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PhD Defense - Natalie Umphlett

Data to Decisions: Utilizing Climate Data to Inform Muncipal Planning in the Lower Missouri River Ba

Date: Time: 1:00 pm–2:00 pm
Hardin Hall Room: Room 901
Additional Info: HARH
Contact: Martha Shulski, mshulski3@unl.edu
Communities all across the U.S. face a number of challenges due to a variable and changing climate, and recent events, both climatologically and politically, have shifted climate mitigation and adaptation efforts to the local level. Although many states and cities have begun implementing plans addressing the impacts of climate change, most are focused on coastal or high population areas.
In an attempt to better understand the current use of climate data and information at the municipal level in the Central U.S., a survey and focus group sessions were conducted with communities in the four states of the lower Missouri River Basin (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska). Results indicate that the use of climate data and information is generally low for planning efforts; however, communities could be encouraged to increase this use through the development of municipal-specific resources. A direct outcome of these results was the creation of 1) eleven customized city-specific climate reports for communities in the lower Missouri River Basin and 2) a suite of web-based tools that allows communities to explore their historic climate trends and future projections, as well as example plans that address climate-related topics from cities across the U.S. Although new, some of the resources developed through this project have already been used to support planning efforts and to better communicate the issues surrounding climate change.

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