Navigation Links
Brown University scientists to discuss resilience of coastal communities at AAAS

Hurricane Sandy was a fearsome reminder that coastal communities are highly vulnerable to extreme weather events and environmental variability, and that vulnerability is only expected to increase with climate change. Brown University scientists Heather Leslie and Leila Sievanen, members of an interdisciplinary research team focused on human-environment interactions in coastal regions, will discuss these challenges this month at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.

Leslie and Sievanen will participate in a symposium titled, Building Resilience of Coastal Communities to Environmental and Institutional Shocks, on Sunday, February 17 from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM at the Hynes Convention Center.

More than 40 percent of the world's population lives in coastal areas. With 53 percent of the US population living in coastal counties according to the most recent census, and that percentage expected to grow to 63 percent by 2020, the United States is a coastal nation.

"These communities are economic engines and also highly valued for their cultural heritage and social vitality," Leslie said. "Understanding how people living in coastal communities cope with weather related disturbances, as well as other disruptions, like changes in government regulations and economic cycles, can help us to design more proactive and comprehensive policies to support coastal communities' resilience in the future."

A case study in the Gulf of California

Leslie, a professor of environmental studies and biology, leads an international team of scientists exploring these themes in the Gulf of California in northwest Mexico. By pairing information on the social and ecological dimensions of the Gulf's small-scale fisheries, Leslie and her colleagues are identifying linkages between people and the environment. Their research explores how climate-related shocks and other disruptions influence both coastal communities and the marine ecosystems on which they rely.

Sievanen, an environmental anthropologist at JIMAR (Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research) in Hawaii and a visiting researcher at Brown, will present results on the capacity of individual fishers and households to adapt to climate variability in the southwestern part of the Gulf, near the city of La Paz. Drawing from over 80 household surveys and interviews, she will discuss key social, institutional, and economic factors that currently affect the ability of fishermen to perceive and adapt to climate variability. The primary strategies that fishermen use to cope with variability are shifting fisheries activities and diversifying occupations. The preliminary findings suggest that local and national fisheries institutions may in some cases create barriers to these adaptation strategies.

For example, increasingly stringent requirements on where and for what species fishermen can fish are limiting individuals' ability to cope with seasonal shifts in species abundance and weather conditions. The findings also document substantial variation in coping strategies between urban and rural fishermen, with those living in more densely populated areas being better able to adapt to both weather and regulatory changes.

"The Gulf of California is an excellent case study," Leslie said. "Not only is it highly valued for its biodiversity on land and in the sea, it also is one of the regions of Mexico that is changing most rapidly, economically and demographically. By studying human-environment interactions in this region, we have opportunities to generate new knowledge of how people are connected to coastal marine ecosystems. Using that knowledge we can create models for such integrated research and policy translation in other coastal marine systems, including the Northeast."


Contact: Kevin Stacey
Brown University

Related biology news :

1. Chemical fingerprinting tracks the travels of little brown bats
2. Are brown widows displacing black widow spiders around southern California homes?
3. Carnegies Donald Brown wins Lasker-Koshland Award
4. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
5. University of Alberta led research may have discovered how memories are encoded in our brains
6. BGI, University of Helsinki and Wuhan University sign a MOU concerning cooperation on genomics
7. Marshall University study may lead to new treatments for prostate cancer
8. University leads £6 million EU project to tackle obesity
9. A University of Tennessee professors hypothesis may be game changer for evolutionary theory
10. Life expectancy may affect when you get married, divorced, have kids: Queens University study
11. University of Toronto biologists predict extinction for organisms with poor quality genes
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/9/2016)... in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint attendance control ... right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening of doors. ... ... ... Photo - ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) ... million US Dollar project, for the , Supply ... Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated ... was selected for the most compliant and innovative ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing ...  3D medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the range ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" or "the ... major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP and Clean ... based venture capital funds which together hold approximately ... fully diluted, as converted basis), that they have entered ... equity holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings Co. Ltd. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Newly created 4Sight Medical ... to the healthcare market. The company's primary focus is on new product introductions, ... strategies that are necessary to help companies efficiently bring their products to market. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... on a range of subjects including policies, debt and investment ... Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian Economics ... the country,s inflation target, which is set by both the ... "In certain areas there needs to be frequent ... not sit down and address strategy together?" He ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a ... eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research ... by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape ...
Breaking Biology Technology: