CES develops content and programs, working closely with the USGS South Florida Regional Science Advisor, and other partners and steering committees made up of local, regional, and national experts from a diverse group of disciplines. The success and dynamic outcomes of the research, technical meetings and reports could not have been possible without the generous support and partnership of the USGS. Together we are building an understanding of the importance of sound science and collaboration to effectively prepare for the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on South Florida’s natural ecosystems. Through the planning and implementation of these projects, CES & USGS have developed an expansive network of supporters and partners that continue to unify scientists, resource managers, educators and decision makers. We will continue to identify future technical meeting topics, content and objectives, as well as the optimum time frame for delivery for future technical meetings.
October 2015 • Boca Raton, FL
Approximately 60 researchers and managers participated in a two days of presentations and working sessions on the FAU Boca Raton campus to discuss issues relating to invasive species in the Florida Everglades. At the meeting, hosted by CES and USGS, Shannon Estenoz, Director of Everglades Restoration Initiatives at the U.S. Department of the Interior, issued a challenge to the group. Estenoz asked participants to examine the framework used in Florida - the Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) decision framework for non-indigenous species - and improve it for use as a screening tool. Experts from Florida Fish & Wildlife, USGS, the Universities of Florida and Georgia, and the National Park Service presented the tools they currently use. Florida plant and wildlife managers also learned from the procedures and methods presented by authorities from the States of Hawaii and Vermont. Three working groups evaluated the EDRR frameworks and provided recommendations and feedback. Next steps include developing an improved screening tool. Updates will be posted on the meeting's website.
June 2015 • Davie, FL
Fifty-four scientists, managers, and policy-makers gathered with the goal of communicating the state-of-the-art in downscaling science such that potential users (e.g., ecologists, hydrologists, managers, decision-makers) of downscaling results will better understand the nature of the output. That way, the users will feel more confident that the downscaling output is salient, credible, and as accurate as possible for their applied needs. In turn, these interactions will help the producers of the downscaling improve the utility of their products. The primary emphasis was on improving models of Everglades precipitation. On the first day, the meeting started with a brief foundation on current downscaling methods and results, both globally and specific to Florida. Next, members of the General Circulation Models (GCM) output user community described their needs with respect to spatial resolution and other model features. Finally, a panel of climatologists responded to the stated user needs in light of what is feasible to produce in the coming few years. The climatologists agreed that most of the presented user needs could be realistically addressed relatively quickly, if the necessary resources and collaboration networks were available. On the second day, the participants self-divided into two groups to focus on prioritizing which specific needs deserve immediate attention from funding agencies. The two groups focused on tailoring General Circulation Models output to 1) hydrological models primarily centered on the region’s water conveyance infrastructure and policy demands, and 2) ecological models primarily centered on the Everglades and associated restoration questions.
February 2015 • Davie, FL
USGS and CES sponsored this meeting that brought together 35 scientists from FAU and USGS. The primary focus was on the collaboration between FAU and USGS scientists through inter-disciplinary research goals, exploration of potential funding opportunities, and identifying mutually beneficial activities (e.g. student involvement). Important outcomes include topical mapping of local USGS and FAU expertise to illustrate who does what kind of research and where, and an executive summary of innovative research directions coupled with an institutional collaboration framework.
April 2014 • Boca Raton, FL
USGS, CES, and Florida Sea Grant presented this technical meeting that convened 84 participants from academia, local, state, federal agencies, and public and private organizations. These interdisciplinary experts aimed to address the following question: How can we effectively enhance restoration efforts throughout the Everglades watershed through an adaptive management process that incorporates current scientific knowledge of climate-related impacts? Recommended actions were identified to address current and potential impacts of increased temperature and changes in evapotranspiration and rainfall parameters for restoration efforts.
Decision Makers Meeting
January 2014 • Naples, FL
Managers and scientists highlighted a series of issues to be addressed during the April 28 & 29 FAU Technical Meeting. Discussions included how scientists and managers must find systematic ways to work together and suggested the following stragegies: 1) define the key issues, 2) understand our present degree of knowledge, 3) recommend adaptive strategies, 4) design plans to address issues, and 5) identify major knowledge gaps. New patterns of interaction may be needed to achieve these objectives.
February 2013 • Boca Raton, Florida
Presented by CES, USGS and FL Sea Grant, this technical meeting was held on the FAU Boca Raton Campus. The two day event brought together scientists and resource managers and included participants from academia, local, state and federal agencies and public and private organizations. Experts in Everglades ecology were asked to identify how hydrologic changes associated with possible future climate change regimes might influence ecosystem services, and to identify research gaps where it currently is not possible to make such projections with acceptable certainty. The meeting included breakout sessions that evaluated information needs and uncertainty scenarios to be considered for Everglades restoration and resource decision makers. During the planning process of the February Ecology Technical Meeting, USGS, CES and FL Sea Grant prearranged for the outcomes of the Ecology Technical Meeting to be published as individual papers by the speakers in a special series of the journal Environmental Management .
December 2012 • West Palm Beach, FL
Once the speakers were chosen for the February 2013 Ecology Technical Meeting, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) provided them with an output from a regional hydrologic model that was used in the planning process of CERP. The hydrologists and ecologists planned to use the model as a basis for their upcoming presentations and a webinar was held in December to enable presenters to ask questions and receive input. The SFWMD used a set of climate change and sea level rise scenarios to run the South FL Water Management Model (SFWMM), the premier regional-scale, hydrologic model for the region. The SFWMM is a computer model that simulates the hydrology and management of water resources system from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay, covering an area of 7,600 square miles.
Webinar for Florida Ecologists
September 2012 • Boca Raton, FL
CES, USGS and the Steering Committee felt that ecologists had not been sufficiently represented at the March 2012 Hydrology of the Everglades in the Context of Climate Change Technical Meeting. In order to be brought into future discussions, ecologists needed to be updated on the processes and findings thus far. A webinar was held for approximately 50 key ecologists and hydrologists that featured an overview and key presentations from the Hydrology meeting. The results of the webinar illustrated that the ecologists’ perspective is critically important to develop a comprehensive model of the Everglades responses.
March 2012 • Davie, FL
The meeting’s goal was to assess the state of knowledge of the impacts of current and future climate change on the hydrological cycle in the Everglades which included gaining a greater understanding of downscaled hydrologic global models for the Everglades. Identification of 1) Our understanding of potential changes in precipitation quantity and intensity, evapotranspiration, percolation to groundwater, runoff and drainage, and 2) Critical knowledge gaps with respect to future patterns and their impact.
Presentations and discussion groups described the effects of SLR on the ecological attributes of mangrove estuaries of the FL Everglades, Everglades ridge and slough, and the southern marl prairies. Groups provided recommendations that served as a basis for updating the Conceptual Ecological Models used in the Everglades restoration program to potentially be used to guide the development of future monitoring activities.
Sea Level Rise Workshop
February 2010 • Boca Raton, FL
The purpose of this two-day workshop was to engage Florida based university faculty and resource management agencies on the issues of sea level rise and its effects on coastal-zone marine (upland ecosystems) and hydrological dynamics that might be impacted by future sea level rise and storm surge. Findings helped to inform the organizing of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference (GEER) held in July 2010.