The Coordination, Integration and Synthesis (CIS) Group is the statewide component of the Phase IV research effort. The group will serve three key functions within Phase IV. First, it will provide training, guidance and assistance to test case teams. Second, it will provide venues and means to deliver research findings as decision-support tools, including holding annual Regional Outreach Workshops and helping to craft cyber-enabled visualizations for “decision theatres” in which lawmakers, resource managers and members of the public are invited to view and manipulate comparative model scenarios. Third, the CIS Working Group will undertake integrated modeling and assessments across regions to better understand why different communities have different adaptive capacities.
CIS modeling and assessment efforts will serve to: a) develop and test theories of adaptive capacity through comparison between test cases; b) examine the couplings and feedbacks between social dynamics and hydrological and landscape change; and c) empirically test the indicator variables theorized to be important to adaptive capacity. These activities will advance SES science for application worldwide.
CIS will coordinate and assist the test case teams and utilize their outputs for advancing knowledge and methodologies in SES science through multiple approaches and activities. CIS will develop, refine and use next-generation modeling and scenario-building to further our understanding of how environmental changes affect northern communities and how their responses constitute adaptive capacity. It will use a consistent study design and modeling protocols by the test case leaders and work with them to ensure that the data streams are suitable for meta-analysis and compliant with national data standards. Regional Outreach Workshops and other events will train Phase IV researchers/stakeholders in integrative research methods and tools and provide a venue for public sharing of research progress.
CIS will use test case information to build adaptive capacity indices, consisting of robust evaluation protocols and tools for adaptation strategies, policies and measures. By utilizing more precise data, communities can respond to perturbations more quickly and effectively and this response can be quantified on time scales of months to years. Creating these assessments will entail developing: 1) improved benchmarking tools and empirical testing of indicators of adaptive capacity; 2) enhanced adaptation options assessments; 3) a better understanding of socio-cognitive processes affecting adaptive capacity, and 4) best practices for community participation in all phases of adaptation strategies.