Vulnerability Assessments in Support of the Climate Ready Estuaries Program: A Novel Approach Using Expert Judgement, Volume II: Results for the Massachusetts Bays Program (External Review Draft)
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Estuarine ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climate-related changes in precipitation, hydrology, and sea level rise. As part of the CRE pilot program, GCRP collaborated with the Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) and the San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP) on ecological vulnerability assessments based on an expert elicitation exercise in a workshop setting. The results will be published as a series, with Volume II presenting the results for MBP and Volume I presenting the results for SFEP. For this project, an exercise was designed to elicit judgments from experts regarding climate change effects on two ecosystem processes for each pilot assessment: sediment retention and community interactions. The exercise is based on a novel application of expert elicitation (a process for obtaining the judgments of groups of experts to characterize their collective knowledge about ecological questions of interest). It was implemented during a two-day workshop using groups of seven expert participants for each ecosystem process examined.
During the workshop, the experts developed ecosystem models and used a coding scheme to characterize (1) relationships among key physical and ecological variables that regulate ecosystem processes, (2) relative sensitivities of these relationships under current and future climate change scenarios, (3) degree of confidence about these relationships, and (4) implications for management. This report shows how climate-sensitive pathways can be identified and linked to management options for adaptation to climate change. Adaptation refers to the ways in which management actions can be modified to reduce the negative impacts of climate change. The results of this study are designed to support MBP’s adaptation planning efforts as well as those of other estuary managers.
Volume I for the San Francisco Estuary Partnership will be reviewed, revised and published concurrently.
A third volume, Lessons Learned, will be developed subsequent to publication of the first two volumes. This Volume III will compare the results of the two parallel assessments, explore synthetic conclusions, analyze the utility of the methodology for future use, and discuss potential improvements.
|Oct 2008||Stakeholder “kickoff” workshop, Boston|
|Apr 2010||Expert elicitation workshop, Boston|
|Feb 2011||Internal Review Draft for MBP report completed and submitted for internal peer review|
|Sep 2011||External Review Draft MBP report released for 30 day public comment and external peer review|
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