Our Approach

What is a Working Group?

For each critical challenge we undertake, a Working Group is formed. Each is composed of 10 to 15 experts selected from a range of disciplines, sectors, and geographical regions. They come together to focus and collaborate intensively for up to a week at a time. Each participant brings their data, methods, and experiences for synthesis and analysis, to create new knowledge and understanding.

Ultimately, collaboration and partnership, rather than simply individual research or action, results in greater problem-solving capacity for the complex and intertwined social and ecological challenges facing society.

Project Approach

SASAP Working Groups compile and analyze available data and information to provide new insights into Alaska’s salmon systems and their relationships with salmon people through a collaborative, science-based and adaptive assessment process. The Working Group synthesis process deliberately emphasizes collaboration between indigenous knowledge and western science perspectives to bridge the information gap. SASAP has a dual emphasis on multidisciplinary science synthesis and on building capacity in Alaska to undertake similar processes going forward.

An informal project advisory committee that represents a cross-section of salmon stakeholders will ensure that:

  • Synthesis working groups respect, understand and engage the many stakeholder interests in salmon through considering a diversity of viewpoints
  • Synthesis products can be readily shared and disseminated among stakeholder groups to ensure that the process informs their future actions.


Projects undertaken are implemented in two overlapping rounds of research:

Round 1 – An assembly of available information to provide a contemporary understanding of the state of knowledge of Alaska’s salmon and the people who rely on salmon.

Three synthesis working groups have commenced a broad scale, cross-cutting analysis of:

Round 2 – Topics focus on research questions that provide insight into the pressures on salmon and salmon communities as well as options for response to those pressures.

Five synthesis working groups have commenced analysis of:

Stakeholders will have opportunities to engage in public meetings and inform workshops throughout the SASAP project. For more information on the current working groups and their findings, see our Working Groups Round 1 and Round 2 pages.

Outputs from the syntheses in Round 1 and 2 include academic papers and reports supported by openly accessible, synthesized data, archived models and analyses, and education materials. These materials will be used by government, education, research, community and commercial interests to strengthen their understanding of salmon systems and prioritize future research, monitoring and management.



April: Round 1 projects begin

July 6: Call for Proposals for Round 2 released

September 20: Synthesis proposals due

October 19: Synthesis projects announced and Round 2 projects commence through March 2018

November: Meetings of all project teams in Alaska that include public stakeholder engagement


January: Teams engaged in both rounds will meet at NCEAS and continue to consult stakeholders

December: Round 1 projects finish


SASAP’s synthesis information was highlighted at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Alaska Forum on the Environment, and the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society meetings in Anchorage.

Final reports and other products from each Round will be made public in hard copy and online formats.

Look for the new SASAP website to come online in late 2018!