These Lands is a quarterly podcast of the Northwest Climate Hub focused on creative and engaging delivery of regionally relevant climate change adaptation information. We dig into pressing regional climate adaptation issues and highlight useful resources, tools, and science. Whether you are a manager, farmer, rancher, forester, or just curious, this is a podcast for you!
Episodes are produced and edited by Paris Edwards, with contributions from Northwest Climate Hub staff and the Agriculture Climate Network Editorial Board. If you have an idea for a topic that you think we should cover, send it to Paris.Edwards@usda.gov. We welcome your feedback and input!
An Epic Quest: Understanding Climate Change Vulnerability in Western Forests
Over a dozen formal assessments of climate change vulnerability for western national forests and surrounding lands are complete, a result of herculean collaboration between managers and scientists. We interviewed three of the pioneering coordinators to tell us how the vulnerability studies unfolded, the intentions behind their development, and what is being done to improve their utility for users on the ground.
Episode One: A Solid FoundationTranscript for episode 1.
Hear all about how vulnerability assessments can and are being used to inform future management of national forest lands. Dr. Jessica Halofsky talks to us about the many ways managers are playing an active role in informing vulnerability assessments and developing the very adaptation strategies they may use in response.
Dr. Halofsky is Director of the Northwest Climate Hub and the Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center (WWETAC). She has played a key coordinating role with Adaptation Partners in the development of over a dozen vulnerability assessments across the western U.S., and has more than ten years of experience in climate change science and applications. Jessica is a research ecologist with interests in fire and disturbance ecology, vegetation dynamics, and climate change impacts and adaptation.
Episode Two: The Secret SauceTranscript for episode 2.
Dr. Dave Peterson talks to us about the critical role of building relationships and trust between scientists and managers. We discuss the tried and true processes around sharing climate-related concerns and adaptation strategies, and increasing knowledge about climate change risks within and between organizations. The result gets us closer to establishing lasting benefits of the vulnerability assessment process, according to Dave.
Dr. Peterson is a Professor of Forest Biology in the University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, and a Senior Research Biologist (emeritus) with the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. Through his work with Adaptation Partners, Dave has helped to coordinate over a dozen climate change vulnerability assessments. In addition, he has published over 230 scientific articles and four books on climate change and fire science relevant to the West.
Episode Three: Bringing it HomeTranscript for episode 3.
We speak with Dr. Thomas Timberlake about the strategies he is developing to help managers make use of vulnerability studies. We discuss helpful and creative ways that information of interest can be easily identified and put to work in the required national forest planning process and other applications.
Dr. Timberlake works in the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Regional Office where he manages partnerships with municipal water providers focused on reducing wildfire risk. During his 2020 Presidential Management Fellowship rotation with the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Thomas developed tools to help managers use climate change vulnerability assessments in forest planning and management decisions. Thomas is a social scientist who focuses on climate change adaptation research, managing and planning for resilient ecosystems, and vulnerability assessments in the Forest Service.
- Access all of the published climate change vulnerability studies conducted with Adaptation Partners. Once at the Adaptation Partnership website, then click on the map to see specific projects, or click on the "projects" tab (at the top of the screen) for a comprehensive list.
- Visit the Northwest Climate Hub website for more information about climate change adaptation.
- A Northwest Climate Hub webpage dedicated to regional vulnerability studies.