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October 3, 2022

Title: Knowledge Co-Production on the Impact of Decisions for Waterbird Habitat in a Changing Climate 

Date: October 14th at 2:00 pm Eastern

Speaker: Kristin Byrd, Ph.D., USGS Western Geographic Science Center

Summary: A pragmatic approach to co-production of knowledge may include production of actionable science through collaboration between scientists and those who use the science for policy and management decisions. Scientists, resource managers, and decision-makers increasingly use knowledge co-production to guide the stewardship of future landscapes under climate change. We applied this process in the California Central Valley, where a network of managed wetlands and croplands are flooded between fall and spring to support some of the largest concentrations of shorebirds and waterfowl in the world. We co-produced scenario narratives, spatially-explicit flooded waterbird habitat models, data products, and new knowledge about climate adaptation potential. Using our co-produced models, we asked, when and where do management actions make a difference, and when does climate override these actions? We found that: 1) actions to restore wetlands and prioritize their water supply create habitat outcomes resistant to climate change impacts particularly in March, when habitat is most limited, 2) land protection combined with management can increase the ecosystem’s resistance to climate change, and 3) the uptake and use of this information was influenced by the roles of different stakeholders engaged, plus external factors, including rapidly changing water policies, discrepancies in decision-making time frames, and immediate crises of extreme drought. In this talk, I will describe our stakeholder engagement process, results from our scenario analysis, and lessons learned on how to co-create usable information about climate adaptive capacity in a highly managed landscape.

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