UA Leads Binational Climate Change Study
The public is welcome to attend the initial presentations of findings marking the beginning of a two-year study into vulnerability, adaptation and resilience to climate change in the Southwest U.S. and Northwest Mexico regions.

By Rebecca Ruiz-McGill, University Communications
Oct. 13, 2011

Plans to address vulnerability, adaptation and resilience to climate change – including the management of drought and water demands – begin on Oct. 14 with the launch of a University of Arizona-led binational project. 

From 8:30-11 a.m., research team members from the UA and Mexico will present findings marking the beginning of a two-year interdisciplinary assessment of adaptation strategies in the Southwest U.S. and Northwest Mexico.

The presentations will take place at the Institute of the Environment in the Marshall Building, 845 N. Park Ave., Room 531.  

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, a federal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere, has funded the UA and its partners through its Climate and Societal Interactions Program. The project is headquartered at the UA's Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy.

Margaret Wilder is the principal investigator of the project, and on Friday she will bring together the research team to share assessments, innovations and an overview of the NOAA Climate-Societal Interactions Program's research objectives.

The Climate and Societal Interactions Program provides leadership and support for research, assessments and climate services development activities designed to bring sound, interdisciplinary science to bear on climate-sensitive resource management and adaptation challenges in key sectors and regions.

Wilder is an associate professor of Latin American studies and in the School of Geography and Development and an associate research professor of environmental policy with the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy.

The multidisciplinary team includes researchers from the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, geosciences, geography and development, agricultural economics, ecology, and the Climate Assessment for the Southwest, or CLIMAS, with biologists, hydrologists and public policy experts from Mexican institutions.

Wilder said the project will focus on building the adaptive capacity for water management in the transboundary region, understanding the role of climate information within governance networks, developing innovations in communicating climate science, and piloting development of a set of best metrics for assessing adaptive capacity in arid and border regions.

The NOAA Climate-Societal Interactions Project over its two-year period will examine adaption questions using interactive stakeholder workshops, online surveys, semi-structured interviews, webinars and annual scientist-stake-holder symposia.

The study sites include Tucson, Ambos Nogales, Hermosillo and the delta/upper Gulf of California.

Wilder said that assessments of the state of adaptation in the region suggest that there are a lack of studies that show how adaptation is actually being delivered and what the barriers to effective delivery are.

"We propose to address this gap both theoretically and methodologically in the Arizona-Sonora region of the U.S.-Mexico border."

Extra info


NOAA Cimate-Societal Interactions Project Launch


Institute of the Environment, Marshall Building, 845 N. Park Ave., Room 531


Friday, Oct. 14, 8:30-11 a.m.