Designing institutions to support local-level climate change adaptation: Insights from a case study of the U.S. cooperative extension system

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In light of global climate change, adaptation will be necessary at all levels of social organization. However, the adaptation literature emphasizes that because the impacts of climate change and vulnerability are locally specific, adaptation is inevitably local. In this paper, in order to inform the design of institutions that can encourage and support effective local-level adaptation, the authors derive principles for their design theoretically and use a case study to explore how these principles could be practically implemented. Ten design principles are synthesized from principles derived from reviews of the literatures on local-level adaptation, usable science, and boundary organizations. Bringing these three literatures together highlights the characteristics of boundary organizations that make them particularly valuable for addressing the challenges of local-level adaptation. The case study then illustrates how an existing boundary organization, The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System (CES), implements these principles in its organizational structure and in the daily practice of Extension professionals. It also highlights the significance of the CES's existing social networks and social capital for facilitating their implementation. From the case study it is concluded that the CES is uniquely positioned to serve an important role in a national adaptation strategy for the United States in supporting local-level adaptation in urban and rural communities across the country.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-38
Number of pages21
JournalWeather, Climate, and Society
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

climate change
organization
social organization
social capital
social network
climate change adaptation
organizational structure
global climate
rural community
vulnerability
science
literature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

@article{976e64a756544d59b74331e4e0832697,
title = "Designing institutions to support local-level climate change adaptation: Insights from a case study of the U.S. cooperative extension system",
abstract = "In light of global climate change, adaptation will be necessary at all levels of social organization. However, the adaptation literature emphasizes that because the impacts of climate change and vulnerability are locally specific, adaptation is inevitably local. In this paper, in order to inform the design of institutions that can encourage and support effective local-level adaptation, the authors derive principles for their design theoretically and use a case study to explore how these principles could be practically implemented. Ten design principles are synthesized from principles derived from reviews of the literatures on local-level adaptation, usable science, and boundary organizations. Bringing these three literatures together highlights the characteristics of boundary organizations that make them particularly valuable for addressing the challenges of local-level adaptation. The case study then illustrates how an existing boundary organization, The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System (CES), implements these principles in its organizational structure and in the daily practice of Extension professionals. It also highlights the significance of the CES's existing social networks and social capital for facilitating their implementation. From the case study it is concluded that the CES is uniquely positioned to serve an important role in a national adaptation strategy for the United States in supporting local-level adaptation in urban and rural communities across the country.",
author = "Brugger, {Julie V} and Michael Crimmins",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1175/WCAS-D-13-00036.1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "7",
pages = "18--38",
journal = "Weather, Climate, and Society",
issn = "1948-8327",
publisher = "American Meteorological Society",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Designing institutions to support local-level climate change adaptation

T2 - Insights from a case study of the U.S. cooperative extension system

AU - Brugger, Julie V

AU - Crimmins, Michael

PY - 2015/1/1

Y1 - 2015/1/1

N2 - In light of global climate change, adaptation will be necessary at all levels of social organization. However, the adaptation literature emphasizes that because the impacts of climate change and vulnerability are locally specific, adaptation is inevitably local. In this paper, in order to inform the design of institutions that can encourage and support effective local-level adaptation, the authors derive principles for their design theoretically and use a case study to explore how these principles could be practically implemented. Ten design principles are synthesized from principles derived from reviews of the literatures on local-level adaptation, usable science, and boundary organizations. Bringing these three literatures together highlights the characteristics of boundary organizations that make them particularly valuable for addressing the challenges of local-level adaptation. The case study then illustrates how an existing boundary organization, The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System (CES), implements these principles in its organizational structure and in the daily practice of Extension professionals. It also highlights the significance of the CES's existing social networks and social capital for facilitating their implementation. From the case study it is concluded that the CES is uniquely positioned to serve an important role in a national adaptation strategy for the United States in supporting local-level adaptation in urban and rural communities across the country.

AB - In light of global climate change, adaptation will be necessary at all levels of social organization. However, the adaptation literature emphasizes that because the impacts of climate change and vulnerability are locally specific, adaptation is inevitably local. In this paper, in order to inform the design of institutions that can encourage and support effective local-level adaptation, the authors derive principles for their design theoretically and use a case study to explore how these principles could be practically implemented. Ten design principles are synthesized from principles derived from reviews of the literatures on local-level adaptation, usable science, and boundary organizations. Bringing these three literatures together highlights the characteristics of boundary organizations that make them particularly valuable for addressing the challenges of local-level adaptation. The case study then illustrates how an existing boundary organization, The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System (CES), implements these principles in its organizational structure and in the daily practice of Extension professionals. It also highlights the significance of the CES's existing social networks and social capital for facilitating their implementation. From the case study it is concluded that the CES is uniquely positioned to serve an important role in a national adaptation strategy for the United States in supporting local-level adaptation in urban and rural communities across the country.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84921717334&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84921717334&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1175/WCAS-D-13-00036.1

DO - 10.1175/WCAS-D-13-00036.1

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84921717334

VL - 7

SP - 18

EP - 38

JO - Weather, Climate, and Society

JF - Weather, Climate, and Society

SN - 1948-8327

IS - 1

ER -