Fellows in the News

Editor's note: The Climate Science Alliance was founded and is led by Fellow Amber Pairis. The Switzer Foundation provided foundational funding to create CSA with a Leadership Grant.

Dr. Megan Jennings, advisor to the Climate Science Alliance, and Dr. Rebecca Lewinson of the Institute for Ecological Monitoring and Management at San Diego State University have received nearly $1.78 million to combine a connected lands framework with wildfire and hydrological information, and refine delivery of that information for the development of planning and management strategies through Alliance lead outreach and stakeholder engagement. The project leverages the Alliance's network of over 200 partner organizations, with a focus on including rural communities in the development of a framework that supports landscape-scale planning.

"What's exciting about this opportunity is that it builds on our connectivity research, while giving us an opportunity to leverage and partner with other areas of expertise and excellence on campus," said Jennings in a SDSU news release. Jennings and Lewinson have studied ecosystem connectivity extensively in the region, and with a continued partnership with the Alliance, this research will move beyond understanding benefits of connectivity for wildlife to include co-benefits to human communities. Through a stakeholder driven process, this project will integrate factors such as wildfire risk and water sustainability to better inform planning for Southern California communities and natural lands.

The grant — one of the first from the competitive California’s Climate Change Research Program, awarded by the California Strategic Growth Council — will fund the project for three years. The team’s primary project partners also include the two regional planning agencies in Southern California, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and the City of Carlsbad.

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