In 2019 the Geos Institute worked with the Office of Sustainability to develop a Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Adaptation Plan for the Louisville Metro Region. This important and exciting work completed in April 2020 with a report available for public comment.
Truckee, California is no stranger to extreme weather and climate events. Each year, events such as severe winter storms, cold spells, flooding, heat, and hailstorms impact local residents and businesses. Extreme storms can impact local infrastructure, while increasing summer heat can affect peoples’ health. Natural resources, which are vital to the local economy, are also impacted by extreme events and long-term climate change. As the community responds to the immediate needs of public health and safety, we need to also keep an eye towards preparing for the future.
The Native village of Georgetown is located on the Kuskokwim River, in the Kilbuck-Kuskokwim Mountains, at its convergence with the George River. Georgetown Tribal Council (GTC) is the governing body for the federally recognized tribe of the Native Village of Georgetown, Alaska. While most members of the tribe do not currently live in Georgetown, there are plans for former Georgetown residents and their descendants to move back home. Currently, most of the 120 members still live in the area primarily in Bethel and other nearby Kuskokwim River villages.
The Geos Institute worked with the Georgetown Tribal Council to conduct a climate change vulnerability assessment for the native village site and surrounding area. We combined the best available data and model projections with Traditional Knowledge collected from tribal elders. This combination of traditional knowledge and modern science made for a powerful story about ongoing change across the Middle Kuskokwim region.
The Geos Institute worked closely with the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP) and local stakeholders to develop a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and a Preparedness Strategy for the Tillamook estuaries and their watersheds. The five estuaries of Tillamook County and their watersheds are home to ecologically important species and resources that also support the local economy, provide recreational opportunities, and bring natural beauty and overall well-being for people throughout the region. TEP plays an important role in the restoration and management of natural resources throughout the county, especially by working with partners, land-owners, and other stakeholders throughout the region.
Austin and Killeen, Texas have experienced many temperature and precipitation extremes in the last decade. As climate change accelerates, we can expect more days of extreme heat, fewer overnight freezes, and more frequent periods of drought than there have been historically. Many of the long-term impacts can be avoided if emissions are reduced, creating a more positive future for residents of Central Texas.
Most people experience climate through the extremes. Crops are affected when temperatures drop below freezing, and we change our behavior when the day’s high is over 100° F. Thus, we assessed recent and future change in the extremes for the communities of Fort Hood/Killeen and Austin, Texas. We provide information on extreme heat, low temperatures, extended drought, and wildfire.
The Geos Institute is working with Provost and Pritchard Consulting, Bobby Kamansky Ecological Consulting, and many others to develop a water management plan for the Southern Sierra that is resilient to climate change.
The state of California has committed to an integrated approach to managing its water resources. This approach, called Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) planning, brings together water-related interests to plan for sustainable water use, reliable supply, improved water quality, ecologically sound management, low use development, protection of agriculture, and a strong local economy.
The Front Range of Colorado has experienced much change over the last few decades. Future change may be even more striking. In addition to population growth, continued development, and economic diversification, the Front Range is expected to experience substantial impacts brought on by climate change.
Climate change has already been well documented throughout the western U.S. Average temperatures have risen 2-4 degrees F. over the last century. Rising temperatures have caused more precipitation to fall as rain instead of snow. Spring snowpack is lower throughout the western U.S., and the moisture content of the snowpack is also lower.
The last two years have emphasized the vulnerability the Fort Collins community and its regional neighbors can experience due to extreme weather events. Because of events such as the High Park fire, the hottest year on record, and recent flooding, there has been substantial devastation to the region. To be proactive and prepared to protect and maintain our quality of life, Fort Collins must prepare for such future events and the potential for increases in severity and frequency due to a changing climate.
The Geos Institute worked with state and federal agencies, along with NGOs led by EcoAdapt, to develop a work plan for conducting vulnerability assessments and developing adaptation strategies for Forest Services lands in the Sierra Nevada Range of California.
The Vulnerability Assessment Adaptation Strategies (VAAS) extends this project to all lands, rather than just Forest Service, in order to develop a large-scale vulnerability assessment and associated adaptation strategies for focal resources of the Sierra Nevada. Geos Institute provided spatial analysis of existing climate models is part of the science synthesis that provides a review of the relevant model projections and ecological research for the region. A series of workshops were conducted to provide training, resources, support, and tools for participants to apply similar efforts at locally relevant scales.
The North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative, California Landscape Cooperative, Geos Institute, Society for Conservation Biology (Humboldt State Chapter), and the Environmental Protection Information Center hosted a workshop and field trip entitled: “Managing Coast Redwoods for Resilience in a Changing Climate,” which took place on September 6 and 7, 2013 at Humboldt State University and Redwood National Park.
The Friday workshop was held at Humboldt State University, and Saturday’s all-day field trip toured forest restoration sites in Redwood National Park, arranged by the National Park Service.
Workshop participants came from a variety of different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Most were associated with state and federal land management agencies, city government, university research institutions, private forestry, Native American tribes, and non-governmental organizations. This workshop is intended to be one of many to develop sound adaptation strategies for the coast redwood ecoregion, with a strong basis in stakeholder engagement.
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