Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

A 'Back to the Future' Approach to Taking Action on Climate Change

March 18, 2014

How can communities dodge future disasters from Mother Nature before she has dealt the blow? Researchers are taking a unique approach to the issue and gaining input and support from community stakeholders. Daniel Murphy, a University of Cincinnati assistant professor of anthropology, will present findings on March 20, at the 74th annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SFAA) in Albuquerque, N.M.

The presentation reveals an innovative, interdisciplinary research technique for approaching climate change vulnerability that's called Multi-scale, Interactive Scenario-Building (MISB). The project focuses on two geographic case studies: Big Hole Valley in Montana - a high-altitude ranching valley - and Grand County in Colorado - a resort community west of Denver and south of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The researchers conducted a series of one-on-one interviews at those sites to get an array of community contributors thinking and planning for future ecological hazards, and to consider the impact of those decisions.

The researchers posed three scenarios involving future drastic climate changes. The one-on-one interviews involved around 30 people for each region, ranging from ranchers to teachers, small business owners, hunting guides, county planners and representatives from federal and state agencies. Ecologists on the research team would then predict the impact of the suggested planning.

The three possible scenarios were:

Some Like it Hot - Describes years and years of consistent summer drought.

The Seasons, They're a-Changing - Describes changes in seasonality, such as significantly increased rainfall in the spring.

Feast or Famine - Describes big swings in temperature and precipitation between years.

"Areas like the Big Hole depend on snow to irrigate their hayfields," explains Murphy, "so little snowfall could pose a big problem. Not only does it affect their hay crop, but in a region with the Arctic Grayling, a candidate for endangered listing, the water shortage would affect wildlife. Because of these scenarios, more groups were open to conservation efforts. All community interests were able to see the benefits of conservation efforts."

Murphy says scenarios to remove or shrink grazing allotments for ranchers were also big concerns, since ranchers would turn to grazing allotments to offset the effect of drought on herds.

"Flood irrigation, for example, has environmental impacts that are really, really good. So, we looked at the impact of stopping flood irrigation and switching to center pivot irrigation. It could rob the groundwater, it would evaporate off the soil and it wouldn't go back into the river, so river levels would go down and stress the fish. So in examining that scenario, ranchers could see how this feeds back and that's the iteration," says Murphy.

Murphy adds that one of the major concerns in Grand County, Colo., is also water, because much of the snow melt there feeds into a lake that's a reservoir for Denver's water. "Ranchers, irrigators and home owners are concerned about rising water prices if there is less snow, so that was a conflict that seemed to emerge there."

Murphy says that in both Grand County and Big Hole Valley, the second scenario was perceived as an opportunity, because despite any temperature increases or other issues, it involved continuous rain in the spring.

Murphy is now exploring climate vulnerability in Ohio's Appalachia near the Wayne National Forest in southeast Ohio, where he says future flooding could pose a threat.

"A lot of research in this area tends to focus on past vulnerability or past adaptation, and from my perspective, that's come and gone. The real opportunities lie in the future, and we're examining how city planners, urban planners and extension agents can utilize our research in future decision-making," says Murphy.

Funding for the project was supported by the U.S. Forest Service at the Rocky Mountain Research Station. The interdisciplinary project involved the expertise of anthropologists, conservation social scientists, ecologists and a hydrologist.

Co-researchers on the project are Laurie Yung, associate professor of natural resource social science, University of Montana; Carina Wyborn, a postdoctoral researcher at University of Montana and visiting fellow, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University; and Daniel Williams, research social scientist, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

The SFAA promotes interdisciplinary research in addressing issues affecting human beings around the world. The destinations theme of the spring conference focuses on transience and mobility.

UC's Department of Anthropology in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is involved in active field research stretching from Madagascar to Mongolia. Its emphasis on research and teaching covers bioevolutionary approaches to health, ecosystem dynamics and forms of social inequality.

University of Cincinnati


Related Ranchers Current Events and Ranchers News Articles


In grasslands, longer spring growing season offsets higher summer temperatures
Grasslands across North America will face higher summer temperatures and widespread drought by the end of the century, according to a new study.

Horse owners can manage flies with wasps instead of pesticides
Horses need help when it comes to insect pests like flies. But, unfortunately, horse owners are in the dark about how best to manage flies because research just hasn't been done, according to a new overview of equine fly management in the latest issue of the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, an open-access journal that is written for farmers, ranchers, and extension professionals.

Both sides framed Keystone XL Pipeline debate in Nebraska
As supporters and opponents of the proposed Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline testified at public hearings in Nebraska between 2010-2013, several interest groups attempted to frame the debate in different ways.

Brazilian beef industry moves to reduce its destruction of rain forests
Expansion of cattle pastures has led to the destruction of huge swaths of rain forest in Brazil, home to the world's largest herd of commercial beef cattle.

Rainforest protection akin to speed limit control
The destruction of the Brazilian rainforest has slowed significantly. With around 5000 square kilometers annually, the loss is now about 80% lower than in 2004.

Gene in high-altitude cattle disease sheds light on human lung disease
Vanderbilt University researchers have found a genetic mutation that causes pulmonary hypertension in cattle grazed at high altitude, and which leads to a life-threatening condition called brisket disease.

A little rest from grazing improves native grasslands
Just like us, grasslands need rest to improve their health. A study just published by Point Blue Conservation Science in the journal Ecological Restoration shows a 72 percent increase in where native perennial grasses were found on a coastal California ranch when cattle grazing was changed to give the land more time to rest.

Trees and shrubs invading critical grasslands, diminish cattle production
Half of the Earth's land mass is made up of rangelands, which include grasslands and savannas, yet they are being transformed at an alarming rate.

Study finds benefits to burning Flint Hills prairie in fall and winter
Kansas State University researchers have completed a 20-year study that looks at the consequences of burning Flint Hills prairie at different times of the year.

Meet the gomphothere: UA archaeologist involved in discovery of bones of elephant ancestor
An animal once believed to have disappeared from North America before humans ever arrived there might actually have roamed the continent longer than previously thought - and it was likely on the list of prey for some of continent's earliest humans, researchers from the University of Arizona and elsewhere have found.
More Ranchers Current Events and Ranchers News Articles

The Ranchers (The Founders Book 2)

The Ranchers (The Founders Book 2)
by Wolfpack Publishing


Heiress to a cattle kingdom, she was caught up in a range war and fierce vendetta between two powerful and dangerous men.
Passions as large as they coveted, these were the Ranchers.

The Rancher

The Rancher
by Diana Palmer (Author)


New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Diana Palmer brings her readers back to Branntville, Texas, with Cort Brannt's story. The heir to the Skylance Ranch empire has women gallop into his life, but the handsome lone wolf sends them just as quickly on their wayâ ¦ until a pretty, vivacious neighbor appears on the range. Has the most eligible bachelor in Branntville met his match?

Rancher's Remorse (Culpepper Cowboys Book 2)

Rancher's Remorse (Culpepper Cowboys Book 2)


Faith Quinlan agreed to marry Cooper Culpepper as part of the deal she and her sisters signed to help the Culpepper boys fulfill the terms of their Granddaddy’s will so they could keep the family ranch. But what Cooper doesn’t know might hurt him. Faith is more than willing to help Cooper out—as he discovers, to his delight, on their wedding night—the trouble is, she thinks she’s not able.

But Faith has more than one secret. Her quaint doll-making hobby is more than just a little fun, her dolls have become a nationwide phenomenon. When a reporter shows up to do a story about Faith, Cooper gets all the wrong ideas…and those wrong ideas could spell disaster for their brand-new marriage. Can Faith face her fears and tell Cooper the truth…before Cooper carts her off...

Rancher Bear (Bear Haven Book 2)

Rancher Bear (Bear Haven Book 2)


The right woman can make a calm bear go wild...

Jesse was the most level-headed of the three overprotective, overbearing McAllister brothers. Until the curvy redhead who is meant to be his mate came to town. Now Jesse's discovering it's not easy to stay out of trouble when the bear inside you knows exactly what it wants, and can't have it.

Bonnie was always the good girl. The meek, shy one. Until she breaks the arranged engagement her family made for her and hooks up with Jesse McAllister. The tall, blond cowboy awakens a passion in her that has always been hidden, making Bonnie long for something impossible: a happy ending.

From steamy, stolen kisses to frivolous bar fights, nothing about Bonnie and Jessie hooking up is going to be easy....

The Rancher Takes a Cowgirl (Texas Rancher Trilogy Book 3)

The Rancher Takes a Cowgirl (Texas Rancher Trilogy Book 3)
by Misty M. Beller Books, Inc.


A Christian Historical Romance Novel

A quiet Texas ranch may be just the place to disappear...

Grace Harper is in hiding. When her father died six months before, she never imagined her unexpected inheritance would threaten her life. What better place to disappear than on a cattle ranch, doing the work she spent the last nine years helping her father with? And surely she’ll be safe hidden in Texas, thousands of miles from her trouble.

Monty Dominguez has spent much of his life working on the Double Rocking B Ranch in Seguin, Texas. He’s worked his way from a 12-year-old orphan stable boy, to ranch foreman and trusted friend of the family. There’s not much he wouldn’t do to protect the people and land he loves, even if it means giving up his...

The Rancher's Royal Bride (BBW Romance - Billionaire Brothers 4)

The Rancher's Royal Bride (BBW Romance - Billionaire Brothers 4)


When a threat is made against her, Ellie Sterling is sent to hide out at Logan Trask’s ranch in Wyoming. She doesn’t know who is after her. Or why. She’s a curvy illustrator, for goodness’ sake, not a crime fighter.

Retired SEAL Logan is asked to look after Ellie. When he finds her curves more tempting than he thought possible, suddenly he’s the one in danger - of losing his heart.

But when revelations from Ellie’s shadowed past take her by surprise, Logan is the one she turns to. Can this burned-out SEAL give her a safe haven in his strong arms, despite having a secret of his own?

This is a sexy contemporary romance novella of approximately 31,000 words. Although it’s part of the Billionaire Brothers series, it can be read as a...

Once a Rancher (The Carsons of Mustang Creek)

Once a Rancher (The Carsons of Mustang Creek)
by Linda Lael Miller (Author)


The Carsons of Mustang Creek: three men who embody the West and define what it means to be a rancher, a cowboy and a hero in this brand-new series from the queen of Western romance SLATER CARSON might be a filmmaker by trade, but he's still a cowboy at heart—and he knows the value of a hard day's work under the hot Wyoming sun. So when he sees troubled teen Ryder heading down a dangerous path, he offers the boy a job on the ranch he shares with his two younger brothers. And since Ryder's guardian is the gorgeous new Mustang Creek resort manager, Grace Emery, Slater figures it can't hurt to keep a closer eye on her, as well… GRACE EMERY doesn't have time for romance. Between settling into her new job and caring for her ex-husband's rebellious son, her attraction to larger-than-life...

Mail Order Bride: The Rancher's Runaway Bride (Brave Frontier Brides Book 1)

Mail Order Bride: The Rancher's Runaway Bride (Brave Frontier Brides Book 1)


DOWNLOAD FOR FREE WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED

Desperate to escape what is certain to be a miserable arranged marriage, Dora Smith travels west as a Mail Order Bride. Leaving behind her angry fiance and his selfish love of money, she becomes the wife to Claude Harris, a hardworking and handsome rancher. Claude needs a wife to help him build his home in Wyoming, and Dora is immediately drawn to his strength and kindness.

Claude Harris had not dared to hope for love when he advertised for a bride, but Dora has stolen his heart. However, when a secret from her past threatens to destroy him, Claude must face the truths that Dora has hidden from him. And now he must decide if he will stand beside her, or cast her from his life.


Rancher's Girl: (Book One of the Rancher Series)

Rancher's Girl: (Book One of the Rancher Series)


When pretty Lily Cable moves to a small town in Nevada to rebuild her life, the last thing on her mind was falling for local rancher Sandy Johnson. Neither was remotely interested in any romance. But they had more in common than they thought: He's a cowboy poet and she loved Jane Austen novels. They might have had a chance when old family secrets are exposed that throw their love in jeopardy.

Rancher's Law

Rancher's Law
by Dusty Richards (Author)


In a hot Arizona river basin, three bodies sway from ropes: men executed by their fellow ranchers. Hundreds of miles away, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Deputy Marshal Luther Haskill hunts down a killer. But he is about to be chosen for a new mission: Major Gerald Bowen wants Haskill to go undercover and find out if the Arizona lynchings were a matter of justice or murder. Bowen is on a campaign to bring law to the frontier, and Haskill is the right agent to investigate the deaths. But Luther comes up against a wall of silence and a family guarding a deadly secret. And in a land where some people get second chances and some don't get any, Luther Haskill must make his way through the good, the bad, and the damned--in pursuit of a cold-blooded killer with a plan of his own.Dusty Richards'...

© 2016 BrightSurf.com