Applied Research

Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience has been making an impact, working with communities, to contribute to effective local decision-making so that communities become more resilient. Research and public engagement by our faculty and students particularly benefit communities dealing with the challenges of climate change.

A Northeast Safe and Thriving for All (NEST)

Report cover for the Northeast Safe & Thriving for All reportThe Upper Northeast of the United States is increasingly perceived as a “climate haven” as climate change and other pressures stress other parts of the country and the world. Projections of how many people might move and when are still highly uncertain, challenging the ability of state and local governments to plan effectively. Climate impacts in the region (especially sealevel rise) will also induce internal migration and greater competition for comparatively safer and better resourced neighborhoods. Significant population shifts in the region could therefore lead to gentrification, displacement, xenophobia, and social conflict. At the same time, in-migration from climate change and other drivers also can revitalize a region once dominated by 20th century industries and natural resource-based economies by providing much needed people, revenues, and investments.

A Northeast Safe and Thriving for All (NEST) examines the potential for and implications of climate-exacerbated migration to and within the Upper Northeast. The project, funded by a one-year planning grant from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Adaptation Partnerships (CAP) program, explores how a CAP would help the region navigate climate impacts and societal transitions. NEST defines the “Upper Northeast” as including the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, as well as western Massachusetts, and upstate New York. NEST is led by researchers at Cornell University and Antioch University New England in collaboration with researchers and practitioners in the region.

Centering Equity in Climate Resilience Planning and Action

Communities in the United States and abroad are already feeling the impacts of climate change. In 2021, the U.S. sustained twenty climate disaster events costing $295.9 billion (NOAA, 2022). As the climate crisis worsens, local level action is vital to ensure preparedness and build resilience to meet sitespecific conditions. Elected, appointed, and professional staff leaders and other decisionmakers at municipal, county, regional, and watershed scales as well as within communitybased organizations and small and mediumsized businesses are on the frontlines of preparing for and responding to the impacts of a changing climate.

This paper introduces and amplifies principles and best practices for centering equity in climate resilience planning and action. The audience is primarily users of the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit and its Steps to Resilience. Climate resilience is the “capacity of social, economic, and environmental systems to cope with a hazardous event or trend or disturbance, responding or reorganizing in ways that maintain their essential function, identity, and structure, while also maintaining the capacity for adaptation, learning, and transformation.” (IPCC, 2014).

How do we build community resilience to disasters in a changing climate?

A review of interventions to improve and measure public health outcomes in the Northeastern United States

Climate change-related natural disasters, including wildfires and extreme weather events, such as intense storms, floods, and heatwaves, are increasing in frequency and intensity (USGCRP, 2018). These events are already profoundly affecting human health in the Northeastern United States and globally (Ghazali et al., 2018; IPCC, 2018; USGCRP, 2018), challenging the ability of communities to prepare, respond, and recover. This paper examines the peer-reviewed literature on community resilience interventions and metrics that may apply to the Northeastern region of the United States. The overarching goal of this document is to inform local public health practitioners and planners about the availability of evidence-based strategies to strengthen and measure community resilience to climate change-related disasters. This paper discusses five selected strategies, their applicability at a local public health level, and the metrics used to measure the extent to which community resilience had been strengthened.

This paper is a part of the Climate and Health Adaptation Project

Climate Migration in Vermont: Receiving Areas, Key Demographics, and Potential Impacts on Natural and Social Resources

Climate change has had significant impacts on how humans migrate. While some impacts are better known, like managed retreat associated with sea level rise and flooding, other impacts are just being discovered and studied, like the long-term effects of climate migration on receiving communities. This paper serves to identify potential receiving areas in the state of Vermont, demographics that might migrate to Vermont, and the potential impact on natural and social resources in the state as a result of major in-migration. Research was conducted based on guided questions formed through the literature review and synthesized following major themes.

Navigating the U.S. Presidential Candidates’ Climate Plans

Antioch University Environmental Studies graduate students assessed all U.S. presidential candidates’ climate plans against 20 benchmarks, including priorities ranging from modernizing the transportation sector, to ending subsidies for fossil fuel companies, to holding the fossil fuel  industry financially accountable. Their research findings are summarized in a table as a tool for voters to see how their favorite candidate measures up against the climate crisis, and they discussed their findings during a webinar on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Peatlands in a Changing Climate: Vulnerability and Resilience

This is the second of a series of articles that considers the projected climate
mediated impacts on wetlands in the Northeast, for which NH Wetland Scientists and policymakers should take note.

The first in this series introduced projected climate-mediated changes in
temperature and hydrology that drive wetland ecosystem response. It ended with a discussion of how best to monitor and evaluate change over the short and midterm. This article will expand on the general discussion of a changing climate on wetlands, to a more focused discussion of climate change parameters in the context of Sphagnum dominated peatlands and possible responses that may occur to these relatively unique systems into the future.

The System is Changing: Take Note Wetlands Scientists

This is the first of a two-part synopsis of the projected climate mediated impacts on wetlands in the Northeast for which NH Wetland scientists and policymakers should take note. Part one will summarize the projected changes in temperature and hydrology that drive wetland ecosystem response. It will end with the wetland systems that should be the focus of subsequent discussion of how best to monitor and evaluate change over the short and mid-term. Part two will expand on the impacts to specific wetlands raised in part one and discuss possible maladaptive responses that may exacerbate impacts, as well as possible policies that might be considered to help best manage the change that may be unavoidable.

Local Solutions Report

This report coalesces and analyzes data from a range of sources, including the Center’s Local Solutions Survey, local decision-makers’ evaluations of capacity-building climate preparedness programs, and community need statements. We offer recommendations to inform priorities for developing actionable climate adaptation data sets, facilitating regional collaboration and adaptation action, public policy, government budget setting, and private sector funding and investments.

Reports referenced in our 9/20/17 Webinar: Where to Put the Water: Assessing the Vulnerability of Urban Stormwater Systems to a Changing Climate

Weather: Extreme Trends

Final Project Report
Long-term climate information and forecasts supporting stakeholder-driven adaptation decisions for urban water resources: Stormwater drainage system vulnerability, capacity, and cost, under population growth and climate change. Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, Minnesota – January 31, 2014

Stormwater Management and Climate Change

Managing stormwater under climate uncertainty is a concern in both built-out
communities and those continuing to undergo land use change. In this study, a suite of climate
change scenarios were developed to represent a probable range of change in the 10-year
recurrence interval design storm.

Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation

This paper discusses current opportunities for universities to partner with local governments and NGOs to support local level adaptation to climate change and a proposed ten-stage model which delineates the key stages of a collaborative climate change adaptation process.

For additional projects, visit our Research Projects page.

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