Mitigating Coastal Vulnerability in a Changing Climate
Climate change demands that scientists connect the technical and the social. Coastal vulnerability and water security issues related to climate change create or exacerbate public health hazards that often incite social unrest and political conflicts. This research cluster unites life, physical, and social scientists to predict and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on water security and social stability.
This research cluster is one of three groups awarded a 2012 Environmental Sciences Network seed grant to pursue major funding for their ideas.
While substantial research has focused on the one-way impacts of upstream nutrient flows and fluxes on watershed functioning and downstream ecosystem services, key reverse linkages that shape public policy, human behaviors, and agricultural and industrial responses to climate change have received much less study, particularly with respect to ensuring water quality and availability.
Using the Great Lakes as a model ecosystem, we seek to quantify and predict climate change-induced impacts on the co-evolution of downstream ecosystem services and upstream human behavior by:
- Modeling anticipated climate change-induced impacts on water quality as it pertains to surface and drinking water
- Quantifying the impacts of predicted aquatic environment changes with respect to human illness and the overall health and well-being of human populations
- Examining how public attitudes and knowledge shape support for policies (incentive-based and regulatory) that influence coupled land-water management practices, and in turn, how heterogeneous farmers and business leaders respond to these policies and public attitudes.
- Ultimately, integrate the biophysical models of our study regions with the behavioral models of decision-making and public policy development to predict water quality and public health changes under alternative future scenarios.
This coupled model will be used to address our central research question of whether changes in upstream public attitudes, policies, and farmer /industry behavior can offset the anticipated negative impacts of climate change on downstream ecosystem services.
Link to Coastal Vulnerability group in our Network Directory.
Complexity in Human, Natural and Engineered Systems
innovation group comprising more than twenty empirical and theoretical complex systems researchers from ten colleges and schools at Ohio State.
People, Climate Change and Lake Erie project
An interdisciplinary effort to determine the link between people’s perception of Lake Erie, how that perception impacts the health of the lake, and how the health of the lake in turn influences people’s perceptions of the ecosystem.
Mershon Center for International Studies
The center fosters interdisciplinary research in 1) the use of force and diplomacy; 2) the ideas, identities, and decisional processes that affect security; and 3) the institutions that manage violent conflict.