In August 2012, the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center (GLISA) awarded six one-year grants of up to $50,000 each to organizations that will work with GLISA to address the risks of climate change and variability in the Great Lakes basin.

GLISA specifically solicited projects from boundary organizations that interact directly with decision and policy makers in the region. A “boundary organization” intentionally straddles the worlds of scientific research and policy making or practice.

GLISA researchers and staff will provide technical assistance to the funded teams to identify and promote understanding of the potential impacts, vulnerabilities, and potential for adaptation to climate change and variability. Social scientists will focus on interactions with stakeholders and how they make use of climate information. GLISA will support these activities by identifying and providing relevant information about the historical climate, projected futures, and their potential impacts.

Project Descriptions

Project Title: How Sensitive Are Agricultural Best Management Practices and Models to Climate Change? Framing Key Issues and Uncertainties with Expert Opinion
Lead Investigator: Dr. Kimberly Hall, Nature Conservancy
Synopsis: Conservation practices in the watersheds in the Great Lakes region focus on connecting agricultural and ecological systems together through best management practices (BMPs)to reduce environmental stress and affect policy changes. This project will study and assess the vulnerabilities of BMPs related to climate change to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of agriculturally focused conservation practices in the Great Lakes basin.
 
Project Title: Development of an Indicator Suite and Winter Adaptation Measures for the Chicago Climate Action Plan
Lead Investigator: Martin Jaffe, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
Synopsis: This project will formulate climate change indicators for local officials and planners to assist in more effective and efficient winter climate change adaptation decisions. This project will complement the strategies in the Chicago Climate Action Plan.
 
Project Title: Adapting to Climate Change and Variability: Planning Tools for Michigan Communities
Lead Investigator: Claire Layman, Michigan State University Extension
Synopsis: Climatologists predict that the American Midwest will be warmer and wetter with increased temperature variation and heavier precipitation events. This project will collaborate with two Michigan communities to determine vulnerabilities, strengths, and knowledge related to climate change to be resilient in the future by incorporating adaptation strategies into local land use master plans.
 
Project Title: Assessing and Communicating Risks from Climate Variability for the Michigan Tart Cherry Industry
Lead Investigator: Dr. Nikki Rothwell, Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Station
Synopsis: This project will compile weather and climate information to provide the cherry industry with reliable adaptation resources and strategies. Research results will help the industry make choices concerning risk mitigation and resource appropriation, as well as foster an understanding of climate variability and extreme weather events.
 
Project Title: Climate Information to Support Vulnerability and Risk Assessment for the Great Lakes Basin Municipalities
Lead Investigator: Chandra Sharma, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
Synopsis: This project will pilot a method to create access to credible, locally-relevant climate data for several communities related to Lake Ontario in the Region of Peel, one of the most populous and urbanized areas of the Canadian Great Lakes basin. TRCA will recommend specific strategies and practices relevant to the regions studies.
 
Project Title: Making Climate-Resilient Communities Through a Watershed Approach
Lead Investigator: The Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC)
Synopsis: Current efforts to create climate-resilient communities within the watershed involve understanding various climate scenarios, identifying best management practices, and analyzing case studies on adaptation strategies. The HRWC will focus on outreach and implementation strategies. This project will build on the tools created to broaden the geographic participation of the watershed, support participants with priority tools and strategies, and conduct an in-depth case study to develop adaptive capacity in the basin.