For decades scientists have tried to characterize what they know about climate change and translate it into actionable information. By most metrics, this effort has failed. Emissions continue to increase, climate change impacts are tracking toward worst-case scenarios, and skepticism about climate change is at an all time high. The poor response to climate change science is consonant with research that shows that top down communication of information that is often abstract and outside the immediate experience of the audience tends to have very little impact on behavior.
On September 24, 2013, NSF granted UCI a $2.8 million award through the Hazards category of the NSF system-wide Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) program to address this issue. The UCI project, now entitled Flood Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Environments, or FloodRISE, will build a broad knowledge base for flood resilience, articulate a strategy for more effectively translating climate science into actionable information to catalyze behavioral change, and advance understanding of whether, and to what extent, parcel-level flood data can contribute to more flood resilient communities.
PI Brett Sanders, chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering, leads the Modeling Team. Co-PI Richard Matthew, Professor of Planning, Policy, and Design and Center for Unconventional Security Affairs Director, leads the Social Ecology Team which includes Victoria Basolo, David Feldman and Douglas Houston, and will engage over a dozen graduate and undergraduate students over the next four years. GSRC’s Abby Reyes leads the Research Integration and Impact Team.