4.5 Bridging the Boundary: Lessons in Building Climate Adaptation Capacity in Southern California

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 9:30 AM
Ballroom F (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Alyssa Newton Mann, Univ. of Southern California Sea Grant Program, Los Angeles, CA; and P. Grifman, N. Sadrpour, and J. Finzi Hart

Preparing for climate change is rising as a priority for many public policy agendas, driving a demand for information that allows communities to identify both current and projected vulnerabilities to climate change at local and regional levels. In response, a developing climate change adaptation service sector is bringing science and technical training to policy-makers.

In this emerging field, boundary organizations play a unique role in building capacity across jurisdictions and bridging the gaps among various community, science and government stakeholders. The University of Southern California (USC) Sea Grant Program, located in Los Angeles, has developed a robust stakeholder engagement process to help communities plan for the impacts of climate change along the urbanized coastline. USC Sea Grant is part of a national network of 33 programs, supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Sea Grant programs are federal, state, and university partnerships that serve as key non-partisan science and education resources to the communities in which they are located. USC Sea Grant has worked across science, policy, and cultural boundaries to build capacity and ensure policy makers and communities have the benefit of sound science when making decisions for more than 40 years. Its climate change adaptation program initiated in 2009, providing research, extension and education resources to coastal communities in Southern California grappling with how to address climate adaptation in its planning and policy-making.

In 2016, USC Sea Grant analyzed its climate change adaptation outreach program to gain insights about its effectiveness. Drawing from this analysis, USC Sea Grant will discuss lessons, including: 1) stakeholder processes; 2) communications methods, particularly the challenges of communicating scientific information; 3) barriers to planning and implementation; 4) identifying community needs; and, 5) what investments have supported these needs.

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