GLISA Symposium 2011

Date & Time: 
Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 8:00am

On November 3, 2011, GLISA held a public research symposium during its annual meeting. GLISA leaders reviewed the programs goals and impacts, and core management team members discussed their research. Recipients of GLISA's annual grants competition presented their projects, progress, and preliminary findings. The symposium featured a keynote address by National Climate Assessment Kathy Jacobs, who spoke about the new continuous design of the National Climate Assessment that develops stakeholder capacity and noted regional focus that highlights GLISA's contribution.

Videos of the presentations showing the speakers and their slides are provided on this page. Use the table of contents immediately below to link to a particular section or video on this page.

Symposium Presentations: Table of Contents

Welcome and Introduction

GLISA Symposium 2011: Welcome message

Dr. Don Scavia, GLISA Co-Director

GLISA Co-director Dr. Don Scavia welcomes attendees to the GLISA Symposium 2011, describing progress from working sessions and plans for the rest of the event.

Introduction to GLISA and Summary of First Year

Dr. David Bidwell, GLISA Program Manager

Program manager Dr. David Bidwell provides an overview of GLISA, the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences + Assessments center. He discusses its projects and work in the first year, including contribution to the National Climate Assessment.



GLISA Core Management Team Research

Climate Change Adaptation: Document Analysis and Stakeholder Database

Dr. Maria Carmen Lemos and Scott Kalafatis, University of Michigan

GLISA Core Team member Dr. Maria Carmen Lemos and graduate student Scott Kalafatis describe their GLISA social science project. The project assessed documents on climate change impacts and variability, published by scientists, public servants, and NGOs. They identified trends in the change of stakeholders' thinking, engagement, and perception of climate knowledge in the Great Lakes region.

The assessment found that ideas on how to respond to climate are increasing in scope from narrow to broad. Older documents were more likely to focus on uncertainty and a lack of cost-benefit analysis as big constraints to action, while newer documents tended to show a much more innovative way of thinking. We are "moving into a space where people are saying maybe we don't have to know exactly what is happening in order to start responding to climate impacts," says Lemos. The reports analyzed for this project are also the centerpiece of a study of stakeholder networks, with the broader goal of improving science-policy networks and informing decision-making in the Great Lakes region. The video discusses this progress and next steps.

Network Analysis of Great Lakes Climate Co-Authored Documents

Dr. Ken Frank, Michigan State University

Dr. Ken Frank at Michigan State University discusses his research into modeling of networks and authorship of documents on climate change and adaptation in the Great Lakes region. By surveying stakeholders on the people and organizations with whom they communicate and collaborate on climate-related issues, we are better able to understand the structure of relationships around these issues and develop more effective engagement strategies for subsequent assessment activities. This network analysis will also provide critical information about stakeholder views, concerns, behaviors and preferences. This information will be vital in developing effective engagement strategies and allow us to follow changes in stakeholder views and the structure of the network over time.

GLISA Climate Science Team

Laura Briley, GLISA Research Associate

GLISA Core team member Laura Briley discusses GLISA climate science research and progress in the past year. Because global climate models supply coarse-scale data and provide little guidance for local decision making, various techniques are therefore used to "downscale" climate data. GLISA researchers are identifying and evaluating sources of downscaled data that are available for the Great Lakes region. By working with cities, watershed groups, and other organizations, GLISA will identify how this data can be provided in the most useful manner and create a web-based interface through which decision makers in the region can access downscaled data.



GLISA Funded Projects

Decision-maker Response to Extreme Heat Events in Michigan

Dr. Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Michigan State University

Dr. Laura Schmitt Olabisi discusses her GLISA-funded project, "A modeling framework for informing decision-maker response to extreme heat events in Michigan under climate change." This project will assess human health risks of extreme heat events in Michigan cities and create a dynamic modeling framework that tests policy and management options for reducing morbidity and mortality related to these events.

Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Great Lakes Evaporation

Dr. John Lenters, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Dr. John Lenters from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln discusses his GLISA-funded project, "Assessing the impacts of climate variability and change on Great Lakes evaporation: Implications for decision making, adaptation, and water resource management."

The project monitors evaporation in Lake Superior in partnership with researchers at Northern Michigan University, University of Colorado-Boulder, and Environment Canada. Variations in Great Lakes water levels impact numerous sectors, including hydropower, navigation, recreation, aquatic ecosystems, and shoreline residents. This project will integrate and compare data from existing observational sites in Lakes Superior and Huron to assess the impacts of climate variability and change on evaporation rates.

Impacts of Climate Change on Maumee Watershed Agricultural Yields and Water Resources

Dr. David Hyndman, Michigan State University

Dr. David Hyndman from Michigan State University reports on his GLISA-funded project, "Predicting the impacts of climate change on agricultural yields and water resources in the Maumee River Watershed." The Maumee River watershed encompasses areas of Southeast Michigan, Northeast Indiana, and Northwest Ohio. Reserachers are meeting with stakeholders from this area and will develop a coupled crop-growth and hydrologic model to simulate scenarios of climate change impacts on crop yields and water resources across the watershed.

Supporting Decisions on Harvest Management of Great Lakes Whitefish in a Changing Climate

Abigail Lynch, Michigan State University

Abigail Lynch from Michigan State University describes her GLISA-funded project, "Designing a decision support system for harvest management of Great Lakes lake whitefish in a changing climate." She discusses the importance of whitefish as an ecologically and economically important species in the Great Lakes. In this project, researchers work with stakeholders to assess decision support tools for Great Lakes lake whitefish management in the context of climate change.



Keynote Address

Connecting Science and Decision-making through the National Climate Assessment

Kathy Jacobs, Director of the National Climate Assessment

Kathy Jacobs, director of the National Climate Assessment for the US Global Change Research Program, gives her keynote address, "Connecting Science and Decision-making: Building a Foundation for Adaptation through the National Climate Assessment."

Managing the National Climate Assessment is an act of faith – faith that connecting people and information, building community, and doing a better job of synthesizing science and experience from multiple disciplines will help us make better decisions. It is also an act of faith because the intellectual and technical challenges are so large that reasonable people might question whether it can be done, and whether it can be sustained over time. Fortunately, this Assessment is informed by wisdom and experience from the leaders of previous assessments, National Academy reports, and years of working on collaborative governance and exploring the interface between science and society. If we succeed, this effort should yield benefits previous assessments have not – including building a foundation for adaptation decisions at multiple scales.