The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2014, 1) defines vulnerability as, “The extent to which a natural or social system is susceptible to sustaining damage from climate change.” Vulnerability is a function of both the physical system’s sensitivity to changes in climate and the ability of the societal system to adapt to said changes. Recently, organizations formed to produce assessments that define regional vulnerabilities to environmental issues for the sake of informing adaptation policies. With the increasing threat of a changing climate, adaptation policies are both a necessary and urgent response for successful adapting (Adger 2009). The majority of these policies focus on technological, financial and institutional barriers that limit adaptation to government policies. Yet, in the absence of these barriers, local communities still have trouble adapting to policies. As a result, the adaptive capacities of local communities to state environmental initiatives are being misjudged. This analysis seeks to address this issue by (1) identifying if a community’s values cause a disconnect between government adaptation policies and the local community and (2) to use a case study of the Reedy Creek coalition to convey why a community’s values should be considered in environmental analyses incorporating adaptive capacities.

Poster prepared for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar.

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Poster Session

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