Toward optimizing the delivery and use of climate science for natural resource management: lessons learned from recent adaptation efforts in the southwestern U.S.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 12:05 PM
Carolyn Enquist, USGS, Southwest Climate Science Center, Tucson, AZ, United States
Within the past decade, a wealth of federal, state, and NGO-driven initiatives has emerged across managed landscapes in the United States with the goal of facilitating a coordinated response to rapidly changing climate and environmental conditions. In addition to acquisition and translation of the latest climate science, climate vulnerability assessment and scenario planning at multiple spatial and temporal scales are typically major components of such broad adaptation efforts. Numerous approaches for conducting this work have emerged in recent years and have culminated in general guidance and trainings for resource professionals that are specifically designed to help practitioners face the challenges of climate change. In particular, early engagement of stakeholders across multiple jurisdictions is particularly critical to cultivate buy-in and other enabling conditions for moving the science to on-the-ground action. I report on a suite of adaptation efforts in the southwestern US and interior Rockies, highlighting processes used, actions taken, lessons learned, and recommended next steps to facilitate achieving desired management outcomes. This includes a discussion of current efforts to optimize funding for actionable climate science, formalize science-management collaborations, and facilitate new investments in approaches for strategic climate-informed monitoring and evaluation.