia and Koyukuk from the 6-9 September 2011. In addition, 12 elders were interviewed to check spelling, proper location of site, duplication, and potential additions to the database. Of the 900 possible place names, we were able to narrow the list down to 630 of which we were able to properly locate around 420. The location information for the remaining 210 names has potentially been lost in the region, further stressing the importance and timeliness of the project.

Koyukuk Traditional Place Names—A Boat Journey through the Koyukuk Region of Alaska (6-25-2014)
In June a diverse group, including USGS, traveled by boat through the Koyukuk Region of Alaska documenting placenames, posting traditional placename signs along their route, engaging Elders and youth along the river corridor, and making presentations at community centers in Huslia, Koyukuk and Hughes. The group also collected environmental data along their 300 mile journey. Data collected from this trip will help preserve the rich tradition of the Koyukon Athabascan peoples of interior Alaska by producing a Native placenames series of maps and cartographic datasets. A factsheet and traditional placenames map is expected in the next few months. Visit USGS Facebook ( to read more and view photos documenting this river trip.

Press Inquiries/Media (1-28-2014)
On January 26, USGS Alaska Science Center Physical Scientist Ryan Toohey was interviewed by PBS NewsHour for an upcoming story about the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council's (Toohey’s previous employer) new project, "Network of Indigenous Knowledge". This project uses community based research and USGS water quality methods to connect Indigenous groups throughout the globe (Mackenzie River (Canada), Amazon River (Peru/Brazil) and the Lena River (Russia) to facilitate sharing of scientific technology, methods and Indigenous Knowledge. Toohey also spoke about the long term collaboration between USGS and the YRITWC for the Indigenous Observation and Active Layer Network. See full video story "Giving a microphone to the world's most remote people" at: PBS News

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:
Page Last Modified: November 17 2017 16:19:22.