The Hawai‘i Drought Knowledge Exchange: Co-Producing Climate and Drought Portfolios with Resource Managers

Authors: Ryan J. Longman*, East-West Center, Abby Frazier , East-West Center, Christian P Giardina, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Communication, Environment
Keywords: Drought, Co-Production, Hawaii, Climate Variability, GIS, Spatial Analysis
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 17
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Climate change, climate variability, and drought (CCVD) will exert a growing impact on Hawaiʻi’s landscapes, watersheds, and nearshore areas. Recent severe El Niño-related drought events and long-term drying trends have negatively affected multiple sectors across the state. While land managers are tasked with utilizing the “best available science”, they often are confronted with data products that are difficult to access and there is no facilitated communication process with researchers to meet the needs of resource managers. To address this gap, we established of the Hawai‘i Drought Knowledge Exchange (HDKE) to explore knowledge co-production among researchers and resource managers with the goal of expanding the utility of drought-related information for end users. The pilot phase of the HDKE has involved sustained collaboration with three partners to co-produce novel and site-specific CCVD portfolios that include historic syntheses of mean climate, trends and climate variability (in particular, influences of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation), and a host of drought-related metrics and spatial analyses. The portfolios also make future downscaled projections accessible for mid- and late-century rainfall and temperature. These portfolios are generated through a semi-automated process that will allow us to include additional stakeholders in the future. This work outlines the process for increased collaboration between scientists and managers, and demonstrates the benefits of translated, customized, co-produced climate data products. This often-overlooked role of translating scientific outputs into usable, accessible data formats and engaging resource managers in research planning and knowledge co-production is essential to enable and support informed climate change adaptation decision making.

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