Santa Cruz makes a solid start refining its project scope

The Santa Cruz, CA team met each other and commenced their community science project in late February. Since then, the team, comprised of Tiffany Wise-West, with Santa Cruz’s Climate Action Program, Ben Preston, RAND, and Juliano Calil, University of California – Santa Cruz, have made significant strides towards updating the city’s climate vulnerability assessment. Ben Preston will serve as a technical advisor for the team. Since February, Preston has reviewed and provided constructively critical comments on Santa Cruz’s climate vulnerability assessment methodology and assumption document. 

In the meantime, Juliano Calil and Tiffany Wise-West have made time to meet for an hour in-person every other week. Because of this consistency, they have successfully refined the scope of work based on Juliano’s core expertise. Essentially, Calil will focus on conducting a social vulnerability analysis. Tiffany stressed that this will add value to their adaptation plan because they didn’t have the expertise so had not previously included social vulnerability in climate adaptation plan. Conducting a social vulnerability analysis will add another layer to the city’s consideration of adaptive strategies.

The team now has a project timeline that calls out specific items like reviews and major milestones on the social vulnerability piece. It does not assign roles and responsibilities to individual team members since the team will continue to refine as the project naturally evolves over time. 

Wise-West says that the collaboration with Calil and Preston has helped the city to determine three comprehensive next steps that they need to accomplish to take their climate vulnerability assessment forward to impact. They are as follows:

1.        Doing a cost benefit analysis of adaptation strategy implementation.
2.       Addressing best available science for quantifying their non coastal impacts and updating that section more fully.
3.       Conducting a fuller public outreach campaign.

Her staff is already looking for funding so that they can move forward on those aspects soon after this project ends in August 2017. 

By next month, the team hopes to have the following accomplished:

  • A preliminary social vulnerability assessment to discuss. (Currently scheduled for May 19, 2017.)
  • A preliminary sea level rise hazard map and including findings.
  • Preston will have started reviewing preliminary deliverables from Santa Cruz’s consultant.
  • The team will have started to transition and discuss adaptation strategies.
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