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Incorporating Adaptive Capacity into Decision-Making in the North Central U.S.

Adaptive Capacity and Decision Making Framework


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Managers already face uncertainty when making decisions about how to best manage natural resources. Now, climate change is adding an additional level of complexity to resource management decisions. Understanding the ability of human and ecological communities to adapt to changing conditions (known as their adaptive capacity) is an integral component of effective management planning in the face of climate change. So too is identifying ways in which managers can better incorporate information on climate and the vulnerability of resources into their decision-making. This project sought to improve decision-making in the North Central region by developing an approach to managing natural resources that acknowledges the uncertainties that [...]

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Principal Investigator :
Dennis S Ojima
Funding Agency :
North Central CSC
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program

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“San Miguel River Valley, CO - Credit: Alan Cressler”
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While managers are already required to face uncertainty when making natural resource decisions, climate change adds an additional level of complexity to their management considerations. Development of a decision-making approach that acknowledges sources of uncertainty and incorporates the vulnerability of social-ecological systems to climate change is needed for sound natural resource management decisions. This research activity will determine and assess key factors affecting the capacity of social-ecological systems to adapt to climate changes. Moreover, this study will analyze the decision making framework of related and ongoing research efforts and will examine current vulnerability and risk assessment methodologies in the region. Results from this project will help to address natural resource management decisions dealing with climate change dynamics.

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