Event Title

Conservation Choices in the Face of Sea-Level Rise

Location

Diamond 141

Start Date

1-5-2014 1:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 4:00 PM

Project Type

Presentation

Description

Conservation organizations face many challenges in achieving their goals, including the uncertainty of climate change. For those working near the coast, sea-level rise is an especially important factor. Despite this, many organizations do not seem to be incorporating and adapting to expectations of these risks. Perhaps they are unsure what to expect, and so discount the possibility, or perhaps they have an idea what to expect, but are unsure how to use that information. Some may be experiencing shifting baseline syndrome, meaning they do not recognize the changes occurring because the changes happen in small increments over a long period of time. This work explores how conservation organizations can optimally identify which land parcels to acquire given the uncertainty of sea level rise and compares the results from multiple decision making frameworks. In the first section, Monte-Carlo simulations on a stylized landscape are used to empirically test the value of including expectations of sea-level rise while deciding which pieces of property to acquire. The second part uses the town of Phippsburg, Maine as a case study to explore which parcels should be purchased to preserve wetlands under four plausible scenarios, a one foot, two foot, one meter, or six foot sea-level rise, given expectations about the likelihood of their realization. This work contributes to the literature on land conservation, sea level rise and risk and uncertainty.

Faculty Sponsor

Michael Donihue

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Economics Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Social Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

313

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May 1st, 1:00 PM May 1st, 4:00 PM

Conservation Choices in the Face of Sea-Level Rise

Diamond 141

Conservation organizations face many challenges in achieving their goals, including the uncertainty of climate change. For those working near the coast, sea-level rise is an especially important factor. Despite this, many organizations do not seem to be incorporating and adapting to expectations of these risks. Perhaps they are unsure what to expect, and so discount the possibility, or perhaps they have an idea what to expect, but are unsure how to use that information. Some may be experiencing shifting baseline syndrome, meaning they do not recognize the changes occurring because the changes happen in small increments over a long period of time. This work explores how conservation organizations can optimally identify which land parcels to acquire given the uncertainty of sea level rise and compares the results from multiple decision making frameworks. In the first section, Monte-Carlo simulations on a stylized landscape are used to empirically test the value of including expectations of sea-level rise while deciding which pieces of property to acquire. The second part uses the town of Phippsburg, Maine as a case study to explore which parcels should be purchased to preserve wetlands under four plausible scenarios, a one foot, two foot, one meter, or six foot sea-level rise, given expectations about the likelihood of their realization. This work contributes to the literature on land conservation, sea level rise and risk and uncertainty.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/300