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Understanding Ecological Drought Effects and Natural Resource Management Needs in Hawaiʻi

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Kunz MEM Final Paper 2021.pdf 1.09 MB Adobe PDF View/Open
Kunz MEM Final Presentation 2021.pdf 3.39 MB Adobe PDF View/Open

Item Summary

Title:Understanding Ecological Drought Effects and Natural Resource Management Needs in Hawaiʻi
Authors:Kunz, Melissa
Contributors:Oleson, Kirsten (advisor)
Keener, Victoria (other)
Litton, Creighton (instructor)
Natural Resources and Environmental Management (department)
Masters of Environmental Management (department)
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Keywords:Knowledge Exchange
Adaptive Capacity
Native Ecosystems
Drought Preparedness
show 2 moreMicroclimates
Science Translation
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Date Issued:May 2021
Abstract:Both the frequency and severity of drought in Hawaiʻi are projected to increase under future climate scenarios, resulting in greater impacts on the state’s unique landscapes, ecosystems, and species. To protect Hawaii’s biocultural resources under changing drought regimes, land managers need more and better targeted information to guide their resource planning and decision-making. This research sought to: 1) enhance the understanding of ecological drought in Hawaiʻi; 2) document and summarize managers’ lessons learned for drought preparedness and response; and 3) identify additional resources needed to manage and mitigate the effects of drought. Semi-structured interviews with 24 natural resource managers in Federal, State, private, and partnership organizations elicited their drought experiences and perspectives. Based on analysis of topic themes, theme frequency, and inter-theme relationships, results show that the top drought-related management challenges are wildfire, outplanting mortality, and shifts in non-native plant and animal populations. Managers typically address drought concerns through wildfire mitigation and a variety of restoration strategies. Common practices aim to restore native ecosystems and ultimately increase drought resilience. In addition, managers want greater capacity for conservation work in general, and better drought-related planning tools. Managers want climate, drought, and weather resources which are timely, accurate, geographically-specific, and easily interpreted. Land managers most frequently discuss and interpret current drought-related information within their own organizations and with inter-agency partners. A key recommendation that emerges is to leverage partnership organizations to support researchers and managers as they develop, share, and apply new drought knowledge in the face of climate change.
Description:Includes a 32-page presentation titled "Drought and Hawaiʻi Land Management: Challenges, Lessons Learned, and Information Needs".
Pages/Duration:41 pages
Rights Holder:Kunz, Melissa
Appears in Collections: 2021 Capstone Projects

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