"Climate adaptation in the Great Lakes region: Application of networks of boundary organizations"

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 3:30pm
Eastern Daylight Time
Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessment Center University of Michigan

The Great Lakes region is already seeing the effects of climate change through warmer air and Great Lakes temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns, particularly extreme rain events. Projections for the region anticipate continuation and perhaps acceleration of those trends. The Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessment Center, like all RISAs, includes a mission to improve the use and usability of science in climate adaptation action.  To do this, GLISA adopted an adaptive model that innovates in two ways. First it has carried out extensive research on climate related policy documents to understand the existing networks of producers and users of climate information in the region. Second it supports chains of boundary organizations in the region that include GLISA, boundary partners, and stakeholders in different sectors and at different scales (e.g. water, agriculture, urban planning, park management). These boundary chains seek both to mitigate financial, temporal, spatial, and human resource costs associated with maintaining close interaction with stakeholders and to take advantage of the trust and legitimacy that boundary organizations already have with stakeholders to increase the usability of GLISA climate science.


Maria Carmen Lemos, Professor, University of Michigan

Maria Carmen Lemos is Professor of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Senior Policy Scholar at the Udall Center for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Arizona. During 2006-2007 she was a James Martin 21st Century School Fellow at the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University. Her research focuses on environmental public policymaking in Latin America and the U.S., especially related to the human dimensions of climate change (adaptation and adaptive capacity building); the co-production of science and policy and different means to narrow the gap between useful and usable knowledge; and the role of technoscientific knowledge and environmental governance in building adaptive capacity to climate variability and change response. She is a co-founder of Icarus (Initiative on Climate Adaptation Research and Understanding through the Social Sciences), which seeks foster collaboration and exchange between scholars focusing on vulnerability and adaptation to climate change.  She is a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR5) and has served in a number of the US National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences committees including Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change (2009), America Climate Choice Science Panel (2010) and the Board on Environmental Change and Society (2008-present). She has MSc and PhD degrees in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT.


Donald Scavia, Graham Family Professor and Director, Graham Sustainability Institute, University of Michigan

Don Scavia is the Graham Family Professor of Sustainability, Professor of Natural Resources and Environment, Professor of Environmental Engineering, Director of the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, and Special Counsel to the U-M President for Sustainability.  He combines numerical models and assessments to improve the understanding of interactions between human activities on land and their impacts on coastal marine and freshwater ecosystems.  His research and teaching support integrated assessments that bring together natural and social science and policy making. Scavia leads efforts to engage the full multidisciplinary assets of the University of Michigan to support sustainable communities, ecosystems, and economies. He served on the NRC Committee on Missouri River Sediment Management Issues, the EPA Science Advisory Board Panel on Great Lakes Restoration, and continues to serve on Advisory Boards for the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the National Wildlife Federation, North American Nitrogen Center, and as Science Advisor to the Healing our Waters Great Lakes Coalition.  He is on the Board of Directors of the Great Lakes Observing System and a Trustee of the Mpala (Kenya) Wildlife Conservancy Research Center.  He has been SNRE Associate Dean for Research, Director of the Michigan Sea Grant Program, Director of the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research, Associate Editor for Estuaries and Coasts; Associate Editor for Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, and has served on the Boards of Directors for the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography and the International Association for Great Lakes Research.