2019 GLISA Small Grant: Applying Climate Information to Build Resilience: Translating Technical Results into Practical Tools for Community Decision Makers

Project Summary

Climate impacts are already occurring across the Great Lakes, and it is expected that these impacts will continue and become increasingly variable and extreme as we move into the future. Communities and watershed management agencies in Ontario, such as Conservation Authorities, are increasingly expected to address climate change at the local scale and need to integrate the best available climate data into their research, planning, and decision making to build resilience. This project began in April 2020 and aims to mobilize regional climate projections that were developed in 2019 to undertake four training sessions across the Region of Durham with stakeholders, including municipal and conservation authority planners, engineers, GIS experts, and other technical staff. More specifically, training materials will be produced along with key messages relating to climate data and future projections around how they can be applied to research, planning, and decision making related to natural environment projects. These types of projects could include watershed plans, running impact models to assess watershed conditions and resilience, and other municipal projects where protecting the natural environment needs to be considered.

Project Accomplishments

  • Project White Paper
  • Descriptions of local climate features, including Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe, and the Oak Ridges Moraine;
  • Suite of key messages related to climate data and its application to human health and the natural environment;
  • Suite of 4 training modules; (a) presentations, (b) handouts, (c) further reading sources, (d) potential applications for climate change adaptation and resilience, (e) webinar recordings;
  • Infographic that illustrates how climate projections can be translated and/or applied for practical applications (to be scoped based on priority direction and policy);
  • Scenario planning workshop with staff and relevant stakeholders on climate change and human health.

Research findings

Anticipated project outcomes include: (1) improved understanding and the “mainstreaming” of climate data for use in natural environment-related applications; (2) use of consistent climate data and messaging around climate projections; and (3) improved awareness and availability of visuals and materials for practitioners on how to use climate data.

GLISA Contribution

GLISA funded this 2019 small grant project and is partnering with the grantee to review and edit project outputs.

Project Partners

  • Durham Region
  • Ontario Climate Consortium
  • Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

GLISA Contact

Jenna Jorns, GLISA Co-Director, jljorns@umich.edu