Dr. Gall is participating as subject matter expert in a meta-analysis of climate change vulnerability mapping studies led by Alex de Sherbinin (Columbia University) and Brian Tomaszewski (Rochster Institute of Technology).
Climate change will have multiple impacts across a range of systems and sectors, and will increase vulnerability of populations in many regions. Maps synthesizing climate, biophysical, and socioeconomic data have become part of the standard toolkit for communicating climate risks. So-called “hotspot” maps are often used to direct attention to areas where impacts are expected to be greatest and potentially require adaptation interventions. Under the advent of the Green Climate Fund and other bilateral climate adaptation funding mechanisms, potentially billions of dollars of adaptation funds are being directed with guidance from modeling results, visualized, and communicated through maps and spatial decision support tools. However, the methods and tools used to create vulnerability maps have not been systematically evaluated, nor have the map outputs in terms of communications efficacy.
This project will conduct a meta-analysis (assessment) of existing vulnerability mapping efforts focused on two aspects. Firstly, we will assess the methods used for the integration of spatial data representing climate exposure, biophysical systems, and social vulnerability in an effort to identify good practices. Secondly, we will assess the output maps according to standard criteria of cartographic design, clarity of communication, inclusion of information on uncertainty, and other criteria. The team will analyze at least 50 mapping efforts at different scales, created both by team members and by external parties. A secondary goal will be to establish a protocol for assessing map comprehension and policy impacts of maps through interviews with end users. The results will help to improve climate vulnerability maps and online map tools in ways that will facilitate science–policy communication.
Dr. Gall is serving as committee member for the National Academies' consensus study on measuring community resilience.
The ad hoc committee is conducting a study on effective ways to measure the resilience of a community to natural hazards and other disruptions. The report will identify knowledge gaps, research directions, and approaches that could be useful to a range of communities, including the Gulf Research Program’s efforts to support the development of healthy and resilient coastal communities. Specifically, the committee will:
- Document similarities and differences among approaches used by federal agencies and other organizations to measure resilience;
- Describe the methodologies used for quantitative and qualitative data collection and data analysis;
- Examine measurement work underway by organizations such as the Zurich Foundation, Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities, The Nature Conservancy, NOAA, NIST, FEMA, federal cross-agency groups, or others, and
- Comment on their different approaches, as well as
- Identify common challenges or research needs related to measuring resilience; and
- Discuss applications for these or other approaches at the community level.
- Confer with community leaders and decision makers who have implemented resilience measures about the approaches, challenges, or successes they have encountered in measuring resilience in their respective communities; and
- Provide findings and recommendations on common approaches to measuring resilience that have shown success, ways to overcome the challenges of measuring resilience, and key issues for future programs to consider in measuring the resilience of a community.
The committee will produce a consensus report presenting effective options for measuring resilience at the community level.
- Adm. Thad Allen (Booz Allen Hamilton)
- Dr. Gerald E. Galloway (University of Maryland, College Park)
- Dr. Michael Beck (The Nature Conservancy)
- Dr. Anita Chandra (RAND Corporation)
- Erin Coryell (Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies)
- Dr. Susan L. Cutter (University of South Carolina)
- Dr. Ann-Margaret Esnard (Georgia State University)
- Dr. Howard Frumkin (University of Washington)
- Dr. Melanie Gall (Arizona State University)
- Dr. Maureen Lichtveld (Tulane University)
- Dr. Carlos Martin (The Urban Institute)
- Chris Poland (Chris D. Poland Consutling Engineer)
- Dr. Liesel Ritchie (Oklahoma State University)
- Dr. Kathryn Sullivan (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)
- Dr. Lauren Alexander Augustine
- Dr. Charlene Miliken
- Jamie Bigelow
Project Period: September- December 2018
Partner: Florida VOAD
Funder: pro bono
Dr. Gall, CEMHS Co-Director, is conducting uncertainty and sensitivity analysis of the City Resilience Index (the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities effort), a measurement tool pioneered by Arup that helps cities understand and quantify their capacity to respond and adapt to current and future environments.
Project Period: September 2017 - April 2018