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Spatial Climate Justice and Green Infrastructure Assessment: A Case Study for the Huron River Watershed, Michigan, USA

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Green infrastructure serves as a critical no-regret strategy to address climate change mitigation and adaptation in climate action plans. Climate justice refers to the distribution of climate change-induced environmental hazards (e.g., increased frequency and intensity of floods) among socially vulnerable

Green infrastructure serves as a critical no-regret strategy to address climate change mitigation and adaptation in climate action plans. Climate justice refers to the distribution of climate change-induced environmental hazards (e.g., increased frequency and intensity of floods) among socially vulnerable groups. Yet no index has addressed both climate justice and green infrastructure planning jointly in the USA. This paper proposes a spatial climate justice and green infrastructure assessment framework to understand social-ecological vulnerability under the impacts of climate change. The Climate Justice Index ranks places based on their exposure to climate change-induced flooding, and water contamination aggravated by floods, through hydrological modelling, GIS spatial analysis and statistical methodologies. The Green Infrastructure Index ranks access to biophysical adaptive capacity for climate change. A case study for the Huron River watershed in Michigan, USA, illustrates that climate justice hotspots are concentrated in large cities; yet these communities have the least access to green infrastructure. This study demonstrates the value of using GIS to assess the spatial distribution of climate justice in green infrastructure planning and thereby to prioritize infrastructure investment while addressing equity in climate change adaptation.

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2016-06-29

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Risk Communication and Climate Justice Planning: A Case of Michigan’s Huron River Watershed

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Communicating climate risks is crucial when engaging the public to support climate action planning and addressing climate justice. How does evidence-based communication influence local residents’ risk perception and potential behavior change in support of climate planning? Built upon our previous

Communicating climate risks is crucial when engaging the public to support climate action planning and addressing climate justice. How does evidence-based communication influence local residents’ risk perception and potential behavior change in support of climate planning? Built upon our previous study of Climate Justice maps illustrating high scores of both social and ecological vulnerability in Michigan’s Huron River watershed, USA, a quasi-experiment was conducted to examine the effects of Climate Justice mapping intervention on residents’ perceptions and preparedness for climate change associated hazards in Michigan. Two groups were compared: residents in Climate Justice areas with high social and ecological vulnerability scores in the watershed (n=76) and residents in comparison areas in Michigan (n=69). Measurements for risk perception include perceived exposure, sensitivity, and adaptability to hazards. Results indicate that risk information has a significant effect on perceived sensitivity and level of preparedness for future climate extremes among participants living in Climate Justice areas. Findings highlight the value of integrating scientific risk assessment information in risk communication to align calculated and perceived risks. This study suggests effective risk communication can influence local support of climate action plans and implementation of strategies that address climate justice and achieve social sustainability in local communities.

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2017-10-12

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Climate Change Vulnerability in the Food, Energy, and Water Nexus: Concerns for Agricultural Production in Arizona and Its Urban Export Supply

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Interdependent systems providing water and energy services are necessary for agriculture. Climate change and increased resource demands are expected to cause frequent and severe strains on these systems. Arizona is especially vulnerable to such strains due to its hot and

Interdependent systems providing water and energy services are necessary for agriculture. Climate change and increased resource demands are expected to cause frequent and severe strains on these systems. Arizona is especially vulnerable to such strains due to its hot and arid climate. However, its climate enables year-round agricultural production, allowing Arizona to supply most of the country's winter lettuce and vegetables. In addition to Phoenix and Tucson, cities including El Paso, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Diego rely on Arizona for several types of agricultural products such as animal feed and livestock, meaning that disruptions to Arizona's agriculture also disrupt food supply chains to at least six major cities.

Arizona's predominately irrigated agriculture relies on water imported through an energy intensive process from water-stressed regions. Most irrigation in Arizona is electricity powered, so failures in energy or water systems can cascade to the food system, creating a food-energy-water (FEW) nexus of vulnerability. We construct a dynamic simulation model of the FEW nexus in Arizona to assess the potential impacts of increasing temperatures and disruptions to energy and water supplies on crop irrigation requirements, on-farm energy use, and yield.

We use this model to identify critical points of intersection between energy, water, and agricultural systems and quantify expected increases in resource use and yield loss. Our model is based on threshold temperatures of crops, USDA and US Geological Survey data, Arizona crop budgets, and region-specific literature. We predict that temperature increase above the baseline could decrease yields by up to 12.2% per 1 °C for major Arizona crops and require increased irrigation of about 2.6% per 1 °C. Response to drought varies widely based on crop and phenophase, so we estimate irrigation interruption effects through scenario analysis. We provide an overview of potential adaptation measures farmers can take, and barriers to implementation.

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2017-02-28

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The New Open Stacks

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From Transforming Print: Collection Development and Management for Our Connected Future, edited by Lorrie McAllister and Shari Laster (Chicago: American Library Association, 2021).

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2021

Does School Participatory Budgeting Increase Students’ Political Efficacy? Bandura’s “Sources,” Civic Pedagogy, and Education for Democracy

Does School Participatory Budgeting Increase Students’ Political Efficacy? Bandura’s “Sources,” Civic Pedagogy, and Education for Democracy

Description

Does school participatory budgeting (SPB) increase students’ political efficacy? SPB, which is implemented in thousands of schools around the world, is a democratic process of deliberation and decision-making in which students determine how to spend a portion of the school’s

Does school participatory budgeting (SPB) increase students’ political efficacy? SPB, which is implemented in thousands of schools around the world, is a democratic process of deliberation and decision-making in which students determine how to spend a portion of the school’s budget. We examined the impact of SPB on political efficacy in one middle school in Arizona. Our participants’ (n = 28) responses on survey items designed to measure self-perceived growth in political efficacy indicated a large effect size (Cohen’s d = 1.46), suggesting that SPB is an effective approach to civic pedagogy, with promising prospects for developing students’ political efficacy.

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2021-05-01