EWN Publications

Engineering With Nature + Landscape Architecture Tikigaq / Point Hope

Jeffrey King, Burton Suedel, Amanda Tritinger, Nick Cohn, Tom Douglas,Lauren Bosche, Rob Holmes, Romina Delgado, Anna Mitchell, Sean Burkholder, Kathryn Dunn, Rob Levinthal, Brian Davis, Sarai Carter, Christopher Porter, Gena Wirth, Brett Milligan, Sam Whitin, Taber Midgley, Dan Savercool, Melissa Becker, Ellen Jessup McDermott, Christopher Small, and Erin Barry
February 28, 2022

About This Publication

This report outlines a series of research and analytical exercises conducted by our DRC team intended to assist the ongoing efforts to understand and characterize the cultural and ecological histories and processes in and around the city and village of Point Hope (Tikigaq) Alaska. Following ths analysis, our team assisted in the development and communication of a range of possible nature-based strategies that could address some of the concerns of the local Native Alaskan community. These concerns could be generalized as:

Coastal protection and cultural landscape preservation.

Loss of ice cellars (sigluaqs) due to permafrost melting and water intrusion.

Water access for boats.

Lack of emergency evacuation route to high ground.

The design concepts in this report combine Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) approaches to infrastructure design with landscape architectural (LA) approaches to infrastructure design in order to identify opportunities to incorporate “Natural and Nature-Based Features” (NNBF) into proposed project infrastructure for the community of Point Hope. As described by the EWN® initiative, NNBF “are landscape features that are used to provide engineering functions relevant to flood risk management, while producing additional economic, environmental, and/or social benefits. These features may occur naturally in landscapes or be engineered, constructed and/or restored to mimic natural conditions. A strategy that combines NNBF with nonstructural and structural measures represents an integrated approach to flood risk management that can deliver a broad array of ecosystem goods and services to local communities.”

The analysis and proposals in this report were the product of a strong collaboration with EA engineering and their ongoing relationship with members of the local Native Alaskan community of Point Hope. Members of our team also accompanied EA on a trip to Point Hope in the summer of 2021 to assist in data collection and community outreach. The material in this report is not intended to be comprehensive of all of the work being done by the larger EA team, but instead outline our contributions and serve as a supplement to that larger effort.

This report is divided into two main sections, the first being the various components of Analysis undertaken by our team and the other, the collection of Proposed NNBF features.

Research Projects

Cold Region (CR) environments experience unique environmental stressors such as loss of permafrost and ice sheets from climate change, sea-level rise, intense ice and snowstorms, high winds, and rising/falling lake le...