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A collaborative project of the University of Montana and the USDA Forest Service

Community Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity in the Context of Climate Change

A Workshop at Lubrecht Experimental Forest, Montana, November 7-10, 2011

The University of Montana and the USDA Forest Service convened a workshop in November 2011 to address social and community vulnerability in the face of climate change.  The Forest Service Climate Change Performance Scorecard asks National Forest System units to develop information about the vulnerability of key resources, including ecosystems and social systems, to climate change.  While we are beginning to see broad-scale assessments of ecological vulnerability to climate change, we have yet to see a truly integrated social and ecological vulnerability assessment.  To further develop the knowledge and tools to advance such integrated assessments, the workshop convened 29 Forest Service, USGS, and university social and natural scientists along with National Forest Systems and State and Private Forestry staff (see full list of participants below).  Workshop goals included identifying key knowledge gaps and methodological approaches, describing mechanisms to integrate social vulnerability into the Forest Service Climate Change Scorecard, and building a network of scientists and managers around this topic.  The group identified three priorities: conduct a social vulnerability assessment case study for one national forest to serve as a template for other forests; develop a multi-scale research project to improve basic knowledge about community vulnerability and assessment methods; and develop a communication and outreach plan.

Workshop Participants

Hannah Brenkert-Smith, University of Colorado

Patricia Butler, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science

Matt Carroll, Washington State University

Susan Charnley, Pacific Northwest Research Station

Emily Jane Davis, University of Oregon

Paige Fischer, Forest Service Western Threats Center

Sarah Hitchner, University of Georgia

Pam Jakes, Northern Research Station

Cassandra Johnson, Southern Research Station

Jason Kreitler, United States Geologic Survey

Linda Kruger, Pacific Northwest Research Station

Steve McNulty, Southern Research Station

Miranda Mockrin, Rocky Mountain Research Station

Jess Montag, United States Geologic Survey

Ann Moote, Consultant

Jim Morrison, Forest Service Northern Region

Dan Murphy, University of Montana

Don Nelson, University of Georgia

Kimiko Nygaard, University of Montana

Travis Paveglio, University of Montana

Neelam Poudyal, University of Georgia

Elizabeth Reinhardt, Forest Service Climate Change Advisor's Office

Susan Stewart, Northern Research Station

Cindy Swanson, Rocky Mountain Research Station

Barb Tormoehlen, Northeast Area State and Private Forestry

Johanna Wandel, University of Waterloo

Dan Williams, Rocky Mountain Research Station

Peter Williams, Forest Service Ecosystem Management Coordinator

Laurie Yung, University of Montana