Improving climate resilience in the Intermountain West through research and practitioner networks

Improving climate resilience in the Intermountain West through research and practitioner networks

Organizer: 
Colin Quinn
Chair of the Town of Carbondale Environmental Board; Mountain West Climate Services Partnership
Time Slot: 
Concurrent Sessions 6
Session Type: 
Symposium
Abstract: 

How can climate researchers and practitioners, such as municipal decision makers, work together to produce relevant and scalable solutions to adapt to climate change? And how can communities with similar climate risks share knowledge and experience to improve resilience?

For example, In the Intermountain West region many communities rely on snow and snowmelt for water supply, recreation, and to support local economies. These communities are increasingly vulnerable to higher temperatures and extreme events in both wet and dry periods. Higher temperatures and subsequent earlier snowmelt, for example, could create drought conditions in even normal precipitation years, leading to risks for communities to manage.

Despite a shared urgency, there remains a disconnect between the actions and decisions these communities take to improve resilience and the scientific community. Furthermore, it is difficult to sustain networks between the scientific community and municipal decision makers to improve resiliency efforts, particularly in small and medium sized communities. In this session, we will explore examples of how partnerships between scientists and communities in the Intermountain West region are forming to provide useful and practical tools and services to help build resiliency. This purpose of this symposium is to share and improve resiliency efforts in towns that are extremely vulnerable to climate change. The format will be a panel, with each panelist briefly discussing their work on this topic, followed by a robust, moderated, and interactive discussion with the audience. This panel will include municipal decision makers, who are often left out of the broader adaptation conversation.

Presentations

Resilience, Adaptations & Vulnerability (RAV) Network
Corrie Knapp, University of Western Colorado
Mountain West Climate Services Partnership
James Arnott, Aspen Global Change Institute
Adaptation in small Colorado and Utah communities
Benet Duncan , Western Water Assessment
Enhancing Preparedness for a Changing West
Julie Vano, National Center for Atmospheric Research
City of Aspen
Margaret Medellin, City of Aspen