About Program

Who We Are

Problem Statement

Click on the image to download The Status of Alaska Salmon and People, a publication of SASAP, Nautilus Impact Investing, and NCEAS, 2018. 

Unlike most global salmon stocks, salmon in Alaska are sustainable across much of their historic range–largely due to a long tradition of community stewardship and a science-based management system. However, access to up-to-date, accurate or integrated information about salmon in Alaska can be difficult, as existing information is often fragmented and/or ignores a significant body of indigenous knowledge. In addition, due to insufficient interdisciplinary methods to process available data, there are still salmon science and management/policy questions that have not been addressed.

Consequently, these knowledge gaps leave many stakeholders inadequately informed about the status of salmon.  This undermines their ability to equitably and knowledgeably participate in management decisions such as resource allocation, policy creation, and governance. Through a knowledge synthesis, SASAP seeks to provide an up-to-date interdisciplinary perspective on Alaska’s salmon systems and the people who rely on them to inform systematic salmon reporting programs at the state and national levels.


The SASAP project specifically seeks to:

  • Connect knowledge across disciplines and agencies, between cultures and users, and across regions. This synthesis will help gain a broad view of this complex and dynamic system in order to set shared research priorities, develop and monitor indicators of Alaska’s salmon system health and drive sustainable management of the system
  • Create new institutional capacity to generate interdisciplinary salmon knowledge and establish a foundation for integrated knowledge that can be built on over time

Critical Questions

SASAP aims to address three core questions related to Alaska’s salmon system:

1. What do we know?

SASAP will generate an up-to-date overview of the state of knowledge of Alaska’s salmon and people to provide information that is:

  •   Targeted towards the most common information needs and high priority questions of salmon stakeholders and decision-makers
  •   Capable of being readily accessed, updated and shared by future salmon information stewards

2. What do we not know?

SASAP will identify knowledge gaps that will inform future research and education opportunities including:

  •  Insights into new or emerging topics of scientific and management interest
  •  Identification of information and education needs for industry, community, academic, government research and economic development organizations

3. How can we better integrate and share what we know?

SASAP will provide an historic base of knowledge that has the capability to inform a wide range of stakeholders about the state of Alaska’s salmon system and is designed to:

  • Provide publicly accessible reports and datasets that can be used to address a variety of stakeholder information needs
  •  Generate publications and other communication resources that can inform educators, local communities, industry, subsistence and sport fishing groups

Principal Investigators

The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Nautilus Impact Investing (NII) are leading a synthesis of data surrounding the state of knowledge of Alaska’s Salmon and People (SASAP). In partnership with leading experts at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and Anchorage, Indigenous leaders, and specialists across resource sectors, SASAP Working Groups will synthesize existing knowledge on salmon and address information gaps.

Lead Principal Investigator: Dr. Frank Davis (NCEAS/UCSB), Contact: frank.davis@nceas.ucsb.edu / (805) 893-2500

Project Co-Principal Investigator/Alaska Coordinator: Dr. Ian Dutton (NII), Contact: ian@nautilusii.com / (907) 280-8923

Working Groups

Our approach is to build collaborations — “working groups” — of experts from diverse backgrounds and institutions. The working group synthesis process deliberately emphasizes collaboration between indigenous knowledge and western science perspectives to bridge the information gap.

Two rounds of working groups have been funded. Round 1 groups commenced in the first quarter of 2016 and the Round 2 groups in the 3rd quarter of 2016.  Working groups in both rounds will begin harvesting and sharing their products in the first quarter of 2018. Production of papers and datasets will continue through 2018.

National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis is a research center of the University of California, Santa Barbara and was the first national synthesis center of its kind funded by the National Science Foundation in 1995. NCEAS fosters collaborative synthesis research – assembling interdisciplinary teams to distill existing data, ideas, theories, or methods drawn from many sources, across multiple fields of inquiry – to accelerate the generation of new scientific knowledge on a broad scale.

Nautilus Impact Investing

Nautilus Impact Investing

Nautilus Impact Investing was formed in 2015 in response to the increasing demands for advice on social and environmental investing. Nautilus Impact Investing seeks to help social and environmental project investors and implementers to secure a better return on their investments.