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Incorporating Climate Change into Research and Management at Mass Audubon

Created: 3/29/2010 - Updated: 5/09/2019

Photo attributed to John Phelan. Incorporated here under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. No endorsement by licensor implied.

Summary

Mass Audubon is integrating climate change into many aspects of its work. In addition to supporting measures to reduce fossil fuel emissions and increase renewable energy resources for the state, Mass Audubon has also incorporated climate change into its education, research, management, and policy efforts.

Background

Mass Audubon owns 34,000 acres of land and is the largest private landholder and conservation organization in Massachusetts. As part of its mission, Mass Audubon acquires land in order to protect wildlife habitat and provide recreational space for residents and tourists, and manages 49 wildlife sanctuaries in the state (about 17 of which are located along the Atlantic coast). Mass Audubon is very concerned with how climate change will affect the land they protect and how climate change will affect their management approaches. Mass Audubon has been involved in a number of climate change activities, including making improvements to infrastructure at their properties, incorporating climate change into education, research, and management efforts, and actively engaging with state efforts to enhance policies related to climate change and coastal and ocean management.

Implementation

Mass Audubon is conducting the following activities on their properties and as active members of the state’s conservation community:

  • Conducting audits on all heated buildings to improve energy efficiency (e.g., enhance lighting, insulation, weather-stripping, appliances, etc.).
  • Increasing public awareness by incorporating climate change into onsite exhibits at sanctuaries and on the main website.
  • Gathering additional information through an inventory and assessment of the biodiversity on properties. Scientists are conducting comprehensive inventories of different species (e.g., ants, birds, amphibians) in order to develop a baseline to measure the response of these groups to a variety of factors, including climate change.
  • Incorporating climate change into existing and newly created ecological management plans for each property.
  • Participating in state policy efforts through active involvement on the state’s Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee and Ocean Advisory Commission.

Outcomes and Conclusions

Mass Audubon has incorporated climate change into its programmatic activities and plans to continue working on both adaptation and mitigation strategies that will benefit the state.

Status

Information gathered from interviews and online resources. Last updated on 3/29/10.

Citation

Gregg, R. M. (2010). Incorporating Climate Change into Research and Management at Mass Audubon [Case study on a project of Mass Audubon]. Product of EcoAdapt's State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/case-studies/incorporating-climate-change-research-... (Last updated March 2010)

Project Contacts

Keywords

Scale of Project: 
Community / Local
State / Provincial
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration
Research
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Invasive / non-native species, pests
Range shifts
Sea level rise
Climate Type: 
Temperate
Timeframe: 
Ongoing
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Incorporate future conditions into natural resources planning and policies
Capacity Building
Design or reform institutions
Increase / Improve public awareness, education, and outreach efforts
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Infrastructure retrofitting and improvements
Governance and Policy
Create new or enhance existing policies or regulations
Effort Stage: 
In progress