This factsheet provides an overview of a project focusing on the development and dissemination of communications products based on a recently conducted national synthesis of NERR Sentinel Site data. This synthesis applied indices of resilience to sea level rise to marshes in 16 National Estuarine Research Reserves across the United States to assess regional and national patterns in resilience. Initial results reveal strong contrasts for individual metrics across reserves, with many marshes receiving intermediate scores and a few sites at very high risk. This work not only represents the first national assessment of marsh resilience to sea level rise but also the first development and application of multi-metric indices.
Through this project, results will be transferred to a variety of end users and products and activities will be developed with end user feedback. Products include a publication in a high impact scientific journal, a short user-friendly summary of this publication, well-designed PowerPoint presentations for a variety of audiences, and a “do it yourself” tool so others can apply the novel marsh assessment approach to additional marshes.
Keywords: marsh resilience, sea level rise, National Estuarine Research Reserve System, multi-metric indices, University of Michigan Water Center
Climate change is having an impact on salt marshes in the southeastern United States through sea level rise, increases in air and water temperature, changes in precipitation patterns, and an increase in storm event intensity. However, the degree and intensity of these impacts vary from marsh to marsh, depending on local environmental conditions. Understanding this local variability is critical when making management decisions. Estuarine reserves in North and South Carolina are seeking to improve local understanding of climate change effects on southeastern marshes, and provide decision makers with the information and skills they need to address these vulnerabilities, by using the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Coastal Habitats, or CCVATCH. Created to help managers better understand the specific vulnerabilities of a habitat to climate change, this decision-support tool incorporates existing information on climate change impacts with knowledge of local conditions to help users develop vulnerability scores for specific areas.
For this project, North Carolina Reserve staff members will be fully trained in the application of the tool and facilitation of the assessment process by their colleagues from the North Inlet-Winyah Bay Reserve. The two reserves will work together to identify relevant resources and existing research needs and develop outreach products and activities.
Keywords: Climate change, marsh, Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Coastal Habitats
Vila Santa Marta is a community in São Leopoldo, Brazil, which faces a number of socio-environmental challenges. This factsheet provides an overview of these challenges, including trash build up in public spaces, difficulties with waste management infrastructure, inadequate water, and sewage systems that can lead to flooding, and deteriorating road infrastructure. The local government employs a municipal budgeting strategy that provides the public with the opportunity to decide how to allocate resources and determine the city’s public budget allocation for specific initiatives and capital improvements. However, issues of poor communication have historically led to limited involvement of Santa Marta residents in the participatory budgeting process.
Keywords: Dow Sustainability Fellows Program, Vila Santa Marta, São Leopoldo, Brazil, socio-environmental challenges, infrastructure participatory decision-making, global impact series
Along with all other schools, colleges, centers and institutes, the Graham Institute contributed to the campus-wide U-M Strategic Plan on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This document is a summary of the full plan. See the summary, and the full plan: http://graham.umich.edu/diversity
The Graham Institute will increase and focus our efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion, through sustainability education and scholarship, daily interactions with faculty, students and staff, communications and marketing, opportunities for employment at the Graham Institute and funding opportunities for students and faculty. Across Graham Institute programs, diverse stakeholder perspectives are embedded throughout the process of engaging with and across many cultural, disciplinary, and sectoral boundaries.
Keywords: Diversity, equity, inclusion
The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a spatially referenced watershed model used to simulate the impacts of land use, land management, and climate on water quantity and quality. This graphic illustrates the general processes associated with developing and applying SWAT models. Learn more: SWAT FAQ
SWAT was developed by researchers within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA, ARS) in the mid-1990s, and the model has undergone continual review and expansion since it was first developed. As a result, the model is extremely well-documented in a detailed user manual and contains over 1000 peer-reviewed journal articles that describe applications and enhancements. This physical model uses mathematical equations to represent watershed processes such as hydrology, soil erosion, crop growth, and nutrient cycling on the land and in the stream network on a daily time scale. SWAT is spatially-referenced to a specific watershed or sub-watershed. Within the model, the smallest spatial units are the hydrologic response units (HRUs) which generally have uniform soil type, land use, and slopes.
Keywords: Soil and Water Assessment Tool, land use, land management, climate, water quantity and quality, model, U-M Water Center
This graphic illustrates how remote sensing, paired with field surveys, fits into the adaptive management cycle required for the treatment and control of the invasive wetland plant Phragmites. These techniques were applied in Saginaw Bay and Green Bay. Remote sensing offers managers a “bird’s eye” view, and enables a more complete understanding of the extent of invasion, assessment of control efforts, and supports strategic decisions about where to focus limited resources within a site and across a larger landscape.
See project summary: http://graham.umich.edu/activity/25248
Keywords: Infographic, Laura Bourgeau-Chavez, Phragmites Management, Invasive Species, wetland plant, University of Michigan Water Center
Following removal of the Wayne Road Dam on the Rouge River, researchers documented significant upstream expansion of the invasive round goby. The Wayne County Parks department, in partnership with Friends of the Rouge, is using this graphic as educational signage at public access points in Wayne County Parks. Using round goby as fishing bait is an issue of concern in these areas. See project summary: http://graham.umich.edu/activity/25123
Keywords: invasive species, round goby, Rouge River, fish, Great Lakes, infographic, University of Michigan Water Center
The Watershed graphic, part of a suite of graphics and a video, illustrates the magnitude of phosphorus and sediment input to Green Bay from the predominantly agricultural Fox River watershed. The graphics may be used separately or as a group.
See project summary: http://graham.umich.edu/activity/25121
See video (Green Bay Ecosystem Modeling): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkpBjHvzRryrXo2uj3j3BHoTFtgpJjvjz
Keywords: Infographic, Green Bay, Great Lakes restoration, watershed, Wisconsin, University of Michigan Water Center
Saginaw Bay is a highly valued yet highly stressed system. To help ensure the right conservation practices are applied to the right places, in the right amount, and as efficiently as possible, the project team developed an innovative tool, known as the Saginaw Bay Optimization Model. This video describes how the Optimization Model produces solutions for implementing agricultural best management practices in the watershed.
See project summary: http://graham.umich.edu/activity/25115
Keywords: University of Michigan Water Center, Saginaw Bay Watershed, conservation practices, optmization model, agricultural best management practices
This video depicts and describes the Benefits of Collaborative Research. U-M Water Center-supported research team use a unique approach to developing research outputs that address real-world resource management and policy decisions. A collaborative research approach requires a clearly articulated and demonstrated policy or management need, and the integration of users of the research throughout the project development and research phases.
Keywords: University of Michigan Water Center, collaborative research, water science, water resource management and policy, co-production, science communications