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What Drives Learning and Action in Place-Based Adaptation Workshops?
With funding from the National Science Foundation, EcoAdapt and Virginia Tech are working to identify adaptation workshop “best practices” that support effective learning and catalyze post-workshop action to create resilient communities. The 5-year project includes a Delphi study, retrospective survey, and community climate adaptation workshops, which are described below.  

Delphi Study + Retrospective Survey
Delphi studies generate an understanding of expert opinions about a particular subject – in this case, we conducted a Delphi study with over twenty adaptation workshop facilitators from across the United States to identify their beliefs about the most critical components of successful workshops. Specifically, what do these experts think are the most effective workshop practices for improving understanding about climate changes and impacts and catalyzing post-workshop implementation of adaptation actions? The final Delphi report has been published and is available here.
 
We are now conducting retrospective surveys of participants from prior adaptation workshops to explore outcomes and the workshop practices participants think were  most responsible for those outcomes. The intent of the retrospective survey is to determine the extent to which prior workshop participants’ perspectives line up with effective practices identified by facilitators.
 
Community Workshops
We are partnering with eight communities across the United States to undertake stakeholder-driven climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning workshops. The communities participating in this project strike a balance between urban and rural, those that have experienced recent climate events (e.g., wildfires, flooding) and those that have not, and those that have an adaptation mandate and those that do not.
 
Each community workshop will build local capacity for climate change adaptation, improve understanding about local climate change vulnerabilities, and develop implementable adaptation responses. The purpose of the workshops is to test the effective practices identified in the Delphi study and retrospective survey to more fully understand how learning takes place and collective action develops. Specifically, how do different workshop components influence participants’ learning and their subsequent efforts toward implementation of adaptation actions? Following the workshop, each community will receive a climate vulnerability and adaptation synthesis report that summarizes the climate data, vulnerability assessment results, and adaptation solutions.

Community Workshop Support Pages
  1. Santa Rosa, CA (January 19th, 21st, and 27th, 2021)
  2. Johnson County, IA (March 23rd, 30th, and April 6th, 2021)


For more information about the project, contact Lara Hansen.
 
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1811534. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.