“So all these other factors have to come in with climate change as a layer over it, and that's what all the agencies are dealing with,” Hartig said.

Steiner, however, said he wants proof the state is doing more.

Meanwhile, in Barrow, Glenn and others living along Alaska’s north coast search for answers of their own as they struggle to stay the course and navigate the changing waters.

“There's something about the world of western science that looks for prediction and maybe even blame more than observation, so my goal is always to understand first and then try to interpret later,” Glenn said. “So far, that’s where I’m staying.”