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Current Projects

Connecting Wildlands and Communities

Integrating ecological research into planning efforts is key to IEMM's goal of delivering actionable science. With new funding from the California State Strategic Growth Council, IEMM and the Climate Science Alliance will lead an interdisciplinary team of planners, environmental engineers, ecologist, and geographers to explore how connected landscapes can support adaptation and resilience to climate change for both ecosystems and local communities in southern California. This new project takes a comprehensive planning approach to meet State objectives on protecting rural communities, mitigating wildfire risk, supporting water sustainability, and protecting biodiversity. The goal of this research is to provide an integrated planning and decision-making framework that supports multi-benefit landscape-scale planning and facilitates science-informed climate adaptation and strategies across the region.

Project Objectives

I. Engagement

To engage with partners and stakeholders across the region to support climate resilient ecosystem and community planning and implementation.

II. Wildfire Assessment

To assess the implications of connected landscapes on wildfire risks and patterns and recovery after wildfire impacts to ecosystems and communities.

III. Watershed Assessment

To evaluate the impact of connected landscapes on hydrologic regimes as it relates to water quality, quantity, and sustainability for ecosystems and communities.

IV. Biodiversity Assessment

To consider how connected landscapes will serve to protect plant and wildlife populations, habitats, and climate refugia over the long-term.

V. Planning Integration

To deliver a suite of robust products and applications that reflect research outcomes and deploy a comprehensive outreach program that provides accessible, relevant, and data-driven products and decision-support tools to a diverse end-user community.

VI. Outreach and Delivery

Establish an integrated planning framework that incorporates ecological connectivity, wildfire risk, and water sustainability into land management approaches, conservation planning, and land use strategies.