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The role of human dimensions of natural resources and risk communication in mitigation efforts during flood recovery: a Lyons, Colorado case study




Foulis, Jessica, author
Bruyere, Brett, advisor
Champ, Joseph, committee member
Skyelander, Kimberly, committee member

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In December 2015 during the 21st conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, virtually all the nations agreed on the existence of anthropogenic climate change, the need for a decrease in carbon emissions, and a responsibility to help mitigate its effects (Watt, 2015). It is widely accepted that climate change is a global phenomenon caused by humans that impacts people and will continue to do so (Vitousek, 1997). Until recently, research efforts have focused primarily on identifying human causes of climate change and affecting behaviors that aid in prevention of this phenomenon. There is a need for research into the impacts of climate change, a systemic problem caused by people, affecting people, and which must be solved by people. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the problem and the connection to natural systems, climate change stands to be the largest challenge for human dimensions of natural resources (HDNR) professionals to date. The purpose of this paper is to examine the flood recovery efforts in Lyons, Colorado, considering the implications of climate change and the increase of extreme weather events like the floods in 2013. In the face of uncertainty, HDNR is well positioned to address the social aspect of climate change and inform strategies for both mitigation and response.


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