The draft research manuscripts identified existing and mapped our new areas of research in geography, urban planning, engineering, communication, and other disciplines. Among the critical topics that were explored, participants addressed building local resilience, visualization, adaptation planning, mapping local knowledge, informing policy and practice in the hemisphere, relationships between land use and hazards in the context of climate change, vulnerability, and mitigation. Many employed case studies to illustrate the concepts under discussion. Among the results, the group emphasized that “community participation is very important in hazards mitigation and adaptation to climate change” and elaborated methodologies and practices towards engaging stakeholder participation from the beginning of scientific endeavors in ways that are culturally relevant. The urgency of hazards preparation was seen as one way to overcome inaction that may be precipitated by the uncertainty involved in climate change science. They explored links on how mitigating the effects of climate change are closely related to ways of living and developing more sustainably anyway.
The white papers are posted online for public viewing. An integrated research agenda based on these manuscripts and on the discussions that ensued over the two-week institute will be published and made available to the public in the fall.