Natural resource managers in the Southwest are beginning to respond to the profound and rapid observed impacts of climate variability, and the anticipated impacts of projected environmental changes. We have observed wide-ranging changes, such as forest mortality, changes in species’ life cycles, massive wildfires, and dwindling surface water flows. The confluence of these changes with regional non-climatic factors, such as the spread of invasive species and the expansion of human activities into former range and forest lands, has focused the attention of natural resource professionals on developing new practices to address the challenges of rapid environmental change.
The University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment is engaging with resource management professionals to develop the best practices for characterizing risk and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, and developing flexible approaches to enhance the resilience of managed lands, and ensure the sustainability of natural resources for future generations. SNRE research is focused on building a solid body of research and extension on planning for the inevitable changes in our climate system, and developing the next generation of researchers and practitioners to address the needs of natural resource management decision and policy makers.
Photo by Murphy Woodhouse
Image Courtesy of the Institute of the Environment