Providing Meaningful and Actionable Decision Tools to Local and Regional Stakeholders across the Southeastern U.S

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 11:15 AM
Room C108 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
J. Greg Dobson, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Asheville, NC; and J. F. Fox

Handout (2.2 MB)

As weather and climate patterns continue to vary and change, our nation's small and medium-sized communities need better and affordable access to a variety of integrated tools that can address their data and information needs in terms of sea-level rise, storm surge, wildfire, flash flooding, and drought. This will enable stakeholders to make more informed decisions and assess risk concerning the built environment. Although major metropolitan areas and other large communities typically have dedicated resources to address these needs, smaller and medium-sized communities often do not. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Asheville's National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) are investigating better approaches for providing integrated suites of products that address the needs of these smaller communities for use in such applications as community and regional planning, sustainability, future “what-if” scenarios, and hazard zone management. This work is currently being done on the coast of southeast Florida, the mountains of western North Carolina, and across the southeastern states.

While there have been a variety of tools and data products developed by the private, public, and academic sectors in recent years that benefit small and medium-sized communities, many solutions remain under-utilized or unused once they have been delivered. This is likely due to tool and solution providers not fully understanding how end-users can and want to receive data and information. Additionally, it no longer is sufficient to simply build an integrated tool, such as a web application or online geospatial viewer, and expect the end-user or decision maker to make use of it. Instead, solutions are needed that deliver better context and meaning, and that end-users and decision makers will be more likely to adopt and take ownership of. They must also be provided in a way that enables full integration within the users' own current systems working across entire enterprise organizations, be scalable, and enable decision makers to take action.

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