Informing Emergency and Risk Management Climate Knowledge in Arid Regions

Project: Research project

Project Details


Problem and Objective: Urban decision makers in Arizonas growing megapolitan area and the Southwestern United States as a whole are faced with myriad challenges related to prolonged drought and extreme heat events, increasingly common incidences of climate outcomes. Of particular concern are the direct impacts on water resources, systems and delivery and the health implications of these events and impacts. The overall objective of this project is to understand and inform the communications network(s) that local and regional emergency management decision makers use to identify and prioritize mitigation and adaptation efforts for climate-related prolonged drought and extreme heat events in the Southwestern United States. Rationale: Understanding the network(s) and decision making processes; identifying gaps in both the network(s) and the climate knowledge; and developing possible solution scenarios for overcoming those gaps will enable local and regional resource managers, city and emergency planners and public health officials to efficiently plan for, mitigate and adapt to extreme events. It will also provide local, state and federal agencies and researchers a better understanding of the processes, data and infrastructure that decision-makers use and need in addressing extreme climatic events. Summary of Work: The research team will engage local and regional resource managers, city and emergency planners, public health officials and other stakeholders in a series of focus groups, face-to-face interviews and electronic surveys to understand what hazards stakeholders are dealing with; what the climatic situation is, how it is changing, and what this means for the emergency management community; how the research community can communicate climate science and definitions, not just the data, within the context of stakeholders decision-making processes; and what tools or infrastructure stakeholders need to access climate science information and manage risk. This project uses an already tested four-step method of engaging decision makers in the emergency management community. Steps include 1) convening focus groups to establish a baseline for understanding the emergency management communitys communication network, decision making priorities, and socio-economic influences, 2) defining current practices and characterizing risk and uncertainty, 3) developing scenarios and verifying the information, and 4) validating and evaluating the information.
Effective start/end date8/1/147/31/16


  • DOC: National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): $98,443.00


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