Improved Access, Management and Preservation of Traditional Knowledge and Data through Online Tools


The Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA) provides data management services and support to Arctic communities and others who are working with local and traditional knowledge (LTK) or who are gathering data from community-based monitoring systems. Housed at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), ELOKA continues a long tradition of data management at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

ELOKA has partnered with several communities to provide distribution support for products based on their traditional knowledge, representing them online through robust web tools and interfaces. Three products recently developed by ELOKA illustrate the value of presenting data gathered by Indigenous people in the Arctic through such interfaces. The Clyde River Weather web site ( displays data from weather stations on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada, in both English and the native Inuktitut. The Observations Interface of the Sea Ice Zone Observing Network (SIZONet, is a data entry and display tool of weather, wildlife, and sea ice conditions as observed by hunters from several Alaskan communities. The draft Yukon River web site is a prototype instance based on the Nunaliit system ( that allows the display of site based data and information, in this case water quality information, and allows authorized users to contribute images, videos, audio files, and annotations of the information entered. 

Part of ELOKA’s mission is to ensure the long-term preservation of the data from our partners. To this end ELOKA is collaborating with Johns Hopkins University and the Data Conservancy on the development of curation systems for science data. The instance of the Data Conservancy installed at NSIDC will initially be used to curate data as part of ELOKA’s data management plan.


Name: Betsy Sheffield
Organization(s): NSIDC

Name: Ruth Duerr
Organization(s): The Ronin Institute

Name: Julia Collins
Organization(s): NSIDC

Name: Chris McNeave
Organization(s): NSIDC

Name: Heidi McCann
Organization(s): NSIDC

Name: Peter Pulsifer
Organization(s): NSIDC