Summary of Remarks: California is among the handful of US states that have begun comprehensive adaptation planning. (Other states have called for such planning in their climate action plans but are at a much earlier stage.) This brief overview will describe the state’s process of developing its strategy, highlight some of the key recommendations, and derive a number of lessons being learned from this first step in an ongoing adaptation process. These lessons are echoes in the experience of other states around the country. The presentation will conclude with concrete suggestions how federal lawmakers and agencies can support state and local adaptation efforts.
Susanne Moser is Director and Principal Researcher of Susanne Moser Research & Consulting, a recently established firm in Santa Cruz, CA. Her current work focuses on adaptation to climate change, resilience, decision support, and effective climate change communication in support of social change. Previously she served as a Research Scientist at the Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Moser is a geographer by training (Ph.D. 1997, Clark University), whose research foci for the last 15 years have been the human dimensions of global change. She has focused on uncertainties in the human dimensions of global change (causes, vulnerability, impacts, and adaptive responses), focusing on coastal areas, human health, forest-reliant rural as well as urban areas. She has worked for the Heinz Center in Washington, DC on a congressionally mandated project on coastal erosion and management, and for the Union of Concerned Scientists as their staff scientist for climate change. Her current research foci include effective climate change communication and social change, science–stakeholder (in particular decision-makers) interactions, and developing effective adaptation strategies in developed nations.
Dr. Moser is co-editor with Lisa Dilling (University of Colorado-Boulder) on a major anthology on climate change communication, called Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change, published in 2006 by Cambridge University Press. She also has published peer-reviewed papers in Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Global Environmental Change, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Environment, Global Environmental Politics, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, and Environmental Research Letters, as well as chapters in books published by The MIT Press, Cambridge University Press, and several others. Dr. Moser contributed to Working Group II of the Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, and has advised former Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Project on climate change communication. Her work has been recognized through fellowships in the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, the UCAR Leadership Academy, Kavli Frontiers of Science Program, and the Donella Meadows Leadership Program.