Affiliated Researcher Awarded $1.78 Million for Connectivity-Based Climate Change Resilience Project

Dr. Megan Jennings, an Affiliated Researcher of the Center, and Dr. Rebecca Lewinson of the Institute for Ecological Monitoring and Management at San Diego State University have received nearly $1.78 million to combine a connected lands framework with wildfire and hydrological information. The project will work with the Climate Science Alliance, a partner of the Center, to refine delivery of that information for the development of planning and management strategies through Alliance-led outreach and stakeholder engagement. The project will focus on including rural communities in the development of a framework that supports landscape-scale planning.

“What’s exciting about this opportunity is that it builds on our connectivity research, while giving us an opportunity to leverage and partner with other areas of expertise and excellence on campus,” said Jennings in a SDSU news release. Jennings and Lewinson have studied ecosystem connectivity extensively in the region and this research will move beyond understanding benefits of connectivity for wildlife to include co-benefits to human communities. Through a stakeholder driven process, this project will integrate factors such as wildfire risk and water sustainability to better inform planning for Southern California communities and natural lands.

The grant — one of the first from the competitive California’s Climate Change Research Program, awarded by the California Strategic Growth Council — will fund the project for three years. The team’s primary project partners also include the two regional planning agencies in Southern California, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and the City of Carlsbad.

Learn more about Dr. Megan Jennings and our other Affiliated Researchers here.


Leading photo from Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire.