Thursday, November 30, 2006
Frame of Mind: Context and spatial scale as it affects adaptive capacity in Pacific Northwest climate vulnerability assessments
This thesis explores how adaptive capacity can be used as a tool for better place-based scenario planning. Adaptive capacity represents an active way to address system vulnerability to exogenous stresses like climate change. Adaptive capacity represents the potential to adapt, not the adaptation itself, and is an important component in assessing the vulnerability of a system. I survey a portion of the literature on vulnerability and adaptive capacity to acquire a germane definition applicable to the scope and scale for two locations in the Pacific Northwest. More information or inputs to aid decision-making on the local level can help, but understanding how a concept like adaptive capacity responds at different scales can guide the inputs or information could be more important. Through a better understanding of how adaptive capacity applies at these different scales in the Pacific Northwest, it can be applied toward improved decision-making, particularly related to scenario planning.
Blake Trask is a CIG-funded Master's candidate at the University of Washington's School of Marine Affairs.