Center Director and Researchers Lead Activities in Tribal Training Event, “Introduction to Climate Change Adaptation Planning”

The Center co-sponsored a three-day “Introduction to Climate Change Adaptation Planning” on August 7-9, 2018 with local tribes. In partnership with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) and the Center and its team of staff from the Climate Science Alliance (Alliance) this course provided an overview to planning for climate change impacts to the over 30 tribal members and tribal environmental professionals in attendance.

The Alliance team led multiple activities on day one of the training, starting with two presentations on the results of the San Diego County Ecosystems Assessment by co-authors and Center research affiliates Dr. Megan Jennings and Dr. Julie Kalansky, followed by an open discussion about what these results mean for tribal communities in the region. Next, Kelsey Miller from Dr. Jennifer Smith’s lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography led a presentation on her project, “Tribal Intertidal Digital Ecological Surveys: A Conservation Technology Partnership with Coastal Indigenous Nations”.

Following a hands-on intertidal animal encounter led by Birch Aquarium, attendees walked down to Scripps Pier for a special tour led by Center Director Dr. Mark Merrifield and Center research affiliate Dr. Jennifer Smith. Attendees reflected on what they had heard throughout the day by participating in a collaborative art activity, led by Audrey Carver, an Affiliated Artist of the Alliance and a Climate Art Fellow at the Center.

After lunch the Center’s team presented a Climate Kids Workshop, featuring multiple activities included in the Traveling Trunks and a facilitated feedback session on how to best expand these trunks for the tribal communities. The day concluded with a Climate Communications Training led by Dr. Shasta Gaughen from the Pala Band of Mission Indians’ Environmental Department and Dani Boudreau from the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Center staff and the Alliance team partnered with Birch Aquarium to bring attendees to the aquarium on the second day of the training. The team at ITEP facilitated day two and three of the training to share processes for developing climate change adaptation plans, from getting started to impact and vulnerability assessments, to developing adaptation strategies.

This event served as a follow up training to the 2017 Southwestern Tribal Climate Change Summit (SWTCCS) to build on important discussions around Tribal resilience to climate change. Visit here for more information on the 2019 SWTCCS!