Research Projects 2018-2020

Integrating climate science with local knowledge through community vulnerability assessment on Kauaʻi

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Daniele Spirandelli
Graduate Trainee: Erin “Bear” Braich

Computer colored blue overlying aerial photo of Kauai'i coastal community, illustrating excessive flooding expected from sea level rise
Map of Kaua’i communities where modeling has shown future vulnerabilities.

Like many low-lying coastal regions of the world, the County of Kauaʻi in Hawaiʻi is vulnerable to the impacts of present and future hazards associated with climate change. While the State is generating important information at county levels on the potential impacts of climate change risks like future sea level rise, coastal communities require more detailed data at the local level. This project will serve as a case study to examine opportunities and challenges for integrating coastal resilience into a community plan on Kauaʻi. This project supports statewide goals to help prepare the state and counties to address the impacts of climate change and provide on the ground knowledge on how to integrate local knowledge with best available science on climate risk. Ultimately, the outcomes will help guide implementation plans, policies, and adaptation strategies to increase resilience to coastal hazards.