Mission

The CAP/RISA Program

GLISA is one of 12 Climate Adaptation Partnerships (CAP, formerly known as RISA) supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Program Office that focus on advancing equitable adaptation through sustained regional research and community engagement.

The NOAA CAP program is an applied research and engagement program that expands society’s regional capacity to adapt to climate impacts in the U.S. The CAP/RISA program supports sustained, collaborative relationships that help communities build lasting and equitable climate resilience. Funded by 5-year cooperative agreements with NOAA, the work is accomplished by teams of research institutions, nonprofit organizations, and state/local/Tribal governments in multi-state regions. CAP/RISA teams engage in a variety of applied and co-developed research and engagement with communities. A central tenet of the CAP/RISA program is that learning about climate adaptation and resilience is facilitated by and sustained across a wide range of experts, practitioners, and the public. Learning about and doing adaptation happens within social contexts. As such, the CAP/RISA program supports networks of people working together to plan for and adjust to change using science and local knowledge.

Started in 1995, early decades of the program focused on understanding the use of climate information at regional scales (e.g., through experimental seasonal outlooks), improving predictions and scenarios, building capacity for drought early warning, and advancing the science of climate impact assessments. Much of this work is now the focus of other federal programs. More recently, emphasis has shifted to address the growing urgency to advance approaches that tackle the complex societal issues surrounding adaptation planning, implementation, and building community resilience that incorporate the intersection of multiple natural hazards and social stressors. To do so, CAP/RISA continues to prioritize and fund collaborative approaches that incorporate multiple knowledge sources and integrate social, physical, and natural science, resulting in long-term support of and increased capacity for communities. In addition, CAP/RISA supports cutting-edge social science on the impacts of climate change on communities, challenges and opportunities for adaptation, and inclusive methods of engagement. As the adaptation community in the United States advances and evolves, CAP/RISA seeks to support new creative, solution-oriented approaches that are both responsive to communities and that integrate across silos of scientific knowledge and expertise.

*GLISA’s original name stood for the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments to align with the federal RISA program title. In 2022, Congress directed NOAA to change the name of the federal RISA program to the Climate Adaptation Partnerships (CAP) program to better describe the work now conducted by its regional teams since the program’s inception in the 1990s. During this transition period, we are referring to ourselves as ‘GLISA, the Great Lakes CAP/RISA team,’ moving away from the RISA-affiliated name. “Climate” acknowledges the program’s focus on long-term change and variability. “Adaptation” encompasses approaches to reduce negative impacts of climate change and maximize emerging opportunities. “Partnerships” refers to the web of collaborative relationships between researchers and community decision makers within the regions. It also refers to the larger connections among regional teams that support the peer-to-peer learning that builds local capacity and expertise for national impact. To learn more about the CAP/RISA network, visit NOAA’s webpage.

Learn more about the NOAA CAP/RISA teams in the RISA 1-pager.

See NOAA’s 1-pager on GLISA’s role within the CAP/RISA program or example projects on city infrastructure and natural resources in Michigan and Wisconsin, respectively.

GLISA History

GLISA was established in 2010 as a collaboration between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. As the NOAA CAP/RISA for the Great Lakes region, GLISA serves Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the United States, and the Province of Ontario in Canada. 

In GLISA Phase I (2010-2015), GLISA used two adaptive approaches to achieve its goals that combine the expertise of both social and physical scientists. First, through a grants competition, GLISA developed a flexible research program committed to annually soliciting, reviewing, and selecting proposals for both creating usable science and bridging/brokering this science to regional users. Second, GLISA tailored, customized, and curated climatologies and climate projections from multiple sources in response to the needs of scientists, stakeholders, and Tribal partners in the region. This adaptive model expanded the breadth and depth of GLISA’s work while building a reputation of responsiveness and trust among the region’s stakeholders and organizations.  

In Phase II (2016-2021), GLISA continued this approach to expand our breadth and depth in the region by investing a substantial portion of our core funding in engagement and co-production of usable information and focusing on cities, Tribes, and agriculture. We systematically applied to outside grants to expand our research and impact, formed a Science Advisory Committee and Practitioner Working Group to serve our Great Lakes Ensemble project, and added Co-PI Michael Notaro at the University of Wisconsin as a formal partner.

Agriculture

GLISA Phase I Report

Managing Climate Change and Variability Risks in the Great Lakes Region (2010-2016)

Our Region

The Great Lakes (GL) region represents a unique socio-ecological system shaped by abundant water resources and diverse ecosystems across eight US states and two Canadian provinces. The Great Lakes link, define, and shape a complex, cross-scale region with 10,000 miles of shoreline, 84% of North America’s non-frozen freshwater, and important economies in shipping, power production, manufacturing, drinking water, and recreation.1 In recent decades, the region has been increasingly influenced by multiple and overlapping stressors — including climate impacts that have negatively affected GL communities and ecosystems and may further threaten the region’s long-term sustainability and social equity. Climate change and impacts are already affecting at-risk communities in the GL region, such as farmers, tribes, the elderly, low-income urban, rural, and coastal communities, and businesses.2

The Midwest is the US region with the largest expected damages to infrastructure due to climate change.3 Increasing extreme precipitation events are already overwhelming stormwater systems, disrupting transportation networks, and causing damage to infrastructure and property.4 A US EPA report estimates that even after considering the benefits of milder winters, higher temperatures associated with unmitigated climate change would result in approximately $6B/year in added road maintenance costs and over $1B in impacts to rail transportation by 2090.5 Extreme heat, causing hardships to the most vulnerable such as the elderly and low-income populations, is projected to result in losses in labor and associated revenue of up to $9.8B/year in 2050.6 However, investing in preparedness and adaptation avoids between $4 and $11 of damage for every $1 invested, depending on the hazard.7

GLISA Team

GLISA’s team of social and physical scientists is composed of faculty, staff, researchers, and students at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and the University of Wisconsin. Here some of the team poses for a photo after hosting a successful 2018 Great Lakes Adaptation Forum.

References

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  1. Rau, Emily, Catherine Riseng, Lynn Vaccaro, and Jennifer G. Read. “The Dynamic Great Lakes Employment Trends from 2009 to 2018.” October 2020. https://www.michiganseagrant.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/MICHU-20-203-Great-Lakes-Jobs-Report.pdf.
  2. Angel, James R., Chris Swanson, Barbara Mayes Boustead, Kathryn Conlon, Kimberly R. Hall, Jenna L. Jorns, Kenneth E. Kunkel, et al. “Chapter 21: Midwest.” In Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II. U.S. Global Change Research Program, (2018): 872–940. https://doi.org/10.7930/nca4.2018.ch21.
  3. United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research & Development. “Multi-Model Framework for Quantitative Sectoral Impacts Analysis: A Technical Report for the Fourth National Climate Assessment.” 2017. Accessed February 5, 2021. https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_Report.cfm?Lab=OAP&dirEntryId=335095.
  4. Angel, James R., Chris Swanson, Barbara Mayes Boustead, Kathryn Conlon, Kimberly R. Hall, Jenna L. Jorns, Kenneth E. Kunkel, et al. “Chapter 21: Midwest.” In Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: The Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II. U.S. Global Change Research Program, (2018): 872–940. https://doi.org/10.7930/nca4.2018.ch21.
  5. United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research & Development. “Multi-Model Framework for Quantitative Sectoral Impacts Analysis: A Technical Report for the Fourth National Climate Assessment.” 2017. Accessed February 5, 2021. https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_Report.cfm?Lab=OAP&dirEntryId=335095.
  6. United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research & Development. “Multi-Model Framework for Quantitative Sectoral Impacts Analysis: A Technical Report for the Fourth National Climate Assessment.” 2017. Accessed February 5, 2021. https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_Report.cfm?Lab=OAP&dirEntryId=335095.
  7. National Institute of Building Sciences. “National Institute of Building Sciences Issues New Report on the Value of Mitigation.” Accessed February 5, 2021. https://www.nibs.org/news/381874/National-Institute-of-Building-Sciences-Issues-New-Report-on-the-Value-of-Mitigation.htm.