Governance and Adaptive Capacity in the Face of Climate

Dennis Ojima, Michele Betsill

Description:Course Summary This course would explore theoretical and practical aspects of adaptation responses to climate change. Case studies from Colorado region will used to illustrate ways that natural resource managers confront climate-related challenges in Colorado and evaluating adaptive capacity across multi-jurisdictional management of natural resources. The course will use these case studies to identify the governance challenges decision-makers face related to forest management, fire events, energy development, and trout conservation. We will co-develop a series of theoretical/ conceptual papers on these governance challenges and work together to identify specific strategies for advancing social and ecological goals related to these problems. Course structure The class will be limited to 12 students. The class will meet every two weeks for 2-hour sessions. Papers will be assigned for group discussion. Individual and group assignments will be made for evaluation of case studies. Invited scholars and experts will be invited to contribute to the discussions. Assessment of the student effort will consist on discussion participation, written evaluations on assigned papers, and contribution to group papers. Course context In Colorado and across the Intermountain West, climate change is predicted to increase mean annual temperatures and increase the frequency, timing, and severity of climatic events, such as drought. In turn, communities, economic sectors, ecosystems, and species are experiencing greater vulnerability to damage, decline, or loss. Public and private entities charged with protecting and sustaining these values find themselves grappling with structures and strategies to mitigate and adapt to an uncertain climate future. While the emphasis in each of these issues tends to be on technical actions, there is room to learn about the governance structures and strategies that can contribute to enhancing the adaptive capacity of social-ecological systems in the face of an uncertain climatic future.

Section: 3
Credits: 1
First Meeting: 9/4/2014
Meeting Times: TBD: 2 hours every other week
Classroom: NREL Conference Room B215
CRN: 60170
Cross Listed:
Enrollment Limit: 12
Course Text:
Instructor Contact Info:
      Dennis Ojima 1-1976
      Michele Betsill 1-5270