CSCs Lead Climate Projection Training at National Adaptation Forum

5.22.2017 (Mon)

The National Adaptation Forum

This year’s National Adaptation Forum took place in St. Paul, Minnesota. Participants hailed from across the U.S., representing tribal nations, municipalities, climate services organizations, natural resource managers, utility companies, and more. Discussions were often interdisciplinary and multi-faceted, addressing the impacts climate extremes are already having on natural and human communities. Many of the sessions highlighted applied work in adaptation, inspiring participants to get creative in their own communities.

Climate Science Centers at NAF

The Climate Science Center Network had a strong presence at the Forum. Sessions led by CSC staff included Adaptation Strategies to Address Climate Impacts to Natural Systems, How to Start and Conduct a Tribal/Indigenous Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment, and Stakeholder-Informed Assessments of Drought Variability. The Forum also hosted the orientation training for Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Tribal Liaisons recently brought into the CSC network. These liaisons will provide more tailored climate trainings and services to tribes and pueblos. April Taylor, Tribal Liaison at the South Central CSC, was instrumental in planning this training.

Incorporating Future Climate Projections Into Adaptation Planning: A Layman’s Guide

South Central CSC staff, led by postdoctoral researcher Derek Rosendahl, worked with staff across the CSC network to develop a brand new training for the Forum. The purpose of the training was to introduce stakeholders to the opportunities and challenges of using future climate projections in adaptation planning.

The training, which was attended by 22 participants from a wide variety of sectors, opened with a short presentation introducing climate projections. The presentation was delivered by Alex Bryan, postdoctoral researcher at the Northeast CSC. The presentation also introduced the various uncertainties associated with projections at various time and spacial scales, as well as how users can make the most of climate projections by being aware of these uncertainties. Then, participants were given a sample management challenge which they were asked to address in small groups. Each small group was facilitated by a CSC researcher who provided the group with a variety of future climate projections to be used if desired in addressing the management problem.

Each group had a lively discussion of the challenge for almost an hour. Participants who had never used climate projections before expressed feeling empowered by the information, while several participants who had experience using projections asked for access to the training materials for use in their own contexts.

South Central CSC staff are currently working to compile the feedback they received as well as recommendations for future trainings into a summary document. They hope to adapt this training for other uses.

Many thanks to the staff who worked so diligently to help put together this training, including:

Alex Bryan, USGS, Northeast CSC
Jeremy Littell, USGS, Alaska CSC
Renee McPherson, University of Oklahoma, South Central CSC
Esther Mullens, University of Oklahoma, South Central CSC
Adrienne Wootten, University of Oklahoma, South Central CSC
Jessica Blackband, University of Oklahoma South Central CSC

And of course, thanks to everyone who volunteered their time to take notes during the training!