SERI organized and ran two VCAPS meetings in Fairhaven-New Bedford in Fall 2012.  The purpose of the meetings was to document local understandings of what impacts are likely from future weather-related hazards based on projections of climate change.  The first meeting began with a presentation by Dr. Paul Kirshen of the University of New Hampshire.  Dr. Kirshen is a climate scientist who is very knowledgeable about climate impacts for southern New England.

With funding from MIT Sea Grant, SERI has been working with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the City of Boston to explore a way to include local knowledge about climate vulnerability in the City's Hazard Mitigation Plan.  SERI facilitated five VCAPS workshops with different groups of stakeholders and City employees.  In these meetings, participants documents how flooding, winter storms, and heat waves affect the City and what the City is doing and can do to increase its resilience to these hazards.

El Nuevo Día is the major newspaper in Puerto Rico.  SERI's research was featured in the Sunday edition.

 An article based on our work on methods for gathering routine data about fishing communities and the impacts of fishery regulations has been published by the Journal of Ocean and Coastal Management.  An online version is available here.

In early 2012, we completed the VCAPS workshops in Plymouth MA.  A final report is available.  The workshops focused on shoreline erosion and flooding. We experimented with organizing VCAPS diagrams in tabular form, however participants reported this was not as valuable to them as the VCAPS diagrams.

 Promoting climate change awareness and adaptive planning in communities
through mediated modeling


Promoting climate change awareness and adaptive planning in Atlantic fisheries communities using dialogue-based participatory vulnerability analysis, mapping, and collaborative systems dynamic modeling

As part of our ongoing research into how social science and climate science can help inform and promote community-based adaptation to a changing climate, SERI conducted a VCAPS workshop in Orange Beach, Alabama.  The workshop was sponsored by the City and involved participants from neighboring counties and municipalities.  Staff from the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Office were on hand as well.  The workshop ran from 9am-4pm with a working lunch.

 In 2011, and together with our colleague, Professor Eugene Rosa of Washington State University, we wrote a report for the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's nuclear future for how to engage publics and stakeholders in decision making.  We kept abreast of the work of the Commission, participated in a AAAS symposium on the Commission Report (Vancouver 2012) and then wrote two editorials for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.  This is the second of those editorials.  It is available for free at the web site below.

Seth Tuler and Roger Kasperson (of Clark University, Worcester, MA) completed a report for President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.  The report discusses the role of trust and confidence in a a nuclear waste management program.  The report emphasizes that there is a high level of social distrust in the responsible agencies, and thus a need to proceed in a context of social distrust.  

 With funding from the US EPA, SERI conducted a research project to compare three methods for conducting formative evaluations of public participation.  EPA superfund clean up processes can take years.  During this time it is necessary to continually adjust the public engagement process.  EPA customarily collects feedback through informal and non-systematic methods.  We explored the value added from three formal and systematic methods: survey, focus group, and Q methodology.  This paper reports on those results.

 MIT Sea Grant is funding our current project on Improving understandings of consequences, vulnerabilities, and adaptation strategies to climate change related hazards.  Tuler presented our work at a seminar with other grantees. For information about this seminar take a look at:

 Thomas Webler was invited to give one of the keynote lectures at a Symposium in honor of the 60th birthday of Professor Ortwin Renn.  Webler spoke on the topic of Recent Advances in Public Participation to an audience of over 200 at the Filderhalle near Stuttgart.

 Thomas Webler was appointed to serve on the International Advisory Board for the new Center for Risk and Innovation at Stuttgart University in Germany.  The Center is co-leader for the new Helmholtz Alliance on Energy Transformations, a project intented to help Germany achieve the goal of generating 100% of its electricity using renewable energy technologies.