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EcoAdapt Library: ADAPTATION - GENERAL
One potential adaptation option is to protect climate change refugia - areas where climate change will be less severe or occur more slowly. This paper examines how potential marine refugia were identified in the Canadian Pacific using a combination of modeling and expert input.
Document Citation: Ban S.S., H.M. Alidina, T.A. Okey, R.M. Gregg, and N.C. Ban. 2016. Identifying potential marine climate change refugia: A case study in Canada’s Pacific marine ecosystems. Global Ecology and Conservation 8:41–54.
 
This guide shares approaches for how scientists, managers and science funders can work together to know what information is needed, how to obtain it and how to make it accessible in order to promote the coproduction of actionable science.
Document Citation: Beier P., L.J. Hansen, L. Helbrecht, and D. Behar. 2016. A How-to Guide for Coproduction of Actionable Science. Conservation Letters: 1-9.
 
This report presents the results of a survey to identify what coastal and marine practitioners need in order to integrate climate change into their planning efforts, as well as case study examples of adaptation in action.
Document Citation: Gregg, R.M., editor. 2017. The State of Climate-Informed Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning. EcoAdapt, Bainbridge Island, WA
 
This report presents the results of EcoAdapt’s efforts to survey adaptation action in marine fisheries management by examining the major climate impacts on marine and coastal fisheries in the United... [show full description]
This report presents the results of EcoAdapt’s efforts to survey adaptation action in marine fisheries management by examining the major climate impacts on marine and coastal fisheries in the United States, assessing related challenges to fisheries management, and presenting examples of actions taken to decrease vulnerability and/or increase resilience.
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Document Citation: Gregg, R.M., A. Score, D. Pietri, and L. Hansen. 2016. The State of Climate Adaptation in U.S. Marine Fisheries Management. EcoAdapt, Bainbridge Island, WA.
 
This white paper summarizes the findings of the Central Puget Sound ROSS Climate Change Task Force, chaired by EcoAdapt. This is the first in a series of papers on the relationship between climate change mitigation and adaptation and open space conservation.
Document Citation: Gregg, R.M. 2015. Regional Open Space Strategy (ROSS) Regional Challenges Overview: Climate Change. A report to the Central Puget Sound ROSS Team.
 
As we stand at the beginning of the new millennium, the threats to nature and protected areas are unprecedented. While some progress has been made and strategies such as protected areas have been... [show full description]
As we stand at the beginning of the new millennium, the threats to nature and protected areas are unprecedented. While some progress has been made and strategies such as protected areas have been successful in preserving biodiversity in some places, new threats are arising. None of these threats is as great as global climate change and none will have such large implications for the way natural resource managers plan and implement conservation strategies.
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Document Citation: Hansen, L.J., J.L. Biringer, and J.R. Hoffman (editors). 2003. Buying Time: A User’s Manual for Building Resistance and Resilience to Climate Change in Natural Systems. WWF.
 
Document Citation: Hannah, L. and L.J. Hansen. 2005. Chapter 20: Conservation Responses: Designing Landscapes. In Hannah, L and T. Lovejoy (Eds.). Biodiversity and Climate Change. Yale University Press.
 
A report summarizing adaptation strategies and actions for focal resources of the Sierra Nevada.
Document Citation: Kershner, J., editor. 2014. Climate Change Adaptation Strategies for Focal Resources of the Sierra Nevada. Version 1.0. EcoAdapt, Bainbridge Island, WA.
 
Human activities, particularly the combustion of fossil fuels and the large-scale transformation of land cover, affect ecosystems around the world. Changes in temperature, precipitation, and water... [show full description]
Human activities, particularly the combustion of fossil fuels and the large-scale transformation of land cover, affect ecosystems around the world. Changes in temperature, precipitation, and water chemistry are altering our environment. These changes will also affect environmental regulatory frameworks, either rendering them ineffective or forcing them to adapt to achieve their goals under changing conditions.
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Document Citation: Hansen, L.J. and C.R. Pyke. 2007. Climate Change and Federal Environmental Law. Sustainable Development Law & Policy Journal 7(2):26-29.
 
Climate change experts Drs. Lara Hansen and Jennifer Hoffman consider the implications of climate change for key resource management issues of our time—invasive species, corridors and connectivity,... [show full description]
Climate change experts Drs. Lara Hansen and Jennifer Hoffman consider the implications of climate change for key resource management issues of our time—invasive species, corridors and connectivity, ecological restoration, pollution, and many others. How will strategies need to change to facilitate adaptation to a new climate regime? What steps can we take to promote resilience?

Climate Savvy offers a wide-ranging exploration of how scientists, managers, and policymakers can use the challenge of climate change as an opportunity to build a more holistic and effective philosophy. Based on collaboration with a wide range of scientists, conservation leaders, and practitioners, the authors present general ideas as well as practical steps and strategies that can help cope with this new reality.
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Document Citation: Hansen, L.J. and J.R. Hoffman. 2010. Climate Savvy: Adapting Conservation and Resource Management to a Changing World. Island Press, Washington DC.
 
With the support of the Sierra Club, EcoAdapt and the Geos Institute partnered to create climate-informed conservation “blueprints” for western Washington in order to highlight and prioritize areas... [show full description]
With the support of the Sierra Club, EcoAdapt and the Geos Institute partnered to create climate-informed conservation “blueprints” for western Washington in order to highlight and prioritize areas and actions likely to increase the success of conservation efforts in a rapidly changing climate. These maps identify areas that have particular ecological value and are predicted to have greater ecological stability or instability under changing climatic conditions. This information may be used to suggest priority areas and strategic conservation actions that, when combined, may provide species and ecosystems with a greater likelihood of persistence and function throughout the rapidly changing climate over the next 75 years. This report aims to provide guidance regarding the interpretation and implementation of the blueprint maps. It provides a brief overview of the methods used, describes broad patterns and key insights, suggests conservation strategies or actions, and discusses important limitations associated with the maps and results.
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Document Citation: Kershner, J., E. Mielbrecht, M. Koopman, and J. Leonard. 2012. A Climate-Informed Conservation Blueprint for the Greater Puget Sound Ecoregion. Prepared by EcoAdapt and the Geos Institute for the Sierra Club. Bainbridge Island, WA.
 
Conservation organizations are increasingly applying adaptive capacity assessments in response to escalating climate change impacts. These assessments are essential to identify climate risks to... [show full description]
Conservation organizations are increasingly applying adaptive capacity assessments in response to escalating climate change impacts. These assessments are essential to identify climate risks to ecosystems, prioritize management interventions, maximize the effectiveness of conservation actions, and ensure conservation resources are allocated appropriately. Despite an extensive literature on the topic, there is little agreement on the most relevant factors needed to support local scale initiatives, and additional guidance is needed to clarify how adaptive capacity should be assessed. This article discusses why adaptive capacity assessment represents a critical tool supporting conservation planning and management. It also evaluates key factors guiding conservation NGOs conducting these assessments in tropical island communities, and explores alternative priorities based on input from academic experts and key local stakeholders. Our results demonstrate that important differences exist between local stakeholders and nonlocal academic experts on key factors affecting adaptation and coping mechanisms. The exclusion of local community input affects the validity of adaptive capacity assessment findings, and has significant implications for the prioritization and effectiveness of conservation strategies and funding allocation.
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Document Citation: Mcleod, E., B. Szuster, J. Hinkel, E.L. Tompkins, N. Marshall, T. Downing, S. Wongbusarakum, A. Patwardhan, M. Hamza, C. Anderson, S. Bharwani, L. Hansen and P. Rubinoff. 2015. Conservation Organizations Need to Consider Adaptive Capacity: Why Local Input Matters. Conservation Letters. doi: 10.1111/conl.12210
 
Abstract: To be successful, conservation practitioners and resource managers must fully integrate the effects of climate change into all planning projects. Some conservation practitioners are... [show full description]
Abstract: To be successful, conservation practitioners and resource managers must fully integrate the effects of climate change into all planning projects. Some conservation practitioners are beginning to develop, test, and implement new approaches that are designed to deal with climate change. We devised four basic tenets that are essential in climate-change adaptation for conservation: protect adequate and appropriate space, reduce nonclimate stresses, use adaptive management to implement and test climate-change adaptation strategies, and work to reduce the rate and extent of climate change to reduce overall risk. To illustrate how this approach applies in the real world, we explored case studies of coral reefs in the Florida Keys; mangrove forests in Fiji, Tanzania, and Cameroon; sea-level rise and sea turtles in the Caribbean; tigers in the Sundarbans of India; and national planning in Madagascar. Through implementation of these tenets conservation efforts in each of these regions can be made more robust in the face of climate change. Although these approaches require reconsidering some traditional approaches to conservation, this new paradigm is technologically, economically, and intellectually feasible.
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Document Citation: Hansen, L.J., J.R. Hoffman, C. Drews and E.E. Mielbrecht. 2010. Designing Climate-Smart Conservation: Guidance and Case Studies. Conservation Biology. 24:63-68.
 
Adapting conservation to climate change is a new and urgently needed area of activity in the conservation community for both funders and practitioners. The MacArthur Foundation is a leading funder in... [show full description]
Adapting conservation to climate change is a new and urgently needed area of activity in the conservation community for both funders and practitioners. The MacArthur Foundation is a leading funder in tackling the issue of adaptation and, through it's grants program, is creating a cohort of experts in this nacsent field. In 2008, they asked WWF-Canada and EcoAdapt to convene a workshop of their grantees to identify lessons learned and exchange insight. One clear lesson from their portfolio of projects is that the need for adaptation is real and grantees are helping to provide for it. Another lesson is that workshops, like this one, are important mechanisms for increasing learning rates.
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Document Citation: Hoffman, J. and L. Hansen. 2009. Initial Investments in Adaptation: Building the Future of Conservation. A report by EcoAdapt and WWF-Canada on the 2008 MacArthur Foundation Adaptation Grantees Workshop, Barcelona, Spain.
 
During the IMCC conference in Victoria, British Columbia, the MPA Monitoring Enterprise and EcoAdapt hosted a two hour focus group entitled Monitoring resilience to climate change in temperate marine ecosystems. The document is a summary of the discussion during the focus group session.
Document Citation: Monitoring Resilience to Climate Change in Temperate Marine Ecosystems: A Focus Group Summary Report. 2011. International Marine Conservation Congress, Victoria, British Columbia. Report prepared by EcoAdapt for the MPA Monitoring Enterprise.
 
This data platform user needs assessment set out to better understand the likely users of a NPLCC data platform, the higher level tasks those users undertake that could be supported, and the content... [show full description]
This data platform user needs assessment set out to better understand the likely users of a NPLCC data platform, the higher level tasks those users undertake that could be supported, and the content and functions/capabilities that support those tasks. The focus has been on identifying the unique role the NPLCC can play given its mission, large trans-boundary geography, and broad stakeholder engagement within the ever growing number of on-line climate change and conservation data portals.

This assessment was a first step in a long-term user engagement. The NPLCC is encouraged to continue the dialogue with its users to further its understanding of the evolution of tasks they undertake, and gain input the NPLCC data platform’s success. Measuring the success of a data platform project is not an exact science and depends on the assessment by its users. Assembling a NPLCC data platform implementation team to periodically assess progress and success could be beneficial. This team could judge the achievement of the initial requirements and goals, including the suggestions presented here, and structure usability tests by users to fine tune platform features/capabilities. It could also work to survey the extent of uptake and use, and solicit feedback from the broader end-user group. It is important to note that the ability to measure success is highly dependent on a thorough and appropriate initial design. The NPLCC will have reached a milestone when it launches the first version of its data platform. And, this milestone is anticipated by a user community who sees the NPLCC playing a strong role in data sharing and collaboration throughout its geography
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Document Citation: Mielbrecht, E. 2012. North Pacific LCC Data Platform User Needs Assessment. Prepared by EcoAdapt. Bainbridge Island, WA.
 
Climate change is altering ecological systems throughout the world. Managing these systems in a way that ignores climate change will likely fail to meet management objectives. The uncertainty in... [show full description]
Climate change is altering ecological systems throughout the world. Managing these systems in a way that ignores climate change will likely fail to meet management objectives. The uncertainty in projected climate change impacts is one of the greatest challenges facing managers attempting to address global change. In order to select successful management strategies, managers need to understand the uncertainty inherent in projected climate impacts and how these uncertainties affect the outcomes of management activities. Perhaps the most important tool for managing ecological systems in the face of climate change is active adaptive management, in which systems are closely monitored and management strategies are altered to address expected and ongoing changes. Here, we discuss the uncertainty inherent in different types of data on potential climate impacts and explore climate projections and potential management responses at three sites in North America. The Central Valley of California, the headwaters of the Klamath River in Oregon, and the barrier islands and sounds of North Carolina each face a different set of challenges with respect to climate change. Using these three sites, we provide specific examples of how managers are already beginning to address the threat of climate change in the face of varying levels of uncertainty.
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Document Citation: Lawler, J.J., T.H. Tear, C. Pyke, M.R. Shaw, P. Gonzalez, P. Kareiva, L. Hansen, L. Hannah, K. Klausmeyer, A. Aldous, C. Bienz, and S. Pearsall. 2010. Resource management in a changing and uncertain climate. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 8(1):35-43.
 
Climate change increases the need for restoration, both to help forest systems to manage existing changes and to buffer them against likely changes in the future by increasing areas of natural,... [show full description]
Climate change increases the need for restoration, both to help forest systems to manage existing changes and to buffer them against likely changes in the future by increasing areas of natural, healthy forest systems. Care needs to be taken to avoid over-simplistic reliance on forests for carbon sequestration, and attempts at restoration to increase carbon storage must be assessed carefully to judge their true worth. Tools such as vulnerability analyses can help to design effective restoration strategies, which are likely to include reduction of fragmentation, increasing connectivity, development of effective buffer zones, and maintenance of genetic diversity.
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Document Citation: J. Biringer and L. Hansen. 2005. Restoring Forest landscapes in the Face of Climate Change. In Mansourian, Stephanie; Vallauri, Daniel; Dudley, Nigel (Eds.) Forest Restoration in Landscapes: Beyond Planting Trees, Springer, New York.
 
The purpose of this Restoring the Great Lakes’ Coastal Future is to provide an initial suite of tools and methods to assist in the planning and implementation of climate-smart restoration by the... [show full description]
The purpose of this Restoring the Great Lakes’ Coastal Future is to provide an initial suite of tools and methods to assist in the planning and implementation of climate-smart restoration by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its partners and grantees. The guidance is intended to be a living document that evolves in response to workshops, trainings, on-the-ground projects, and other stakeholder input.
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Document Citation: Glick, P., J. Hoffman, M. Koslow, A. Kane, and D. Inkley. 2011. Restoring the Great Lakes’ Coastal Future: Technical Guidance for the Design and Implementation of Climate-Smart Restoration Projects. National Wildlife Federation, Ann Arbor, MI.
 
The State of Adaptation in the United States, a synthesis commissioned and supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and undertaken by EcoAdapt, the Climate Impacts Group at the... [show full description]
The State of Adaptation in the United States, a synthesis commissioned and supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and undertaken by EcoAdapt, the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington’s College of the Environment, the Georgetown Climate Center at Georgetown University, and the University of California-Davis, provides examples of societal responses to climate change in our planning and management of cities, agriculture and natural resources. These examples include regulatory measures, management strategies and information sharing.
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Document Citation: Hansen,L., R.M. Gregg, V. Arroyo, S. Ellsworth, L. Jackson and A. Snover. 2013. The State Adaptation in the United States: An Overview. A report for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. EcoAdapt.
 
The field of climate change adaptation is in a period of critical transition. The general concepts of adaptation have been well developed over the past decade. Now, practitioners must move from... [show full description]
The field of climate change adaptation is in a period of critical transition. The general concepts of adaptation have been well developed over the past decade. Now, practitioners must move from generalities to concrete actions, including implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. EcoAdapt strives to facilitate this transition by (1) providing real-life, practical adaptation case studies to catalyze creative thinking, and (2) synthesizing information collected through interviews and surveys to further develop the field of study and action. The intent of this report is to provide a brief overview of key climate change impacts and a review of the prevalent work occurring on climate change adaptation in the Great Lakes region, especially focusing on activities in the natural and built environments as they relate to freshwater resources (and in some cases, at the freshwater/terrestrial interface). This report presents the results of EcoAdapt’s efforts to survey, inventory, and, where possible, assess adaptation activities in the Great Lakes.
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Document Citation: Gregg, R. M., K. M. Feifel, J. M. Kershner, and J. L. Hitt. 2012. The State of Climate Change Adaptation in the Great Lakes Region. EcoAdapt, Bainbridge Island, WA.
 
Climate change is now widely acknowledged as a global problem that threatens the success of marine and coastal conservation, management, and policy. Mitigation and adaptation are the two approaches... [show full description]
Climate change is now widely acknowledged as a global problem that threatens the success of marine and coastal conservation, management, and policy. Mitigation and adaptation are the two approaches commonly used to address actual and projected climate change impacts. Mitigation applies to efforts to decrease the rate and extent of climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or the enhancement of carbon uptake and storage; adaptation deals with minimizing the negative effects or exploiting potential opportunities of climate change. Because the benefits of mitigation are not immediate and because we are already committed to a certain amount of climate change, adaptation has been increasingly viewed as an essential component of an effective climate change response strategy. The field of adaptation is developing rapidly but in an ad hoc fashion, and organizations and governments are often challenged to make sense of the dispersed information that is available. The intent of this report is to provide a brief overview of key climate change impacts on the natural and built environments in marine and coastal North America and a review of adaptation options available to and in use by marine and coastal managers. This report presents the results of EcoAdapt’s efforts to survey, inventory, and assess adaptation projects from different regions, jurisdictions, and scales throughout North America’s marine and coastal environments.
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Document Citation: Gregg, R.M., L.J. Hansen, K.M. Feifel, J.L. Hitt, J.M. Kershner, A. Score, and J.R. Hoffman. 2011. The State of Marine and Coastal Adaptation in North America: A Synthesis of Emerging Ideas. EcoAdapt, Bainbridge Island, WA.
 
The Adaptation for Conservation Targets (ACT) framework is designed to motivate collaborative, scientifically defensible planning and decision-making for specific landscapes or seascapes by a... [show full description]
The Adaptation for Conservation Targets (ACT) framework is designed to motivate collaborative, scientifically defensible planning and decision-making for specific landscapes or seascapes by a multidisciplinary group of practitioners. Participants with extensive, local expertise and a mandate to make management decisions are essential for the process to be effective. The framework is a simple yet structured approach that builds familiar elements of natural resource planning (e.g., local knowledge, conceptual modeling, and adaptive management) into a process tailored for addressing climate change. As natural resource management agencies and conservation organizations seek guidance on responding to climate change, myriad potential actions and strategies have been proposed for increasing the long-term viability of some attributes of natural systems. Managers need practical tools for selecting among these actions and strategies to develop a tailored management approach for specific targets at a given location. We developed and present one such tool, the participatory ACT framework, which considers the effects of climate change in the development of management actions for particular species, ecosystems and ecological functions. Our framework is based on the premise that effective adaptation of management to climate change can rely on local knowledge of an ecosystem and does not necessarily require detailed projections of climate change or its effects. We illustrate the ACT framework by applying it to an ecological function in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, USA)—water flows in the upper Yellowstone River. We suggest that the ACT framework is a practical tool for initiating adaptation planning, and for generating and communicating specific management interventions given an increasingly altered, yet uncertain, climate.
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Document Citation: Cross, M.S., E.S. Zavaleta, D. Bachelet, M.L. Brooks, C.A.F. Enquist, E. Fleishman, L. J. Graumlich, C.R. Groves, L. Hannah, L. Hansen, G. Hayward, M. Koopman, J.J. Lawler, J. Malcolm, J. Nordgren, B. Petersen, E. L. Rowland, D. Scott, S.L. Shafer , M.R. Shaw, G.M. Tabor. 2012. The Adaptation for Conservation Targets (ACT) Framework: A Tool for Incorporating Climate Change into Natural Resource Management. Environmental Management (2012) 50:341–351