Scenario planning is a structured process used by organizations to explore and prepare for the future. In the field of natural resource management it can be used to explore the uncertainty surrounding changing environmental conditions and how these changes may affect natural resources through the development of plausible alternative futures built using the best available quantitative and qualitative information. This process encourages “out-of-the-box” thinking to identify science and management needs that can be implemented in the near-term to better prepare for the future. Here, we will report out on NOAA Fisheries use of scenario planning for two endangered species, Atlantic salmon and North Atlantic right whales, and highlight the importance of multidisciplinary groups to the process.
Diane Borggaard is currently the Right Whale Recovery Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region in Gloucester, MA. Diane has worked for NOAA Fisheries on protected species (including marine mammal, sea turtle and fish) conservation issues along the U.S. Atlantic. Diane has also been involved in a number of NOAA Fisheries climate initiatives including development of the Northeast Regional Climate Action Plan.