2019 GLISA Small Grant: Climate Change Opportunities Phase I: Creating Two Methodologies for Anticipating Growth in the Great Lakes Region

Funded by 2019 GLISA Small Grants Competition


Project Summary

Working together with leading practitioners and researchers from the City of Ann Arbor (MI), the National League of Cities, and Florida State University, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals are coordinating a two-year project developing two methodologies for anticipating future economic growth in the Great Lakes region. Additionally, the proposed year 2 activities will provide an opportunity to pilot the developed methodologies with two communities from the Great Lakes region. To design usable and useful methodologies, the project will include a mixed approach of traditional research, focus group meetings, and data analysis. Key project outputs will include: 1) a usable methodology to assess patterns of growth in three industries (tourism, real estate, and agriculture); and, 2) a rigorous and replicable methodology for projecting climate-related migration that municipalities can adopt. By building a robust project team and engaging representatives of industries and sectors from across the region, this project will ensure that leaders from businesses and municipal and state governments will have a better idea of how climate change is already influencing climate-sensitive industries. Leaders will also be prepared to collaborate on a sustained effort to develop case studies and model practices to ensure the Great Lakes region is poised for sustainable and just economic growth into the next century. This project is anticipated to catalyze additional investment and research into the topic of in-migration and regional preparedness and introduce a new narrative around climate change that focuses on potential benefits and opportunities, rather than negative impacts and risk.

Project Accomplishments (Anticipated)

  • Usable methodology to assess patterns of growth in three GL industries (tourism, real estate, and agriculture) and comparison of how those patterns are likely to be affected by climate change based on industry knowledge and available future climate information
  • Rigorous and replicable methodology for projecting climate-related migration that municipalities can adopt and integrate, along with regional climate data, into their capital, operational, and daily management decisions

Research Findings (Anticipated)

This project aims to explore a new area of demographic modeling that takes climate factors into account for migration patterns. Climate informed population models will help Great Lakes communities better plan for their futures. The methodology will be co-developed by demographers and GLISA climatologists and shared with regional stakeholders. Results are intended to be a stepping stone to more rigorous work on this topic within the Great Lakes to more heavily investigate the potential opportunities of in-migration due to climate stressors.

GLISA’s Contribution

GLISA funded this 2019 small grant project and is partnering with the grantee to provide climate model data for the demographic modeling as well as interview support to gather information on stakeholder needs.


American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), Florida State University, City of Ann Arbor

For more information about ASAP’s work on climate driven migration into the Great Lakes, please visit their website.

GLISA Contact

Kim Channell, Climatologist, kimchann@umich.edu