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Publication Cover
Fact Sheet

In 2016, the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve hosted a workshop series to develop strategies for coping with coastal climate change on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. The workshops were the result of a Science Collaborative Science Transfer grant, as well as involvement in the Successful Adaptation Indicators and Metrics Science Collaborative project.

Through the workshops, scientists, agency resource planners and regulators, conservation non-profits, tribal members, and community leaders were brought together to share ideas about what a thriving Kachemak Bay community might look like, and to explore how climate and environmental changes may affect the future. Participants also identified strategies and actions needed for building more resilient communities, and linked these to local efforts to move adaptive planning forward in the area. Resource planners, regulators, NOAA scientists, and Kachemak Bay reserve staff identified the critical need for information on groundwater flows that could be used in decision making. As a result of these workshops, the Kachemak Bay Reserve identified classifying and mapping groundwater discharge and recharge areas as a top priority, contributing to reserve efforts to lead ecosystem service valuation and climate change adaptation efforts.

This project takes existing spatial data sets, modeling frameworks, and local expertise, and integrates them with new science aimed at developing a comprehensive conceptual model and validated geospatial layer that can be used to predict specific locations where groundwater discharge and recharge occur. Working collaboratively with key end users who participated in the climate adaptation project, and with additional end users identified through the Kachemak Bay Reserve’s Community Council, the project team will interpret the groundwater model for use in land use planning, permitting, policy decisions, and habitat protection.

February 2018
Publication Cover
Fact Sheet

Coastal managers are faced with the challenge of managing marsh hydrology in a way that meets human health needs, optimizes ecosystem services, and supports sustainability. In New England this includes accounting for the effects of ditches that were dug decades ago in 90% of the region’s salt marshes.

Ditches increase marsh drainage and reduce the spatial extent of shallow pools that may represent physical loss of buried soil carbon. However, efficient drainage may reduce the long-term sustainability of marshes by altering below ground biogeochemical and physical processes in a way that results in subsidence and lowered marsh elevation. Managers, restoration practitioners, and scientists at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and the Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project have expressed a need to understand the tradeoffs of hydrologic management strategies (i.e., ditch remediation, density, maintenance) and identify actions that will achieve user-specified outcomes— such as drainage, maintaining elevation, and carbon burial.

This project is a collaboration between scientists and end users to develop decision-support tools for marsh hydrological management strategies that promote sustainability and delivery of valuable ecosystem services under future sea level scenarios.

February 2018
Paper/Project Report

Prepared by:
Maggie Allan, John Callewaert, and Kyle Olsen
University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute

February 2018
Paper/Project Report

Prepared by:
Maggie Allan, John Callewaert, and Kyle Olsen
University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute

February 2018
Publication Cover
Fact Sheet

The Gulf Coast continues to lose coastal wetlands at an alarming rate. This has negative implications for water quality, shoreline stability, habitat protection, and greenhouse gas sequestration. Coastal blue carbon is a newly recognized ecosystem service provided by coastal wetlands—including seagrass beds, mangroves, and salt marshes—to capture and store carbon. When coastal wetlands are degraded or destroyed, they release these greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Bolstering awareness and valuation of blue carbon could lead to increased prioritization of coastal conservation and restoration projects, and increase public and private funding for these types of projects. Moreover, coastal managers are now being asked to consider the greenhouse gas implications of their decisions, and Gulf Coast National Estuarine Research Reserves have recently identified blue carbon as a priority topic.

This project developed a Gulf Coast blue carbon network as a platform for sharing information and coordinating efforts to develop blue carbon tools and projects in the region. End users for the project included reserve staff, local government, restoration practitioners, researchers at local academic institutions, non-profits, resource managers, and others involved in habitat protection and restoration in the Gulf region. The goal was to support the development of projects that advanced local understanding of blue carbon science, and to pilot ways to leverage blue carbon’s value to fund coastal wetland restoration and conservation.

January 2018
Publication Cover
Fact Sheet

This project addressed two barriers to the advancement of public understanding of science. First, there is a need for more K-12 teaching resources and professional development designed to help teachers demonstrate scientific research practices and teach critical thinking skills. Second, while the best source of authentic, current, and topical research is scientists themselves, research scientists are not often trained to communicate their science to a broad audience. This project sought to address these challenges by the following:

  • Enhancing K-12 science curricula by providing teachers with resources that offer authentic examples of the research process and how science is applied to solve problems.
  • Enhancing graduate students’ science communication skills by providing formal training and an opportunity to translate their research into activities for secondary classrooms.
January 2018
Video
Video

Dow Fellow Lee Taylor-Penn from the U-M Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and U-M School of Public Health shares the team’s idea to increase food security in West Tallahatchie, MS by utilizing research and the voices of the community to develop an actionable report the community could use improve food security in the area.

January 2018
Video
Video

Dow Fellows Robert Meyer from the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability and U-M College of Engineering, Shivani Kamodia from the U-M School of Dentistry, Mary-Catherine Goddard from the U-M School of Public Health and Elizabeth Yates from the U-M Medical School share the team’s goals to discover and provide sustainability recommendations in a toolkit that can be used by dental professionals to implement environmentally-friendly practices.

January 2018
Paper/Project Report

Human activities create threats that have consequences for freshwater ecosystems and, in most watersheds, observed ecological responses are the result of complex interactions among multiple threats and their associated ecological alterations. Here we discuss the value of considering multiple threats in research and management, offer suggestions for filling knowledge gaps, and provide guidance for addressing the urgent management challenges posed by multiple threats in freshwater ecosystems.

Authors: Laura Craig, Julian Olden, Angela Arthington, Sally Entrekin, Charles Hawkins, John Kelly, Theodore Kennedy, Bryan Maitland, Emma Rosi, Allison Roy, David Strayer, Jennifer Tank, Amie West and Matthew Wooten

December 2017
Paper/Project Report

Team Members: Sydney Forrester, Yide Gu, Usmaan Jaffer, Tim Yuan, Ziyang Zhong

Advisor: Dr. Kazuhiro Saitou

Project Summary: The long-term goal of this project is to demonstrate that a short range, low speed, network-connected, solar-powered, mini electric vehicle can improve quality of life among disadvantaged communities. Such a vehicle would enable greater access to markets, health care, and other social services in an environmentally sustainable manner while allowing more time for education and economic advancement in impoverished populations. The team designed and manufactured an early prototype of a bicycle attached to a solar panel trailer–and conducted preliminary testing and market feasibility analyses in Accra and Kumasi, Ghana. Goals for 2018 include conducting further testing on the current prototype and development of an improved design and prototype tailored for urban usage in Ghana based on feasibility research and analysis.

Seed Grant and Large Grant Award

Dow Sustainability Fellows Program

December 2017

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