Incorporate the role that LTK can play into the discussion of Framework 2. The plan currently says “The human community … sits at the heart of this conceptual framework” but does not indicate how LTK influences the process or the generation of information on salmon dynamics.
Add the analysis of LTK to the discussion of Framework 3 and to Figure 2.3 (p. 43). It might be useful, for example, to have “Analysis of LTK” in the list of Analysis/Synthesis items in Figure 2.3.
Incorporating LTK prominently into Chapter 2 is very important, especially since Research Theme 18, “Linking Local/Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Conventional Fisheries Research” (Chapter 3, pp. 58-59), becomes one of the highest-priority themes in the overall plan (Chapter 4, pp. 76-77). One has to read the document quite carefully to see that this theme actually does have the highest priority, because the description in the tables simply says “questions to be selected” beside Research Theme 18* (* added for highest priority). For all the other themes falling into the highest-priority category, the topics were concisely stated. Why is this not so for Theme 18? In short, LTK deserves much greater emphasis in the discussion of priorities and more clarity in the overall document.
Finally, the use of LTK should be added to the “Types of Study Approaches” described on page 79. This section states, “LTK should be viewed as a potentially important source of information with application across multiple study approaches” (p. 80). Why only “potentially” when earlier in the chapter the linking of LTK to conventional fisheries research fell within the highest scientific priorities? And although this sentence appears, the use of LTK is not incorporated into the discussions of each study approach. LTK is mentioned (along with capacity building) in the discussion of monitoring (p. 80), but it is completely missing in the discussion of process studies (even though LTK could be used to develop and validate conceptual models and field studies specific to the AYK). The integration between LTK and conventional fisheries research should play a more dominant role in this overall section (4.6).
LTK should be used to formulate hypotheses and design conceptual models that can be analyzed scientifically. In addition, LTK should be considered a critical component of historical data that are used in retrospective analysis or meta-analysis of past trends and processes. Finally, the development of new research methods that integrate LTK with ecosystem and fisheries models should be encouraged in RFPs. One example of such integration is a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks working with a community on the Yukon River.