The University of Arizona

Building Climate Science into Land and Water Conservation Planning and Decision Making in the American Southwest | CLIMAS

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Building Climate Science into Land and Water Conservation Planning and Decision Making in the American Southwest

Building Climate Science into Land and Water Conservation Planning and Decision Making in the American Southwest

Lead Investigator:  

This project will connect the climate expertise of two RISA programs—the Western Water Assessment (WWA) and CLIMAS—with regional conservation planners and decision makers through collaboration with The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Southwest Climate Change Initiative (SWCCI) to improve climate adaptation planning and implementation by land managers in the American Southwest. Key challenges include bringing climate knowledge to bear on the many habitat and species conservation efforts underway in the region and moving conservation projects beyond vulnerability assessments to adaptation planning and implementation. This project is intended to advance four goals: 1) expand translational science capacity in the region to support adaptation; 2) improve regional climate-sensitive conservation decision making; 3) disseminate climate knowledge through conservation networks in the region; 4) develop both a comprehensive evaluation of the project and a training curriculum for future personnel intending to engage in this type of work.

The project aims to prototype and develop a model for expanding the translational climate science capacity needed to move ecosystem management beyond vulnerability assessments and into on-the-ground decision making for adaptation to climate variability and change.