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Charleston, United States

Webler T.,Social and Environmental Research Institute | Tuler S.,Social and Environmental Research Institute | Dow K.,University of South Carolina | Whitehead J.,South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium | Kettle N.,University of South Carolina
Local Environment | Year: 2016

In the midst of rapidly proliferating engagement efforts around climate adaptation, attention to the design and evaluation of decision support processes and products is warranted. We report on the development and evaluation of a process framework called the Vulnerability, Consequences, and Adaptation Planning Scenarios (VCAPS) process. VCAPS is a systematic approach to integrate local knowledge with scientific understanding by providing opportunities for facilitated, deliberative learning-based activities with local decision makers about climate change vulnerability and adaptation. We introduce the conceptual basis of the process in analytic-deliberation, hazard management, and vulnerability. Our evaluations from eight coastal communities where the approach was applied point to four assets of VCAPS: it promotes synthesis of local and scientific knowledge; it stimulates systems thinking and learning; it facilitates governance by producing action plans with transparent justifications; and it accommodates participant time constraints and preferences. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Simoniello C.,Institute for Marine Mammal Studies | Spence L.,South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium | McDonnell J.,COSEE Networked Ocean World
Marine Technology Society Journal | Year: 2010

The National Federation of Regional Associations for Coastal and Ocean Observing (NFRA) is the organization charged with building the regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®). Because IOOS is a user-driven system, understanding the needs of regional stakeholders is fundamental to its success. The job of promoting awareness and use of IOOS data largely falls to the regional education and outreach coordinators, at least for those Regional Associations (RAs) fortunate enough to have one. This article is designed (1) to describe how the NFRA Education and Outreach Committee originated, (2) to provide suggestions to create a strategic approach to the evaluation of IOOS education and outreach products and programs, and (3) to describe the "lessons learned" from the many collaborations. A case study related to the Transocean Ltd.-owned/British Petroleum-leased Deepwater Horizon oil spill is described to demonstrate the societal value of RAs and their ability to serve as rapid responders during crisis events.

Petes L.E.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Howard J.F.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Helmuth B.S.,Northeastern University | Fly E.K.,South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium | Fly E.K.,University of South Carolina
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2014

The pace of environmental change lends urgency to the need for integration of climate considerations into ocean policy and management. A recent rapid expansion of ocean and climate policies provides a timely window of opportunity for the scientific community to inform and support these efforts. Lessons can be learned from successful initiatives, where scientists are working hand-in-hand with decision makers and managers to enhance ocean resilience. Looking ahead, the most pressing decision-needs associated with oceans and climate change should serve to prioritize and drive scientific efforts. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Fly E.K.,South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium | Fly E.K.,University of South Carolina | Hilbish T.J.,University of South Carolina | Wethey D.S.,University of South Carolina | And 2 more authors.
American Malacological Bulletin | Year: 2014

To understand how ecological communities may respond to climate change we have adopted the approach of determining the response of major ecosystem engineers that determine community composition and function. We utilize two approaches, correlative and mechanistic, to understand the current and future distributions of the marine mussels Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758 and M. galloprovincialis Lamarck, 1819 in Europe. Both are dominant space-occupying species that control biodiversity in many coastal ecosystems and are the basis of the largest aquaculture production in Europe. A mechanistic analysis of physiological energetic response to temperature of the two species indicates that M. edulis cannot sustain a positive energy balance for sustained periods when sea surface temperature (SST) is greater than 23 °C, while M. galloprovincialis can maintain a positive energy balance at SST up to 30 °C. There is no difference in energetic response of the two species at cold temperatures (5-10 °C). The upper temperature threshold of positive energy balance in each species corresponds closely to the distribution of SST at their respective southern range limits in Europe. Alternatively, the northern range limit of M. galloprovincialis coincides with areas where winter SST is less than 9 °C, but there is no evidence of an energetic limit to this species at the cold end of its geographic range. Presently there is no mechanistic explanation for the difference between species in their northern range limits; however, as indicated by Random Forest modeling, M. galloprovincialis appears to be limited by cold temperatures during winter, suggesting the hypothesis of failure in reproductive development. These approaches allow for the ability to forecast changes in the distributions of these two species in Europe as SST continues to increase.

Blair A.,Coastal and Ocean Sciences Inc. | Sanger D.,South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium | White D.,Clemson University | Holland A.F.,1906 Long Creek Road | And 3 more authors.
Hydrological Processes | Year: 2014

We developed the Stormwater Runoff Modeling System (SWARM) based on curve number and unit hydrograph methods of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. SWARM models single events, targets watersheds fitting easily within hydrologic units with 12-digit codes, and has been calibrated for low-gradient topography of the Southeast coastal plain. We established protocols; made changes related to peak rate factors, travel time formulas, curve numbers, and the initial abstraction ratio; and then tested the output with multi-site validation using U.S. Geological Survey measurements of discharge and rainfall. Validation results from both undeveloped and developed watersheds support the robustness of our system in quantifying and simulating runoff: rainfall to runoff differences between measured and simulated volumes ranged from 3 to 11%; r2 for hydrograph curves ranged from 0.82 to 0.98. SWARM can be a useful tool for scientific research and for coastal resource management and decision making in the Southeast coastal plain specifically and also may be applied to other areas by recalibrating parameters and modifying calculation templates. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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