Resilience

Resilience research addresses the ability of communities to maintain function under stress or return to normal function after disturbance. Rural communities with high adaptive capacity have strong leadership, can take advantage of new opportunities and technologies, and have diverse options to employ local stakeholders. Stakeholders with a strong sense of place attachment, openness to collaboration, and accurate risk perceptions can help communities face challenges. Cooperative extension can aid in building collaborations while informing stakeholders about climate change threats. Yet, there is little work that addresses how resilient diverse communities are to climate change. In coastal regions, for example, there is a delicate balance between protecting wetlands and rural tax bases maintained by private property. Despite storm mitigation benefits, lost taxable land leads to diminished financial capital for storm mitigation infrastructure and flood recovery which can produce negative perceptions and less support for public lands locally. I am interested in researching ways to build resilience in diverse communities by improving extension outreach, identifying barriers to adaptation, and finding the balance between conservation and development.