Engaging communities and climate change futures with Multi-Scale, Iterative Scenario Building (MISB) in the western United StatesAuthor(s): Daniel Murphy; Carina Wyborn; Laurie Yung; Daniel R. Williams; Cory Cleveland; Lisa Eby; Solomon Dobrowski; Erin Towler
Source: Human Organization. 75(1): Spring.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (681.0 KB)
Current projections of future climate change foretell potentially transformative ecological changes that threaten communities globally. Using two case studies from the United States Intermountain West, this article highlights the ways in which a better articulation between theory and methods in research design can generate proactive applied tools that enable locally grounded dialogue about the future, including key vulnerabilities and potential adaptive pathways. Moreover, anthropological knowledge and methods, we find, are well-suited to the complexities and uncertainties that surround future climate change. In this article, we outline a narrative-driven assessment methodology we call multi-scale, iterative scenario building (MISB) that adheres to four key principles: (1) meaningful integration of socioecological interactions, (2) engagement with uncertainty, (3) awareness and incorporation of dynamic spatial and temporal scales, and (4) inclusion of diverse knowledge(s) from both social and natural sciences as well as from communities, including skeptics and deniers. The research found that MISB illuminated the complex, relational nature of vulnerability and adaptation and provided significant insight into potential, and sometimes surprising, future conflicts, synergies, and opportunities. We also found that MISB engendered a deep appreciation among participants, even skeptics and deniers, about the numerous, multi-scaled feedbacks and path dependencies generated by interacting drivers of social and ecological change. In conclusion, we argue this approach provides substantial space for the reflexive learning needed to create the “critical emancipatory knowledge” required in the face of transformational threats like climate change, and as such, we suggest potential avenues to support planning and decision making in the face of uncertain futures.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
Murphy, Daniel; Wyborn, Carina; Yung, Laurie; Williams, Daniel R.; Cleveland, Cory; Eby, Lisa; Dobrowski, Solomon; Towler, Erin. 2016. Engaging communities and climate change futures with Multi-Scale, Iterative Scenario Building (MISB) in the western United States. Human Organization. 75(1): Spring.
Keywordsclimate change, adaptation, vulnerability, narrative, scenarios, uncertainty
- Rethinking climate change adaptation and place through a situated pathways framework: A case study from the Big Hole Valley, USA
- Assessing social vulnerability to climate change in human communities near public forests and grasslands: a framework for resource managers and planners
- Managing climate change risks in rangeland systems [Chapter 15]
XML: View XML