Smithsonian Global

Salmon and People Project

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Researchers in the water.




Long-Term Research
Science & Conservation

Alaska is one of the few remaining places on Earth where sustainable management of salmon is possible, even in the face of wide-ranging threats including overharvesting and climate change. In the Kenai Lowlands region of southern Alaska, most of the landscape and watersheds are currently intact and connected, supporting abundant salmon populations. However, growing human populations, few government regulations, and uncertainties from climate change create uncertainty for the future of the landscape that supports salmon streams.  

The Smithsonian is part of a collaborative network conducting scientific research to understand how to best protect the future of salmon in this region. They're conveying this information to local communities, so that they can make informed decisions that impact salmon-supporting habitats. Smithsonian science is supporting not only the salmon, but also the local economies and communities that depend on them.


Dennis Whigham   

Dennis Whigham is a Senior Botanist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Coowe Walker   

Coowe Walker is the Manager and Lead Watershed Ecologist at the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Alaska Center for Conservation Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage