Case Studies of Ecosystem Services Mapping in the Southeast

well in the interest of time i am going to go ahead and kick us off here um and let people continue to join and my able co-hosts will allow people to come in from the waiting room as we get started so um so good morning everyone um and welcome to the second webinar in our 2021 summer science seminar series brought to you by the southeast climate adaptation science center or the southeast cask or ccask um so my name is carrie fernas and i’m the program manager here at the southeast casc and in these this virtual seminar series we’re highlighting seekask funded projects that support resource management positions across the south east so here’s what to expect real quickly from today’s webinar um we’ll go over some quick meeting logistics including getting some feedback by a short poll um and then we’ll go into our presentations the format for which is going to be five lightning talks by some awesome students at our consortium universities followed by a short question and answer period so we’re featuring today some projects that were undertaken by students at our consortium universities which include auburn university duke university north carolina state university university of florida and university of tennessee so these projects were funded as a means to extend some ccask work that was is being done by lydia olander and her team at the nicholas institute of environmental policy solutions and that work is mapping the supply of ecosystem services and the demand for those services at the landscape level across the southeastern united states so these maps use data from publicly available national scale sources and the student projects were intended to extend the use of the data or methods generated at duke or develop additional data maps or methods to support regional mapping of ecosystem services and co-benefits so um let’s see here before we get started i’m going to cover really quickly um just some features of the zoom interface which you all i’m sure are fairly familiar with but controls on the bottom left unmute mute start your video please keep your video off and stay muted unless you’re speaking during the q a and we’ll try to do those reminders or override as needed in the bottom bar of your zoom interface you can ask questions and encourage you to go ahead and throw some questions in the chat as we go along as they come up and then we are recording this video and it will be available um on our um on the ccas website after this seminar on our youtube channel and on the event page so um we’ll also be let’s see okay so now i would like to launch a short poll um hopefully you’re seeing this so this is um gives us an idea of who’s with us today um and then also helps us know how to get information out about the seminars so if you sorry i have not pushed launch so if you want to go ahead and answer these um two questions just to give us some of this feedback that’d be real helpful for us and i think it also helps our students know who’s in the audience and and how um how they might emphasize um aspects of their work so yeah thanks okay so just another few seconds here looks like okay thank you so i will go ahead and end that poll um show you the results real quickly and glad to see that you all are both reading a newsletter and sharing amongst yourself um and it’s nice to see the breadth of folks in our audience today so thank you again for joining us let me close that up and so now we’ll start to move on to our presentations but first i want to introduce um a couple of folks who have agreed to be on a respondent panel and so they’re going to prompt our discussions um by providing some comments or questions to the students after their presentations um and then of course others may also join in to pose some questions as well so um that panel is janet cushing who is the deputy director of the national climate adaptation science center where she helps oversee um janet the task network and is also in the role of partnership and policy coordinator at the national level um and when she can find time she continues to work in the realm of ecosystem goods and services carrying on work that she started when she was with the army corps of engineers so michelle morman is an inventory and monitoring ecologist with the u.s fish and wildlife service based at lake madam skeet national wildlife refuge ryan boyles is a climatologist and serves as the deputy director for the southeast climate adaptation science center and finally rua mordecai is a conservation planner located in raleigh north carolina and he’s the coordinator for the southeast conservation blueprint which is a living spatial plan that identifies important places for conservation and restoration in the southeast and caribbean so students sarah love will moderate the discussion for the first half of presentations and melinda martinez will play that role for the second half so now i’ll stop sharing and pass on the role of presenter to shirley tando from the university of florida who will give our first lightning talk today hey carrie uh sorry to interrupt but um in the chat box there’s someone who wrote that they couldn’t see um i guess what’s on the screen oh well she was referring to the poll which you then published yes oh okay okay yes okay all right so we’re in good shape then thanks thanks janet all right so surely go ahead okay um hello can everyone hear me okay yes all right okay okay um my name is shirley um has been introduced earlier um i’m from the university of florida i recently graduated with my phd in construction management so my presentation will be mostly based on the urban built environments coming from a construction um background so um the topic is the impact of urban development on aquifer ecosystem services and um i did this with my advisor who um it’s not available here today because there are some issues with his mom um who’s not recovering i mean not too well but then so um the um study area that we looked at we initially decided to look that was the saint john’s river water management district which covers about 18 counties in florida um getting data from all these counties was way too much and the only place were able to get the data from which was also a bit of a challenge like going back and forth was just orange county um for alachua county that’s like the county i’m in so it was easier for me to like obtain data so i indicated those red um portions to indicate the counties that um they i am this project was focused on and for today i will only present on alachua county so um the aim of the projects was um aligned with the aim of the st jones river water management district which is to supply water needs to communities and at the same time keep nature’s needs um that is maintaining ecosystem services without any interference so um we looked at the impact of urban development on the ecosystem in terms of if there’s a development in a particular area how does it affect the water balance and how does it um essentially um affect the ecosystem services that happen within that environment so we looked at the pristine stage that is the environment when nothing has been done to it in its natural state and also when there’s a change to the land cover as a result of development so basically we’re looking at the components of the water balance that we looked at was um evapotranspiration runoff and infiltration but the main focus was on infiltration because um the withdrawal is coming from the aquifer so we want to make sure that we maintain the aquifer level and also the health of the aquifer so the recharge is what mostly gets into the aquifer so that’s why the focus of this was um on infiltration so um um this project was to look at how the aquifer is impacted and what can we do to bring to keep the health of the aquifer or keep the levels of the aquifer um this flowchart shows like essentially what happens in like the water cycle so we have precipitation that comes off as rainfall and then we um it gets partitioned into evapotranspiration infiltration and runoff and then because we are dealing with the urban environment we look at water withdrawals so for florida the main water supply is coming from the aquifer that’s the um the floridan and then when we withdraw it goes through treatment before it gets to like the communities at the community level we either use it in indoors or we use it outdoors for irrigation um anything that goes in those comes out as waste water goes through the waste water treatment plant and what happens after that is they either go to the wetlands to get recharged slowly or they go through um the reclamation facilities and then gets read them treated and then gets back to the community as reclaimed water which is mostly used for irrigation and then finally um majority of it in gainesville goes to injection well and then it recharges back into the aquifer but this time it doesn’t stay like the wetlands so that is slowly like the natural processes takes place and then it goes this is like an artificial process to enhance um the level of the aquifer so it’s injected deep into the lower florida um at the wetland level we see evapotranspiration happen and we also see infiltration that gets its back into the um upper florida so um essentially we are looking at at these levels there’s a change to the um ecosystem and then due to the urban development that has happened and what can be done so that we try to keep the we try to keep the urban processes going and at the same time try to maintain the system in its natural state or get it closer to what it was before so um we ran some scenarios um to look at um areas where like we have more recharge so on my left is um the whole county that’s electra county and then the areas of hot spots for recharge and at the undeveloped state and then in the middle is at the developed state because we are looking at undeveloped and then developed as a result of urban development and then we realized that there’s more recharge at the undeveloped state compared to the developed city due to the built environment or things that has happened so the question now is how can we get more recharge back into the aquifer even in the developed state um we compared this one to also portable water that we are coming to withdrawal because it’s withdrawal and then what is going back so at the right it’s um was looking at redrawable hotspots in the county and we also saw that it was you couldn’t really find much going on and this can be attributed to a lot of factors considering that the county is big and then um we only pick just one utility company so there might be other which is the main one or do but then there were more parcels that were not in that same service area so some of them might not um be accounted for in this um also one other thing that i looked at was run off um run off um i looked at it as it can be it can help the ecosystem services or it can damage the ecosystem services so i looked at the run-off hotspots also in the county um at the undeveloped stage and also at the developed state um it was expected that at the undeveloped stage will have less runoff than the developed state but then the the analysis that was done showed that there was rather more at the undeveloped stage which was quite strange um and again i i believe that it’s due to a lot of factors and also the skill of the project because um earlier project that was done on smaller scale showed that there was actually more um runoff on um developed state than the undeveloped stages um this also the graphical analysis showed all the components of the urban water system so that’s evapotranspiration runoff and infiltration and then we see that at the undeveloped stage we have them more than at the developed stage so we have more infiltration at the undeveloped state than um develop state and then we have more runoff rather under develop stage than on the undeveloped state and then we looked at this in terms of portable water so um we see like how we get the portable water flood suites as the years go by and then what we get out of it in terms of um infiltration evapotranspiration and then run off but then um we are bearing in mind that the infiltration runoff and um evapotranspiration it’s not coming from just portable water but it’s a majority of it is coming from rainfall so it’s more um influenced by rainfall compared to portable water because the amount of portable water we are getting in is less than the amount of rainfall that we get in so the um chart on the um on the right shows um from 2010 to 2018 how much um portable water we are getting over the years and then how much is going back so the blue one is the total infiltration that’s considered rainfall and then the gray one is just the infiltration that is coming from um the redraw so we see that we are withdrawing more from the aquifer but then we are not getting back um a lot um to it so the more we withdraw the more we interfere or we destroy the ecosystem services and then if we are able to give get back more into the aquifer then we’ll be able to maintain it but then that is not the situation so as development okay so we realized that the ecosystem services are being manipulated or been interfered with um clearly excuse me i’m sorry to interrupt but we need to if you could wrap up as quickly as possible so we can okay so the last thing that we looked at was um socio-economic factors that affect um that somehow affects the ecosystem services and what we looked at was the social vulnerability index so we ran the social vulnerability index for the whole county and then compared it to um the withdrawal that people make that doesn’t have any um impact on withdrawal and then we realized that mostly um areas with high social vulnerability had higher regional uh and areas with low social vulnerability had lower ritual and the more the the more we withdraw like i mentioned earlier the more we interfere with the aquifer um system and then the ecosystems that happen so um some of the things that came up that can be done to maintain the ecosystem services where some sustainable practices such as the injection world so the more we inject back the more we are keeping the level and trying to maintain the ecosystem services so that’s one thing that was seen here that we know can um help maintain the ecosystem services also another thing that came up was um like the use of um the use of roofs um green roofs so it’s like when you take up the space and then you put the green roofs at the top of the buildings you are sort of keeping the natural so trying to keep the natural space that you have taken up with the green roof that um you put on the buildings to sort of keep the ecosystem services running um and those are some of the things that came up um and as i mentioned there were some of the things that did not really make sense like on the developed and the undeveloped state but then again there is the other county that i’m working on and then they will help me because alatakan is more airbrand more rural than urban and then i believe orange county is more abandoned rural so that will help um see how things stand um in terms of either if there’s more urban um than rural and how um it affects the ecosystem and how it can be done to like keep it in the its natural state um thank you okay unfortunately i don’t think we have enough time for our questions because we do need to move on to the next presenter um who is yeah i’ll introduce the next presenter as sarah lapuma from duke university so sarah if you want to get your presentation going that’d be great thank you all right hello everyone can you see my screen okay great so my name is sarah lapuma i am a recent graduate from duke university’s nicholas school of the environment um this is a story map i created based on my master’s project at duke um building social equity into floodplain buyouts the bottom line of my project has been this while strategic floodplain buyouts are important for long-term resilience towns may be conducting them in a way that worsens social inequities first i’ll start with flooding uh in the u.s flood costs have averaged 8.2 billion dollars per year and that cost is increasing year over year hurricanes are and floods are natural phenomena but that has um but the risk comes when we build our houses and our infrastructure close to areas that are exposed to these flood hazards development is the current driver of flood issues and flood costs associated with them however climate change will aggravate the issue because of the increase in intensity of rainfall hurricanes and flooding however detrimental flood impacts can be lessened using various hazard mitigation tools north carolina is no stranger to major hurricanes hurricane florence occurred in september of 2018 and it really battered newbern north carolina as a slow and relentless storm with heavy rainfall and storm surge in new bern it caused over 100 million dollars in property damage over 300 businesses and 4 000 homes were damaged by hurricane florence in some places there was over 10 feet of storm surge and uh almost 800 people had to be rescued during and after the storm because of the intensity of the flooding um below the text on the map is an interactive map of the extent of flooding during hurricane florence and blue is the flood area and yellow is the drier area at the time so it was really intense and all-encompassing in new bern along its rivers and creeks uh buyouts are just one hazard mitigation measure in a local government’s toolkit to reduce uh hazard and flood risk so a buyout is when a um is when a property is replaced by a more natural landscape so buyouts reduce future flood impacts and losses on a property by replacing the damaged homes and infrastructure after a hurricane or major flood with open space so this open space could be a park or a wetland area that that’s been restored or a vacant lot of times and so that helps the buyout participant because they hopefully will move to a place with less flood risk using funds from the government that the government gives them in exchange for allowing the home to be bought out and it also helps the surrounding community and property owners because that increases the amount of land that is open and available for flood waters to move into without damaging property federal government agencies like fema and the department of housing and urban development uh support states and then those states support uh local governments to conduct buyouts so newburn has created a list of potential buyout locations and is working for with the north carolina office of recovery and resiliency to begin the buyout process um however we have to focus on the people who may be potential by our participants to really understand the the situation that folks are going through after a flood event that can be disastrous for a family and community um we have to consider the unequal exposure to risk across the landscape based on race and class especially um vulnerable communities it’s been shown in research are um more prone to damaging and long-term effects from flooding this is specifically for communities of color and low-income communities who may have been marginalized and then pushed over time into areas that may be more flood prone because of segregation gentrification and exclusionary practices including including redlining and mortgage unfair mortgage practices this research had led me to the concept of social vulnerability which is the idea that um characteristics of a community like being having a more low-income people being majority of people of color and um and other issues like the the type of housing that folks are able to live in their language ability and access to transportation influence their adaptive capacity and their ability to tolerate environmental hazards this doesn’t fully explain all of the ways that makes a person more at risk or more resilient to disastrous events but disasters can magnify already pre-existing issues that a community or family is going through and make life much more difficult for them so that they have a more difficult time getting back on their feet from a major disaster the map below shows the cdc social vulnerability index for newbern north carolina and that is interactive as well um so to combine all of these issues uh when buyouts are focused in socially vulnerable communities which research has shown they often are because those communities often have cheaper housing which is easier and cheaper to buy in larger numbers and that supplies more flood resilience for the rest of the community even though that may be true buyout program administrators may be purposefully targeting uh communities for retreat as cider says whether maliciously as an attempt to remove portions of the community pragmatically targeting affordable housing in order to purchase the most homes with limited funding or beneficially as an attempt to aid those at greatest risk so even if this is beneficial for communities it has to be done with extreme care because uh floodplain buyouts are not an easy process there’s a lot of monetary cost in relocating loss of community identity and disruption of social relationships for those participants so my master’s project study was a study of all of these concepts uh put together and so i took the c cask’s ecosystem services data sets uh storm surge sea level rise and floods extent data sets for newburn north carolina and i put them together with the data set on social vulnerability and on all added these together on the parcels of newburn and i made a prioritization process for where buyouts may be able to occur without increasing social equity issues you can access this study um at the link here and and so this is a map of storm surge during hurricane florence in new bern below the conclusions of my study were that although although buyouts are an important way for communities to increase their long-term resilience to flooding um if buyouts aren’t conducted by prioritizing uh social vulnerability um they may perpetuate displacement of low-income communities and communities of color which would be an extreme equity issue that we would have to deal with and mitigate for years to come and so my recommendations to the state of north carolina in in um reviewing all of my research where that north carolina should uh create a list of potential buyout properties using a prioritization process that includes both flood risk attributes and social vulnerability information they should increase the state funding for floodplain buyouts so it is not just contingent on the federal grants for major disasters and they should create a robust a program to counsel buyout recipients for every step of the buyout process from the disaster after the disaster occurs to the full relocation process so that the entire buyout process is less detrimental to the families that are moving away from the home that they’ve always known so i would like to thank ccask the nicholas school of the environment and my advisors for helping me along in this process and helping me get access to the data so that i could really research this important topic thank you all very much for listening thank you sarah if anyone has any questions for sarah please unmute yourself or ask them in the chat now especially our panel members can go first it looks like we have one from lydia olander where she asked were you able to get anyone at ncorrr to engage on your prioritization work i am i was able to contact somebody who’s working on buyouts and she said that she showed it to her colleagues in the office and i’ve also sent the study to the um to the executive for encore and so i hope that we’ll be able to discuss this further i’m sure it’s a really busy time right now being hurricane season we have one more from michelle morman what happens to renters and or public housing residents whose properties are bought out renters and public housing residents go through a different process the government has a different funding source for people who own multi-family buildings and the federal agencies are i think through hud are able to fund renters to move to a new location in fact the image that i showed of the family walking away from a flood situation their public housing residents who uh that public housing area in new bern is currently being [Music] discussions are underway to to uh remove those buildings so that and then build a new public housing uh area for those folks to move to but that’s under a totally different um funding source thank you it looks like we’re out of time for questions for sarah great job oops sorry i’m trying to get that unmute button going um so yeah so i want to introduce our next lightning speaker who is melinda martinez from north carolina state university hi um i’m melinda and i’ll be talking about some of the ecosystem disk services of ghost forests and so if you’re not familiar with the term ghost forest these are fresh water forests and wetlands that are rapidly transitioning into marshes along the coast and so basically as these marshes migrate for the inland into these freshwater forested ecosystems i mean there’s a shift in ecosystem services and at times disservices and what i mean by that is that the system becomes oh it changes from a carbon sink to a carbon source during this transition period and so wetlands in general are known to provide several ecosystem services including carbon orchestration which is what i’ll focus on for the majority of this talk but they also provide other services that include nutrient cycling storm surge buffers and our nursery grounds for many species and so in north carolina there are approximately 1.3 million hectares of coastal forested wetlands shown in green here but this of course is an overestimation because this does include uh managed pineland um and then human impacted swamp forest but also headwater swamp forests and this is data collected or downloaded from north carolina department of environmental quality and so um along the coast there’s also about 125 000 hectares of coastal marshes which is shown in light brown here and so uh researchers at the duke nicholas institute have worked on uh doing this mapping of carbon sequestration rates in north carolina coast and so is what you see here this is data downloaded from their website and it is freely available and this ranges from the carbon sequestration ranges from 0 to 18 metric tons of carbon per year and so in addition to the carbon sequestration rates migration space for marshes was also estimated for the north carolina coastline for various sea level rise scenarios and this is beginning from uh one and a half feet increase in sea level rise and so what you see here in this light purple are forced areas that are currently forested uh but are projected to transition to marshes in the future and so these are uh potential future ghost forests and so as we increase to three feet uh of sea level rise you can see the land impacted or the forested areas impacted by this increase and this is a four foot increase in sea level rise and then a six and a half foot increase in sea level rise and if you can see that along the el mar alpemaca peninsula this is mostly the the largest area affected um not only in north carolina but across the atlantic and so it is considered a hot spot because it is so close to um the land elevation is so close to maine sea level rise already so not only is it pretty low in elevation uh but the alamo pamlico peninsula has also had extensive canal and ditches created in order to make the land more suitable for agriculture and so what you see here are some of the canals that are in place and so through these same canals some of the brackish water from the pamlico sound or i guess this both sounds the protein sounds can travel further inland into these freshwater forested areas and so you see die back further inland in areas where you wouldn’t expect so quickly and so a study by smart at all used lidar in order to assess changes in biomass that occurred from 2001 to 2014 and so they were able to classify areas uh or forced in areas that are transitioning to forests earth to marsh and so these are essentially ghost forests which are indicated in these red and what you see here is a drone um landscape view of what a ghost forest looks like is where you have a bunch of standing dead trees um where um marsh shrub is encroaching and so in a separate study as part of my dissertation um i was also focusing on detecting early warning signals of ghost forest using the landsat archive and so what you see here are areas that that are showing early warning signals of an oncoming transition or are currently in the process of transitioning to marshes and so the number of standing dead trees or also referred to as snags were estimated using usda forest inventory analysis data but we also use values estimated by another study within the app which is by erie at all and so using the fia data this program collects information across the u.s for the status and trends of forests and so the points here indicate a plot in the latest survey and then the data includes the spatial extent ownership tree growth and mortality harvesting and then understory vegetation and so what i did is we interpolated the mortality so the snags that are present within those plots to get an estimate across the peninsula and so this range from 0 to 35 snags per pixel and so as far as the snag stem greenhouse gas emissions we combine these fluxes that were acquired from one of my other dissertation chapters and so these the fluxes are [Music] obtained by using this flexible cheap tree chamber um in this seat that you see in this image on the right and it is collected using a portable gas analyzer called the gas map but this was combined with the number of snags um both using the fia data but also literature estimates in order to get a collective estimate of greenhouse gases that are emitted by ghost forest and so these are the ecosystem disservices that i was referring to in the title across north carolina but also the peninsula specifically and so uh as far as the current ghost forest greenhouse gas emissions go for the peninsula i did this by looking at both using both study spatial extends the smart metal and then the martinez at all um and so uh from the duke uh carbon circulation rates we know that um for these these transitioning areas they currently sequester about 235 000 metric tons of carbon per year but the snags within those same areas using the fia data for the number of stags or emitting 168 metric tons of carbon and so for the martinez at all which has a larger spatial extent which you previously saw sequesters about 851 thousand metric tons of carbon um and then the snags um emit about 380 uh metric tons of carbon per year but this could be um these in greenhouse gas emissions could be a slight underestimation because as you previously saw there are ghost forests uh considered like here along the coast um but what you see in the fia data when it’s interpolated it’s showing zero snags and so um this is just based on the fia data and so when i look at the north carolina coastline and so looking at the future ghost forest for different sea level rise scenarios for a one and a half foot increase in sea level rise this the forested area affected is about 139 000 hectares and so what this means is um using the using the snag count of 20 snags per pixel for a 30 by 30 meter pixel um the greenhouse gas emissions from these ghost boards is about 15 000 metric tons of carbon per year and for a six and a half foot increase which covers a larger spatial extent um which is 387 000 uh greenhouse gas emissions for this area would be about 42 000 metric tons of carbon per year and so basically as these forested ecosystems are transitioning to marshes um you do get a shift from carbon sink to carbon source and it might take a while maybe even a few decades before the mars stabilizes and can become a sink in the future again and so if you would like to read about some of the papers i refer here please click on these links and i of course like to thank my funding sources and if you have any questions i’ll take them now thank you melinda as she said and if you have any questions please submit them in the chat or if our panel members want to unmute and ask them verbally we’ll ask mason to go ahead and start his screen sharing um while um we take any quick question for melinda okay i’ll go ahead and feel free to add those into the chat as we know and there’ll be time at the end we hope for some questions for all participants so introducing here um mason petrie from auburn university take it away mason hi i’m mason petrie uh i’m an undergraduate research assistant at auburn university um and our study was on the ecosystem services of green spaces locating highly suitable communities in alabama uh our research group included myself elijah johnson lindsay maudlin john de nimitra and karen mcneil so to start off i just wanted to kind of define what a green ecosystem service is they’re basically just all of the benefits that we receive in the environment around us according to the epa whenever these resources are well managed a lot of these benefits that we receive can include clean air and water fewer and less of your natural hazards stable climate biodiversity conservation but whenever they’re not well managed we get a lot of negative effects like pollution and climate change if you look on this graphic a lot of these drivers of this change is up to policy decisions climate pollution and land use so this graph is of the annual average temperatures of the southeast u.s and as you can see the average temperature uh was generally decreasing or stable for almost 100 years uh and this trend is largely attributed to the agricultural transition from row crops to the forestry and lumber industry that increased forest cover and green cover decreased the temperature but in the last 40 years that trend has quickly reversed likely due to urbanization now one of these big effects of urbanization on climate is the urban heat island effect these urban and built up areas are generally a lot hotter and they hold more heat than the vegetated areas like forests urban construction materials like concrete absorb a lot of solar energy a lot more than vegetated spaces the eba actually lists several ways to reduce uhi such as increasing the shade producing vegetation around your home and installing green roofs like shirley talked about earlier like planting a garden on your roof so some of these benefits of green spaces include environmental economic and health benefits these ecosystem services could include the increased absorption of co2 uh absorption of heat through vegetation lower energy demand and costs for cooling buildings it can even increase physical activity in communities lower stress and improve physical and mental health a lot of these benefits can help slow climate change and also improve people’s quality of life and when implemented correctly they can provide provisioning regulating cultural and supporting ecosystem services that benefit their communities some of the benefits to health can include dehy well extreme heat can cause dehydration things like cardiovascular disease heat stroke and other health issues but green spaces can help mitigate these effects by preventing them from happening in the first place by lowering the overall temperature of an area and improving overall health across the board another important thing to consider when talking about green spaces is that socioeconomically and systemically disadvantaged communities often lack close accessible high quality public green spaces uh and the addition of these green spaces in these specific geographic locations can provide ecosystem services to people that typically wouldn’t have access to them not only improving their lives but also increasing social and environmental equity so for our study our research objectives were to identify prospective areas with high suitability rankings for the installation of green spaces our study was exploratory and we used three factors known to impact uhi and we performed the suitability analysis on three counties in alabama jefferson montgomery and lee counties but the cities of birmingham montgomery and auburn the three factors we use were population and building density land covered type and per capita income so a suitability model is a model that’s used to identify the ideal locations for a specific purpose based on certain characteristics of the area our model was made using the arcgis pro 2.7 suitability tool so the first step that we used was to find a suitable uh was to define our objective which is to find suitable areas for urban green spaces then we outlined our criteria which is low per capita income high population density and urban land covered types then we had to derive our data all that we had to do was calculate the population density using census population data and census tract land area and we transformed all of these criteria on a range of classes from one to five one being the least suitable and five being the most suitable then we waited and combined this data we weighted them all equally since our study was exploratory and then our maps generated showed us highly suitable areas and the less suitable areas so now we have our suitable green space zones for jefferson county there we go jefferson county there are several areas around birmingham in particular that are suitable for green spaces particularly areas east and south of birmingham and this little interactive map you can zoom in and really see areas up here and down here that are very dark on the map and are very suitable for green spaces in montgomery there’s some areas southeast of montgomery that are very highly suitable for green spaces and if you see them then you kind of see these areas again one in particular the i think this is the east chase area montgomery and some spaces up here around alabama state university and then in lee county there’s an area just west of auburn university that is highly suitable and you zoom in and look at that on the map so our conclusions and ideas for future work um these suitability models can using population density land cover and income can help to identify these ideal locations for green spaces and evaluating suitable regions and including socioeconomic factors in particular helped ensure that the people who need these clean spaces the most have access to them and can get access to them there are several areas with these counties that can make great potential sites for green spaces particularly near these city centers these areas have a heightened need for because of the ecosystem services the green spaces provide and they’re the areas that are most prone to these urban e-islands they can provide green space can provide ecosystem services regardless of their location but these particular areas stand to benefit the most from them so in the future the suitability model could be approved using higher resolution geographic levels if possible more factors could be introduced the weightings could be refined and changed and modeling could expand to include other counties throughout the southeastern u.s further research could include demographic data and more socioeconomic factors to promote environmental equity by highlighting this correlation between all of these factors and urban heat islands in the southeastern u.s so we have some resources here uh for finding funding for green spaces there’s a variety of civic environmental and health organizations that could potentially provide funding for these projects the epa has a huge list of federal grants available for green infrastructure projects from a lot of government agencies there are also a lot of grants available from companies and organizations a list of you here there are a number of creative ways to get funding for these projects from different traditional and non-traditional stakeholders some of these stakeholders could include community members local state or federal governments private landowners land developers and vulnerable populations such as people with medical concerns or people who work in the outdoors these are data sources and i’d like to thank the southeast climate adaptation science center for putting all these projects together none of this would have been possible without their commitment to understanding global climate issues through actionable science thank you thank you guys unfortunately i don’t think we have enough time for questions but if you do put them in the chat and you’ll get to them um but we have up next sarah love our last presenter and as sarah starts to share i’d like to encourage you to put any questions in the chat and hopefully we’ll have people can hold on at the end we can have continued conversation or we can do follow-up after the seminar as well hey is it my turn i just got kicked out oh no yes that’s import can yeah we’re not seeing your screen can you start sharing see how that works you are frozen this is unfortunate carrie maybe do you have her um i do not have a backup copy he did not get that backup copy for this eventuality sarah are you back with us you are frozen there can you share or pass on your presentation real quickly hear me roll it yes yes okay oh no well while sarah is reconnecting maybe we could entertain some questions maybe first with the panelists and i’ll see if we can get a hold of sarah’s presentation excuse me to roll um while she connects via phone perhaps um so i’d open it to any of the panelists i guess to kick off discussion um for any of the for any of the presenters this is rue i can i can start um this is a question about um a theme that cut across multiple of the presentations um but i think this idea of balancing out the you know from particularly from an equity standpoint balancing out the goods and bads of additional focus on on um kind of underserved communities uh seem to come up a lot in this sort of like their benefits of like for example in the floodplain example there are some nice benefits but also there are some real costs of relocating communities and i know there’s been some studies on green space and gentrification as well where there are some great benefits of green space but there are also some challenges of green space and what that does to certain communities so i’m curious if you all had any particular thoughts about how do you best balance the pros and cons from an equity perspective of some of these ecological services that are happening in these affected communities i know it’s a big question but might as well start with some tricky um sorry i’m back and i think my internet’s stable i can ask the question again after after you’re done we were just filling in while we were waiting for you to come back on with the question okay of course as soon as you go to present um the internet just goes out right that is how this happens okay can you guys hear me well yes you’re good okay so let’s do this really quickly i’m sorry if some of you have to leave um but my name is sarah advisor where we examined associations between indices of social vulnerability and environmental quality in the southeastern united states so this study arose from an observed deficit in our understanding of the relationship between socio-demographic factors and aggregate measures of environmental quality that consider air water and recreation as a single unit so it’s common to examine the impact of individual components of environmental quality on communities and the trends are relatively unanimous socially vulnerable populations experience poor environmental conditions across the globe however though aggregate indices of environmental quality are commonly used in decision-making processes studies that examine the impact of these aggregate and disease on socially vulnerable populations are less common than studies that examine the individual components so to examine this we have the following objective and questions we our objective was to explore the facial relationship between environmental quality and social vulnerability within the southeastern united states where we specifically asked does social vulnerability correlate with environmental quality and two are there correlations between individual indicators of sbi and eqi within the southeast so to examine this we utilize two indices the eui on the left and the sdi on the right the eqi is described by the epa as five domains that create a county by county snapshot of overall environmental quality across the u.s and on the right svi is described by the cdc as the potential negative effects on communities caused by external stresses on human health and the svi variables we utilized were socioeconomic status household composition and disability minority status and language and housing type and transportation like mason referenced in his study earlier and i just want to point out that for both of these indices higher values indicate worse conditions so higher eqi is worse environmental quality and higher sbi is indicating more socially vulnerable populations so for our objectives we utilized county level data for six states in the southeast being in gray we focused on four component variables for sdi and three component variables with 11 sub indicators for eqi which were selected by multiple literature reviews and as you can see on the left in blue and green sub themes for water and recreation were implemented to acknowledge differences in indicator types so for water we have quality and quantity and i just want to point out that nifty’s permission stands for national pollutant discharge elimination system which is just indicative of permits that allow stream pollution in a given area and then for recreation we have access and use and access is composed of indicators of green space opportunities and needs and use um is composed of an indicator of the county level demand for recreation bird watching for example so just to reorient orient you darker color indicates higher values and low environmental quality high vulnerability so overall we found a weak negative correlation between social vulnerability and an aggregate measure of environmental quality eqi indicating that more socially vulnerable communities may live in areas with better overall environmental quality and this was surprising given the preponderance of evidence shown previously that vulnerable communities reside in poor environments however when fci and environmental quality were separated into individual parts we observed a more nuanced relationship between the two so first for air eqi we found that the aggregate measure of air quality which is composed of particulate matter surface ozone and others this aggregate measure was not significantly correlated with fbi and when broken into individual components particulate matter was also not significantly correlated but surface ozone was and it was negatively correlated which suggests that higher sbi communities have less surface ozone similarly the aggregate measure of water was not significantly correlated with sbi but all of the chosen sub indices were negatively correlated suggesting that more socially vulnerable populations have higher water quality and quantity than low fbi counties last in regards to recreation we found that one indicator of access open space demand at the top and the indicator for use bird washing demand at the center here were negatively correlated with sbi suggesting less recreation demand in socially vulnerable communities however the other indicator of access green space deficit here on the left was positively correlated with fbi suggesting that more socially vulnerable counts have less green space overall so in conclusion in contrast to the preponderance of data showing poor environmental quality and socially vulnerable areas our analyses did not fully support these findings and when we examined correlations between individual components we found even more nuanced trends in the data aggregate indices did not always represent trends seen between the 7 indices so the negative correlation between the fbi and eqi can likely be attributed attributed to the fact there are many more socially vulnerable rural counties with higher environmental quality and less socially vulnerable urban counties that have lower environmental quality for example there are well-known income gradients between rural and urban areas and income is a component of the sbi so some applications one our results highlight how incorporating fbi into environmental models could allow practitioners to better understand the nuanced social environment of targeted communities two these data demonstrate how the heterogeneous distribution of environmental quality in areas with a stark urban rural divide could complicate environmental just justice for example our results showed that across the southeast more socially vulnerable populations correlated with more rural counties with better environmental quality however if we consider individual components of each index we see more nuanced results like we said before for example when we looked at just the aggregate sdi we found that more socially vulnerable areas had fewer misused permits so less potential for water pollution and no significant trends with aggregate water eqi overall but when we look at the minority status component of sdi we find that minority populations have significantly more nifty permits so more potential for water pollution and significantly poorer water quality overall thus when appropriately used these data could have important applications for community action and environmental justice some future directions are as follows we want to test these hypotheses at a finer grain than county level expand our indicators specifically adding values for ecosystem services explore the rural urban trends within the analyses and finally develop a multivariate model based approach to explore the observed correlations i just want to thank the ccas utkeb for providing this course and usgs for supporting this work um paul armsworth for his support of the faculty advisor carrie fernandez katie warnell and lydia olander for their support and participating graduate students at auburn florida duke and mcsu for this collaboration here are references represented in this presentation and i will take any questions now thank you sarah um and i just want an opportunity to say thank you to all of the presenters um just as we as we bring this to a conclusion but we’ll open the floor um and thank you to you who have managed to um hold on um during this um during these presentations and and now this discussion so if um i’ll invite especially anybody from our um respondent panel who wants to um offer some questions or comments um and it looked like rua i think put his yeah so i think that this question relates to sarah’s and uh presentation as well as some others so what are your thoughts on how to improve ecosystem services benefits for vulnerable communities while reducing negative impacts like gentrification and relocation that often come from green space approaches so sarah are any of the other presenters or students feel free to go ahead and um i just want to say this is sarah lapuma that i have been looking a lot into the concept of the practice of community land trusts in terms of reducing uh the possibility of gentrification um and worsening impacts for low-income communities a community land trust can mitigate the the issues by preserving both the the landscape that is being bought out for example um to basically the government is creating that situation where they’re preserving it as natural space but also for um future uh looking forward where people going to move after a um after a buyout a community could buy a plot of land in a drier area in a higher ground and save that as a community land trust and allow people to move to the higher ground location and in more affordable housing uh so that they have somewhere to go and as opposed to uh the higher ground being bought up by uh real estate uh folks like is what is happening in florida where real estate is moving toward the higher ground because it’s becoming more valuable because of the risks from flooding janet did you have a comment or question i wanted to pose sure i also typed it into the chat um so first off thank you to all of the speakers um definitely listening to these science talks is the highlight of my day today um but my question for you um is that for for each of your projects um what stakeholders did you engage you know and by stakeholders in this instance i do mean specifically the agencies or entities who might use the results of your study and what did you learn from those engagements and if if you didn’t engage with any stakeholders then i would strongly encourage you to do so as you proceed in your efforts so any student want to jump in on that so i i did not uh engage with a stakeholder an agency but sorry but i do think um the results from this this study or why basically uh extended my the results from my own dissertation uh throughout the north carolina coastline is definitely beneficial and um i mean i think in the future like as far as publications i would like to continue uh and maybe even talk to um people at uh the wildlife federation um us who own a large portion of these lands um especially on the peninsula i mean as far as my own dissertation i did communicate with them that i was working with as far as like permitting stuff but that’s as far as as i went um i did with the utility company um also the water management district and um i think there was also um i think the ifa’s department in university of florida hey shirley would you mind elaborating so what did you learn from interacting with the water management district um i would say [Music] there weren’t much help the data i used for alachua county wasn’t from them it was mostly from the utility and then the um poverty appraisal and then um the florida um geographic data library but um for the orange county i got i got most of the data from a uf professor in ifas um i don’t know it could be because of covet but then getting the data was really really really hectic i didn’t get it so i wouldn’t even say early this year so it made the time like the timing was really tight for me because most of the time it was like since we started this you were just sitting there trying to get data and then you weren’t getting it and maybe it’s because of covet but then they tried as much as possible to if i had any questions about the data that i got the way um he was quite um forthcoming with answers and then try to make time when he’s available but i think he was he had other things going on so it was quite tight for him as well that’s great i’ll say for uh for uh mason’s project that we worked on together um a lot of these suitable communities are actually owned or i guess run by the housing and urban development you know agencies for the cities so for us to kind of move forward on our project we have to communicate with them about um what they’d be willing to do and and you know what grants are available through them to um i guess see these green spaces come to fruition so i guess in the future this is something that we are particularly interested in um looking at further yeah sarah love our is there any um impetus or you know follow-on activity related to other stakeholders that you and your project have plans about or or anyone else on any of the other nade i see you on the line anyone else from that project the ut project yeah i guess we’ve had some sort of discussions throughout um we thought about you know bigger agencies like cdc or epa that are developing these indices and trying to get them to work towards you know something in the middle that we were looking at um but i mean there’s a number of regions regional agencies as well um we highlighted some in our report um that we that we’ll be publishing out so you know there are plenty opportunities for people who are doing whether it’s environmental justice work environmental quality work social vulnerability work to sort of collaborate a little bit more around the space between looking at the connections between vulnerability environmental quality and ecosystem services yeah okay well that’s um that’s actually a good opportunity thank you nate um to just mention as we close and i think we probably need to go ahead and bring this to a close um but there are products both story maps as well as reports that have come from these projects and we will be posting those in on our southeast climate adaptation science center website so we’ll um be communicating with those of you who registered for this directly about where those are going to be posted and hope that you’ll um look at those um and again continue to reach out to some of the presenters and authors of these really nice projects and um consider some follow-on um after this so um with that i’m afraid we’ll have to bring it to a close and i know that there are some questions in the chat that we’ll also pose and try to do some follow-up with um with um some of the presenters and then feedback to some of those of you who’ve asked questions especially our panel so thanks again to the students thanks to our respondent panel and thanks to all of you for for participating today

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