GLISA Symposium 2012

Date & Time: 
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 8:00am

On October 30, 2012, GLISA held a Great Lakes Climate Symposium during its annual meeting. GLISA Core Team Members reviewed GLISA's work in the past year, presented new research and adaptation tools, and discussed future goals and impacts. Recipients of GLISA's annual grants competition provided updates on their progress, preliminary findings, and future research goals.

The symposium featured members of the Midwest Technical Input Team sharing their Midwest report to the National Climate Assessment through presentations and a panel discussion. GLISA helped facilitate the compliation of the report, and the resources and results were presented by four of the authors. Learn more about the reports. »

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 Core Management Team Research
  • GLISA Funded Research
  • National Climate Assessment: Midwest Technical Input Report

    Welcome and Introduction

    GLISA Symposium 2012: Welcome Message and Agenda

    Dr. Don Scavia, GLISA Co-Director

    GLISA Co-director Dr. Don Scavia welcomes attendees to the GLISA Symposium 2012, describing progress from working sessions and plans for the rest of the event.

    Overview of GLISA

    Dr. David Bidwell, GLISA Program Manager

    Program manager Dr. David Bidwell provides an overview of GLISA. He discusses its focus, goals, and work going into its third year, including funded projects, climate science research, social science research, and future projections for the program.

    GLISA Core Management Team Research

    Climate Science Team: Great Lakes Historical Climatologies

    Dan Brown, GLISA Research Associate

    GLISA Research Associate Dan Brown summarizes GLISA's historical climatologies that asses the typical climate of particular sites and sub-regions in the larger Great Lakes region. Brown discusses the importance of this information and how it can be utilized in climate science decision-making.

    Social Science Team: Social Networks Channeling the Flow of Climate Science in our Region

    Scott Kalafatis, Doctoral Student, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Michigan

    Scott Kalafatis, a doctoral student working closely with GLISA Core Team Members Dr. Maria-Carmen Lemos and Dr. Kenneth Frank, discusses their climate social science research. Their project examines the relationship between networks of people engaged in Great Lakes climate science and how that translates into policy-making decisions. Using social analysis, Kalafatis maps the flow of knowledge, resources, and motivation of climate science research in the region.

    Kalafatis presents the findings of the Team Member's paper published in The Policy Studies Journal that examined documents co-authored by scientists and policy makers. Mapping the relationship between the authors and their documents, the authors identified three clusters of policy document development that affected people's advocacy and advising concerning climate change policy.

    GLISA Funded Research

    Mid-Michigan Heat Model

    Dr. Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Michigan State University

    Dr. Laura Schmitt Olabisi discusses the findings of her 2011 GLISA-funded research project to model a framework for responses to extreme heat events in Michigan. Her research focuses on the human health impacts of climate change, bridging a connection between the physical and social sciences.

    The number of extreme heat events and their severity is expected to rise due to climate change, and Dr. Olabisi assessed how vulnerable populations would respond to such events through a systems dynamic modeling framework that incorporates human behavior. She describes the model, its formation and potential scenarios, and how it applies to local decision-making.

    Impact of Climate Change on Lake Whitefish in the Laurentian Great Lakes

    Abigail Lynch, Michigan State University

    Abigail Lynch examines the impacts of climate change on Great Lakes whitefish, project funded by GLISA in 2011. Lynch presents climate impacts on lake whitefish, a section of her preliminary results, and the final stages of research.

    Climate projections include greater thermal habitat for whitefish, significantly less ice cover, and a decline in dangerous storm events and windspeed. Lynch discusses the relationship between these variables and whitefish recruitment, project the relationship in terms of climate change, and design a decision support tool for harvesters to guide policy.

    National Climate Assessment: Midwest Technical Input Report

    Introduction and Sector Highlights: Agriculture, Biodiversity, Coastal, Energy, Outdoor Rec & Tourism, Transportatation

    Professor Julie Winkler, Department of Geology, Michigan State University

    At the request of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, GLISA and the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment formed a Midwest regional team to provide technical input to the National Climate Assessment (NCA) to compliment and expand upon the Midwest section of the NCA. The NCA's report provides a bigger national picture of the region, and GLISA led the effort to compile and make available resources more pertinent and useful to the region.

    Professor Julie Winkler describes GLISA's effort to assess and compile input to the NCA Report. She summarizes and highlights the sectors not presented at the annual meeting - Biodiversity, Coastal, Energy, Outdoor Rec and Tourism, and Transportation. The remaining sectors, Historical Climate, Future Projections, and Water Resources, are presented by their respective authors in the following videos.

    Historical Climate Sector

    Dr. Jeff Andresen, Department of Geography, Michigan State University

    The Midwest has nearly a century and a half of historical climate records, and Dr. Andresen, Associate Professor of Geography at Michigan State University and Climatologist for the state of Michigan, examines climate change in the Midwest region through historical changes in the instrumental record. He looks at climate change in the region over geologic time by analyzing climate vulnerabilities oriented toward humans - thunderstorms, severe weather, winter storms, drought, and heat waves, and other weather related disasters. This presentation includes assessment of all 8 Midwestern state data and regional averages to draw conclusions on seasonal trends such as less ice cover, warmer winter and springs, and frost delay. Read the full report »

    Future Climate Sector

    Dr. Julie Winkler, Department of Geography, Michigan State University

    Dr. Winkler provides an overview of commonly used approaches in developing climate change projections and summarizes a wide range of future climate change projections in the Midwest. Analysis focuses on temperature, precipitation, and wind variables, including seasonal temperature changes, heat waves, length of freeze periods, precipitation intensity, and wind extremes. She concludes the presentation with a discussion of the level of confidence that can be placed on the future climate projections and downscaling of data in the Midwest region. Read the full report »

    Water Resources Sector

    Drew Gronewold, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, NOAA

    Drew Gronewold of NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory reports on how climate change is impacting water resources in the Midwest region. He draws upon examples from the Great Lakes and how they connect to socioeconomic issues, such as hydropower and coastal ecoystems, across the region. Gronewold examines seasonal water level data over the past 150 years to draw conclusions about water trends and projections impacted by climate change. Read the full report »

    Forestry Sector

    Stephen D. Handler, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science

    Stephen Handler, a climate specialist at the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, discusses his work summarizing the climate-change vulnerabilities of the forestry sector in the region. Changes in temperature and precipitation will directly and indirectly amplify existing stressors to forests. Handler examines the different types of forests in the Midwest, and the vulnerabilities to the ecosystems and the ecosystem services they offer. Read the full report »


    Q&A: Panel Discussion

    The four authors take questions from the audience and other GLISA Team Members related to their work on the Midwest Technical Input Report, research in their respective sectors, and climate change adaptation in the Great Lakes region.