Grant: $173,697 - National Science Foundation - Jul. 13, 2009
20% voted satisfied - 80% voted not satisfied - 5 vote(s) cast
Award Description: Economic development in remote rural regions is a challenge throughout the world, but in high latitude areas, remoteness is joined by early measurable effects of climate change to make this challenge even greater. To learn how local communities are adapting to the early effects of climate change in their vicinity, this project will compare data on economic and social indicators and will conduct a survey of municipal planners in 71 municipalities above 65N in northwest Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Data on climate change experiences and problems or opportunities resulting from these experiences will be compared to municipal adaptation strategies and plans as part of their economic and community development programs. The climate change and adaptation data will be compared to economic and demographic measures and trends across the set of municipalities to understand how they vary in their approach to adaptation and how this compares to levels of development among the municipalities. Municipalities are expected to vary in their approach to development and adaptation, both across countries and by level of development. It is also expected that climate change may bring advantages as well as problems to local areas and these will be important in the study. Understanding how these effects of climate change are viewed by the local leaders and how they view both opportunities and problems can help other rural regions in lower latitudes understand and prepare for changes that may affect their economies and their development potential in similar or different ways. The project will build a comparative database for measuring economic growth, human and natural resource endowments, location characteristics, and local development efforts, and to model change in economic development as a function of these factors. We expect climate change adaptation and local development strategies to focus on location advantages, traditional industries, and/or human and natural resource advantages, and that these strategies will be associated with the most positive economic growth measures. We also expect municipalities that have addressed climate change issues to be more successful and to have considered both positive and negative possibilities resulting from climate change effects.
Project Description: The project began in July with the actual award letter from NSF. I arranged to hire Patrick Fitszimons as an RA on the project and spent some time with him to explain the project and plan the near-term activities. We began with data searching for consistent sources of demographic and economic data, transportation systems, and the other variables needed at the municipality level. We also are looking for complete digital boundary files for municipalities and any existing mapped data for Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. We have begun to formulate and program the construction of index of accessibility for points within each municipality. In early September, I travelled to Vadso Norway to attend a conference on 'Climate Change in the Barents Region. I presented the research plan to people at this conference and lined up several colleagues who are interested in collaboration and who will offer support in form of data collection and sharing research findings. Following the conference, I went to Joensuu University in Finland and met with Olli Lehtonen and Markku Tykkylainen, who will help with data contribution and later with the survey research. We are currently building the data file for phase one of the analysis.
Jobs Summary: Research Lab Assistant (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jul. 13, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.