Lisa Dilling

Lisa Dilling
University of Colorado Boulder | CUB · Environmental Studies Program

PhD

About

56
Publications
24,412
Reads
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3,301
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2008 - present
University of Colorado Boulder
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2007 - present
University of Colorado
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
June 2002 - September 2004
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Position
  • Visiting Scientist

Publications

Publications (56)
Article
Full-text available
In recent years increasing attention has been focused on understanding the different resources that can support decision makers at all levels in responding to climate variability and change. This article focuses on the role that access to information and other potential constraints may play in the context of water decision making across three U.S....
Article
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In the past several decades, decision makers in the United States have increasingly called upon publicly funded science to provide “usable” information for policy making, whether in the case of acid rain, famine prevention or climate change policy. As demands for usability become more prevalent for publicly accountable scientific programs, there is...
Article
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As water systems are likely to experience mounting challenges managing for climate variability and extremes as well as a changing climate, there is increasing interest in what motivates systems to implement adaptive measures. While extreme events have been hypothesized to stimulate organization change and act as “windows of opportunity” and “pacema...
Article
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The field of climate services has arisen rapidly out of a desire to enable climate science to meet the information needs of society to respond to climate variability and change. In order for knowledge to be “usable” for decision-making, in the field of climate adaptation and beyond, it must meet the criteria of credibility, salience, and legitimacy...
Article
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Significant effort has been put into advancing the use and usability of information products to support adaptation to drought and climate variability, particularly for the water supply sector. Evidence and experience show that advancing the usability of information through processes such as coproduction is time consuming for both providers and user...
Article
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The Paris Agreement established a global goal on adaptation and invites parties to review the effectiveness of adaptation actions. However, the measurement of adaptation success remains elusive. Focusing on the capabilities of households and governments to pursue a range of adaptation futures provides a more robust foundation.
Article
Multiobjective Evolutionary Algorithms (MOEAs) generate quantitative information about performance relationships between a system's potentially conflicting objectives (termed tradeoffs). Research applications have suggested that evaluating tradeoffs can enhance long term water utility planning, but no studies have formally engaged with practitioner...
Article
This article focuses on the emerging landscape for Alternative Transfer Methods (ATMs) in Colorado, USA. ATMs are developing within a legal landscape of water rights governed by prior appropriation law, growing demand for water in urban centers driven by population growth, and an aging rural farm population whose most valuable asset may include sen...
Article
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In this paper we examine current policies to combat drought in urban areas in the United States to illuminate lessons learned for building climate adaptive capacity. We conducted interviews with practitioners involved in drought management at urban water utilities across the U.S. to understand: 1) both short- and long-term actions taken in response...
Article
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Extreme events often bring unexpected situations and impacts, as the sequence of hurricanes and other natural disasters in summer and fall 2017 demonstrated. To reduce the risks associated with such events, many have focused on reducing uncertainty in prediction or reducing vulnerability. Although both are worthy goals, we suggest that the research...
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Federal investments by U.S. agencies to enhance climate resilience at regional scales grew over the past decade (2010s). To maximize efficiency and effectiveness in serving multiple sectors and scales, it has become critical to leverage existing agency-specific research, infrastructure, and capacity while avoiding redundancy. We discuss lessons lea...
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This study explores sense-making about climate engineering among lay focus group participants in Japan, New Zealand, the USA and Sweden. In total, 23 qualitative focus group interviews of 136 participants were conducted. The analyses considered sense-making strategies and heuristics among the focus group participants and identified commonalities an...
Article
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Cities are key sites of action for adaptation to climate change. However, there are a wide variety of responses to hazards at the municipal level. Why do communities take adaptive action in the face of weather- and climate-related risk?We studied what cities are doing in response to existing natural hazards, such as floods, droughts, and blizzards...
Article
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Federal lands in the United States have been identified as important areas where forests could be managed to enhance carbon storage and help mitigate climate change. However, there has been little work examining the context for decision making for carbon in a multiple-use public land environment, and how science can support decision making. This ca...
Chapter
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Managing multiple scales of climate knowledge and decision making has proven key to the provision of useful climate information for decision support. In this chapter we use specific examples from the work of the Western Water Assessment RISA program to illustrate how boundary work, consisting of convening, translating, collaborating and mediating,...
Chapter
For almost two decades, Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) teams have emphasized iterative engagement with decision-makers. The methodological underpinnings of that approach are the results of years of experiments with applying various methods to understand the complexities of decision-maker needs for climate information and the co...
Article
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Worldwide water governance failures undermine effective water management under uncertainty and change. Overcoming these failures requires employing more adaptive, resilient water management approaches; yet, while scholars have advance theory of what adaptive, resilient approaches should be, there is little empirical evidence to support those normat...
Article
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Recent reports and scholarship suggest that adapting to current climate variability may represent a ‘no regrets’ strategy for adapting to climate change. Addressing ‘adaptation deficits’ and other approaches that target existing vulnerabilities are helpful for responding to current climate variability, but we argue that they may not be sufficient f...
Chapter
As it becomes clearer that the earth is ‘committed’ to a certain amount of climate change despite greenhouse gas mitigation activities, the need for adaptation policy has been increasingly recognized. However, the fact that climate will be changing in uncertain and potentially unknown ways makes it difficult in many cases to develop firm prescripti...
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Resource managers and governments at all scales are becoming more aware of the challenges and opportunities that climate change and variability pose for their operational goals. At the same time, providers of climate information are learning that simply creating and disseminating information without context does not necessarily serve the needs of d...
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Research on geoengineering – deliberate management of the Earth’s climate system – is being increasingly discussed within the science and policy communities. While justified as necessary in order to expand the range of options available to policy makers in the future, geoengineering research has already engendered public controversy. Proposed proje...
Article
Inadequate information has been repeatedly identified as a barrier to climate change adaptation planning and implementation. However less is known about how information functions as a barrier, and to what degree it prevents adaptation compared to other perceived barriers. In addition, the role of institutional context in mediating the demand for in...
Chapter
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Public lands are important constituents of the U.S. carbon (C) balance because they encompass large areas of forests and rangelands, although whether and how C might be actively managed on public lands is not yet clear. A decision to manage public lands for their C benefits would involve a complex set of interacting drivers and multiple jurisdictio...
Article
A U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Plan was prepared by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research under award number NA06OAR4310119 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views o...
Chapter
This chapter provides an integrated overview of solutions and choices for responding to climate change in ways that reduce risks and support sustainable development in the Southwest. The goal is to illustrate the range of choices for responding to climate change, along with some of the relevant trade-offs and opportunities, to inform policy options...
Article
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Climate change and its associated consequences pose an increasing risk to public lands in the western United States. High-level mandates currently require federal agencies to begin planning for adaptation, but the extent to which these mandates have resulted in policies being implemented that affect on the ground practices is unclear. To examine th...
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Federal land managers are faced with the task of balancing multiple uses and goals when making decisions about land use and the activities that occur on public lands. Though climate change is now well recognized by federal agencies and their local land and resource managers, it is not yet clear how issues related to climate change will be incorpora...
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This article explains the behaviour of communications that have been taking place in the context of climate change and how fruitful they have been so far. It states that important insights can be gained from better understanding the way climate change has been communicated to date and how this communication has been received and interpreted. This a...
Article
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Water managers have long experienced the challenges of managing water resources in a variable climate. However, climate change has the potential to reshape the experiential landscape by, for example, increasing the intensity and duration of droughts, shifting precipitation timing and amounts, and changing sea levels. Given the uncertainty in evalua...
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Despite hazard mitigation efforts and scientific and technological advances, extreme weather events continue to cause substantial losses. The impacts of extreme weather result from complex interactions among physical and human systems across spatial and temporal scales. This article synthesizes current interdisciplinary knowledge about extreme weat...
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Land use and its role in reducing greenhouse gases is a key element of policy negotiations to address climate change. Calculations of the potential for enhanced terrestrial sequestration have largely focused on the technical characteristics of carbon stocks, such as vegetation type and management regime, and to some degree, on economic incentives....
Article
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Many geoengineering projects have been proposed to address climate change, including both solar radiation management and carbon removal techniques. Some of these methods would introduce additional com-pounds into the atmosphere or the ocean. This poses a difficult conundrum: Is it permissible to remediate one pollutant by introducing a second pollu...
Article
A pre-North American Carbon Program (pre-NACP) evaluation of North American carbon sources and sinks was generated as part of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program's Synthesis and Assessment Product 2.2 The First State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR): North American Carbon Budget and Implications for the Global Carbon Cycle. The report found t...
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Public and private sector actors increasingly recognize the need for action to address climate change. With the introduction of "carbon sinks" into the policy dialogue, the notion of managing human activities to mitigate climate change has extended beyond energy systems and emissions of carbon dioxide to include management of the carbon cycle itsel...
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For the past ten years, the role of seasonal climate forecasting (SCF) in decreasing the vulnerability of poor populations in many countries to climate variability and change has been discussed in the scholarly literature and policy circles. This paper reviews the literature on climate forecasting information and explores three main equity implicat...
Article
As concern about climate change grows, so does interest in deliberately managing the carbon cycle to reduce atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. Given the scientific and technical nature of knowledge of the carbon cycle, one would expect that carbon science would be directly of use to society in considering this objective. However, carbon...
Article
Strategies to address climate change increasingly include options to manage the terrestrial and oceanic portions of the carbon cycle, whether as part of national commitments to international treaties, or as elements of entrepreneurial business plans. Carbon cycle science has much to contribute to informing these strategies, but must consider how to...
Article
Climate change can sometimes be characterized as a "creeping environmental problem"--it is complex and long-term, involves long system lags, lacks the immediacy of everyday experience and thus is hard to perceive, and feels overwhelming to most individuals. Climate change thus does not typically attain the status of an urgent concern, taking priori...
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Aggregates of biogenic origin >0.5 mm, known as marine snow, represent a concentrated potential source of food for zooplankton. Little is known, however, about whether aggregates are commonly grazed by zooplankton in the field. While previous laboratory studies have shown that the euphausiid Euphausia pacifica , and the copepod, Calanus pacificus ,...
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Author Posting. © Annual Reviews, 2003. This article is posted here by permission of Annual Reviews for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Annual Review of Environment and Resources 28 (2003): 521-558, doi:10.1146/annurev.energy.28.011503.163443. Agriculture and industrial development have led to inadverte...
Article
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Over the past few centuries, concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have increased in the atmosphere, leading to potential changes in climate. Concern has risen such that societies are now contemplating actions designed to mitigate or prevent further increases. A variety of approaches has been suggested: direct reduction of emi...
Article
Comparisons of the abundances and size distributions of marine snow (aggregated particles >0.5 mm in diameter) in the upper 100 m of the water column at ten stations off Southern California in the late afternoon with those in the same parcel of water the following morning, after nocturnal vertical migration by zooplankton had occurred, revealed the...
Article
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Consumption and assimilation rates of marine zooplankton feeding on large, abundant aggregates, known as marine snow, were measured for the first time. Two common zooplankton species, the euphausiid Euphausia pacifica and the copepod Calanus pacificus, consumed diverse types of field-collected marine snow, including diatom flocs, abandoned larvacea...
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The high abundance of chaetognaths and the relatively large size of their fecal pellets suggest that these planktonic predators might make a substantial contribution to vertical carbon flux in some regions. Although fecal pellets of the epipelagic species Parasagitta euneritica and the mesopelagic species Solidosagitta zetesios and Pseudosagitta ma...
Article
Full-text available
Public and private sector actors increasingly recognize the need for action to address climate change. With the introduction of "carbon sinks" into the policy dialogue, the notion of managing human activities to mitigate climate change has extended beyond energy systems and emissions of carbon dioxide to include management of the carbon cycle itsel...

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Project (1)
Project
In our transdisciplinary study we worked directly with water managers to build a multiobjective optimization testbed and evaluated the potential for our tool to contribute to water supply planning. Our participatory framework includes two workshops and structured activities through which managers from six Front Range water providers contributed real-world insights and practical feedback.