Great Lakes Integrated Sciences + Assessments: Connecting Users and Generators of Scientific Information to Inform Climate Change Adaptation

Thursday, 18 December 2014
William J Baule, Laura Briley, Daniel Brown and Elizabeth Gibbons, University of Michigan, Great Lakes Integrated Sciences + Assessments, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
The Great Lakes Integrated Sciences + Assessments (GLISA) is one of eleven NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISAs) and is a co-hosted by the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. The Great Lakes region falls between areas that are typically defined as the Midwest and Northeast in the United States and also includes portions of Ontario in Canada. This unique and complex region holds approximately 21% of global surface fresh water and is home to 23 million people on the United States side of the basin alone. GLISA functions as a bridge between climate science researchers and boundary organizations in the Great Lakes region, with the goals of contributing to the long-term sustainability of the region in face of a changing climate and to facilitate smart decision-making backed by sound scientific knowledge. Faculty and staff associated with GLISA implement physical and social science practices in daily operations, which includes but is not limited to: activating the boundary chain model to facilitate the transfer of knowledge through the community, integrating local and historical climate data into decision-making processes, addressing uncertainty and the downscaling of climate information, and implementing network analyses to find key access points to information networks across the Great Lakes region. GLISA also provides funding for projects related to climate and climate change adaptation in the Great Lakes region, as well as expertise to partner organizations through collaborations. Information from boundary organizations, stakeholders, and collaborators also flows back to GLISA to aid in the determination of the physical and social science needs of the region. Recent findings point to GLISA playing a crucial role in the scaling information across scales of government and ensuring that federal agencies and local stakeholders are able to learn from one another and share experiences and knowledge to continue building climate ready sectors and communities across the Great Lakes region.