Enewsletter articles for Development of a Reef Resiliency Index

Assessing the vulnerability of the Great Barrier Reef to climate change

Ove Hoegh-GuldbergBill Dennison, Heath Kelsey, and Jane Thomas recently attended a Great Barrier Reef Foundation workshop to develop a synthetic publication that charts the vision for assessing the vulnerability to climate change. There are major climate impacts already being manifested, including sea surface temperature-induced coral bleaching, coral skeletal degradation due to ocean acidification, and relative sea level rise leading to inundation of mangroves. The development of a climate vulnerability index would provide a probability-based assessment of the likelihood of damage due to climate. This index is designed to complement the Great Barrier Reef report card.

IAN is back in Australia

Science communication course participantsIn early February, Bill Dennison, Alex Fries, and Heath Kelsey traveled to Australia for a series of project workshops. Bill and Heath were in Townsville for the second Great Barrier Reef Climate Change Resilience Index workshop. IAN was tasked with facilitating a workshop to coordinate a team of investigators to develop a climate change resilience index from a series of indicators. Alex then joined Heath in Adelaide for a science communication course focusing on Report Cards. The course was designed as a series of intermediate level modules for the South Australia Government who have been preparing various regional environmental report cards. Finally, Heath and Alex continued to Gladstone to facilitate a meeting to develop the first Gladstone Harbour Report Card. All meetings went well, and provided great opportunities for ongoing interaction on a variety of issues.

IAN in 2015

IAN group photoThe Integration and Application Network has an exciting 2015 ahead. IAN has undergone a staffing expansion, with five new staff based at the Chesapeake Bay Program, a new administrative staff position, and two PhD students beginning in January 2015. A concerted teaching effort by IAN is being launched in 2015, with full semester courses in Science for Environmental Management (Spring 2015) and Communicating Science Effectively (Autumn) being offered. In addition to our ongoing Chesapeake Bay and Maryland Coastal Bays projects, we are looking forward to exciting projects in New York (Long Island Sound report card and New York Harbor School - Billion Oyster Project), India (with the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management) and Australia (Charles Darwin University and Great Barrier Reef Foundation). We have a great set of partners that we will be working with this year on a diverse suite of projects.