Date of Award
Program or Major
Natural Resources and Environmental Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
Mimi L Becker
This research examines the social-ecological resilience and adaptive capacity of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem through a suite of three case study communities and the impacts of climate change on the ecosystem's hydrologic regime. The Crown of the Continent Ecosystem spans the U.S.-Canadian border; case study communities composed of Kalispell and Choteau, Montana and Fernie, British Columbia fall on both sides of the border.
Primary data was gathered through a "bottom-up" qualitative approach utilizing an online survey followed by a semi-structured interview process with stakeholders in natural resource dependant industries and government at the local, state, and federal levels in the three case study communities.
Results produced a set of participant identified indicators specific to the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on the ecosystem's hydrologic regime. In addition to the indicators, participants identified social-ecological strategies and resources to address identified and foreseen ecological and economic impacts. Data further revealed a multitude of impacts to social-ecological resilience and uneven adaptive capacity to the impacts of climate change on the hydrologic regime of the ecosystem. Finally, the data indicates that the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem possesses a robust multi-level set of natural resource management institutions capable of responding to ecological uncertainty if capacity building and collaboration are made a priority.
Johnson, Bradley B., "Assessing social-ecological resilience and adaptive capacity in the face of climate change: An examination of three communities in the Crown of the Continent ecosystem" (2011). Doctoral Dissertations. 639.