92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 10:30 AM
Defining Regional Networks for Climate Adaptation: Social Science Contributions From NOAA's RISA Community in Support of the National Climate Assessment
Room 243 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Caitlin Simpson, NOAA, SILVER SPRING, MD; and A. Parris

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been funding and working with its Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) research teams to better understand how to reach key actors within a region, how regional networks function, how best to supply information and interact with resource managers, planners, and communities at local-to-regional levels, and what types of adaptation activities are already underway in the regions. This work has been developed as part of the regional components of the U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) for 2013 and for future NCA processes, as well as providing information to inform regional climate services.

This presentation provides an overview of the intended outcomes of the research and how it connects to efforts to continue to define the community of practice established over the past 15 years of the RISA program. Researchers within the teams are using a range of methods and approaches to investigate how regions are networked and the capacity of regions to prepare for and adapt to climate variability and change. Across 11 different regions of the U.S., RISA teams are exploring the needs of regional and local decision makers in great depth through interviews (n= ~100), 30 stakeholder workshops, 9 databases drawn from stakeholder documents, and over 10 surveys or social network analyses. The result of these efforts will be detailed in at least 5 peer-review publications and 20 technical reports for stakeholders, including vulnerability assessments. This effort provides a comprehensive look at the regional contexts for understanding the impact of and response to climate in the US.

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