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Northwest climate change is target of $3.2M in grants to University of Oregon
Date:10/21/2008

be on two small areas in the valley, one around several rural towns and the surrounding countryside and one adjacent to a larger metropolitan area.

"Climate change is likely to have major impacts on wildfire, biodiversity and people in the Pacific Northwest," Johnson said. "Predicting the effects of climate change on people and ecosystems, though, is difficult because of the uncertainties not just about the magnitude of climate change, but about how ecosystems will respond to those changes and, in turn, how people will respond to those changes in ecosystems."

Johnson and Bridgham will collaborate under both grants. The NSF project involves an interdisciplinary team that includes researchers from the UO, Oregon State University and the U.S. Forest Service. Researchers will gather data and build comprehensive modeling systems that explore possible ranges of climate-change outcomes. They will model all combinations of two very different climate-change scenarios, two very different land-growth scenarios, and two sets of policies that could guide how people can protect themselves and their property from wildfire.

Other UO researchers on the NSF project include David Hulse, a Philip H. Knight Professor, and Robert Ribe, head of the Institute for a Sustainable Environment, both of whom also are in the department of landscape architecture. The team also includes John P. Bolte, head of OSU's department of biological and ecological engineering, and Ron Neilson, a Forest Service climate modeler and courtesy professor of biosphere modeling at OSU. Bolte received $300,000 under the grant. Students from several different disciplines will have roles in the research.

"What we are trying to do is help society develop land-use and management policies that are robust against the uncertainties that accompany climate change," Johnson said. "We want to identify policies that will protect people from wildfire while conserving and protecting biodiversi
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Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert  

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