This project will support the development of new, innovative visitor displays at three national estuarine research reserves - the Guana Tolomato Matanzas, Mission-Aransas, and Delaware Reserves. The reserves will partner with students at the University of Delaware to produce gesture controlled, educational computer games that promote interactive, learning opportunities. The experiential games will be designed for use on interactive screens that will be available for public use in each reserve’s exhibit hall. This project will provide communities with relevant, accessible science while offering civic-minded solutions and resources that encourage participants to take conservation-based action promoting ecosystem resilience.
Keywords: Guana Tolomato Matanzas, Mission-Aransas, and Delaware Reserves, University of Delaware, students, learning opportunities
Sea-level rise and extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change currently impact Maine’s coastline and are anticipated to increase in frequency and strength. Beach-based businesses, a powerful economic engine for Maine, are generally little prepared for storm surge and coastal flooding. Yet lessons learned from previous disasters underscore how important the recovery of businesses is to the overall recovery of a region’s economy.
This project will adapt and transfer the Tourism Resilience Index, previously developed for the Gulf of Mexico, to southern Maine. Coastal businesses in Kennebunkport and Kennebunk will be facilitated through a process to assess their ability to maintain operations during and after a disaster. Through this project, the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve will collaborate with business leaders, municipalities, and regional climate adaptation professionals to generate outcomes that decrease Maine’s beaches business community’s vulnerability to natural disasters.
Keywords: Maine, coastline, businesses, flooding, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
This graphic timeline was produced to celebrate key milestones and accomplishments of the Graham Sustainability Institute from 2006-2016.
Credit: Graphic by Mike Savitski, Savitski Design
Keywords: Milestones, Accomplishments, Graham Sustainability Institute, 10-year anniversary
This fact sheet provides an overview of a project that makes data and information compiled through the Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site Cooperative readily available to ninth-grade earth science teachers to use in their classrooms and increase climate literacy. The project builds on a previous NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training project titled, “Climate Education for a Changing Bay (CECB),” which provided watershed educational experiences integrated into the classroom curriculum for ninth-grade students in Gloucester County and Mathews County, Virginia.
Through the current project, the Chesapeake Bay-Virginia Reserve is building on the strengths of the previous years of CECB to extend the reach into Middlesex County, while developing an alumni program to support the program in Gloucester and Mathews. All three counties lie within a region experiencing relative rates of sea level rise greater than the global average.
Keywords: Chesapeake Bay-Virginia Reserve, Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site Cooperative, Middlesex County, Virginia, University of Michigan Water Center, NERRS, Science Transfer Grants, climate literacy
Vila Santa Marta is a community in São Leopoldo, Brazil, which faces a number of socio-environmental challenges. These challenges include 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. An interdisciplinary team of graduate students, supported by a Dow Distinguished Award for Interdisciplinary Sustainability and a Ford College Community Challenge grant assessed the Santa Marta community needs and designed strategies that addressed several key community goals. This is the complete report for this project. Also see the project summary: http://graham.umich.edu/media/pubs/SantaMarta-FactSheet.pdf
Keywords: Santa Marta, São Leopoldo, Brazil, infrastructure, Dow Distinguished Award for Interdisciplinary Sustainability, University of Michigan
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