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Abstract

Several frameworks are now available for guiding coastal decision-makers through vulnerability and adaptation assessment, but these are often limited to a general scoping level. To implement adaptation measures while avoiding public discontent and other barriers, coastal decision-makers may need more in-depth assessments. This presentation will help Sea Grant outreach personnel understand the gap between vulnerability and adaptation assessment theories and implementation. It will place vulnerability and adaptation assessment in context of decision-making. Finally, a selected group of assessment methods will be outlined. Sea Grant outreach personnel can add value to the decision-making process by helping decision-makers with assessments that focus on their needs, weighing multiple adaptation strategies, and catalyzing partnerships that ensure assessments are valuable for formulating adaptation strategies.


Speaker Bio

Jessica Whitehead is the regional climate extension specialist for the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium and North Carolina Sea Grant. The purpose of her position is assist coastal users with integrating information about climate variability and change into their decision-making processes. Her work ranges from giving talks on climate science to community groups to working with scientists to develop decision support tools for climate change risk and adaptation. Jessica holds a PhD in Geography from Penn State, where her dissertation focused on building scenarios of small drinking water utilities' capacities to adapt to climate change. She also holds a MS in Meteorology from Penn State and a BS in Physics from the College of Charleston.

Resources

1. Adger, W.N., S. Agrawala, M.M.Q. Mirza, C. Conde, K. O’Brien, J. Pulhin, R. Pulwarty, B. Smit and K. Takahashi, 2007: Assessment of adaptation practices, options, constraints and capacity. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 717-743. (PDF)

2. Carter, T.R., R.N. Jones, X. Lu, S. Bhadwal, C. Conde, L.O. Mearns, B.C. O’Neill, M.D.A. Rounsevell and M.B. Zurek, 2007: New Assessment Methods and the Characterisation of Future Conditions. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson, Eds., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 133-171. (PDF)

3. Parry, M.L., O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson, Eds. 2007. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 976 p.

4. Polsky, C., R. Neff, and B. Yarnal. (2007). Building comparable global change vulnerability assessments: The Vulnerability Scoping Diagram. Global Environmental Change, 17: 472-485.

5. Smit, B., and J. Wandel. (2006). Adaptation, adaptive capacity, and vulnerability. Global Environmental Change, 16, 282-92.

6. United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). 2009, October. Climate change adaptation: Strategic federal planning could help government officials make more informed decisions (GAO-10-113).

7. Walkerden, G. 2005. Adaptive management planning projects as conflict resolution processes. Ecology and Society, 11(1): 48.

8. Whitehead, J.C. 2009. Building Scenarios of Adaptive Capacity: Case Studies of Community Water Systems in Central Pennsylvania. PhD. Dissertation in Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

9. Tribbia, J., and S. Moser. (2008). More than information: What coastal managers need to plan for climate change. Environmental Science and Policy, 11(4), 315–328.

Funding provided by the Climate Program Office, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration to the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.
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