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Through the use of special analysis tools
built into the software, participants were
also able to examine the economic and
social vulnerability of those flood risk
areas. The project concluded earlier this
year with a plenary meeting with key
stakeholders to view the vulnerability
maps and discuss risk reduction strategies.
The recent presentation to Sackville Town
Council illustrated how central commu-
nity outreach and education has been to
their work.
"We are working to make resources from
the report more publicly available, as well
as to better inform the wider community
not only about flood risks but also the pre-
cautions residents in the Tantramar region
can take," says Lieske. "Outreach is critical.
We have worked with many community
groups to provide resources and education
around flood risks. These have included tra-
ditional public presentations, but Emily's
own Master's research involved organizing
and analyzing the role of `Science Cafés' at
a local coffee shop to bring climate change
experts together with the general public.
This type of public participatory research
has proved very successful."
While the research team used the Tan-
tramar region as a local case study, the
technology can be readily adapted to help
other Canadian communities vulnerable
to flood-related events.
"Through our research, and the collabora-
tion with several community groups, we
have demonstrated how software can be
used to better inform decision-making
and help guide adaptation planning. This
type of decision-support software could
easily be used by other communities in
New Brunswick facing similar risks," says
Lieske. "It is our goal to continue to work
with community groups and local gov-
ernments to begin implementing some of
these recommendations."
The results of this project are available
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Researchers David Lieske, Lori Ann Roness, and Emily Phillips ('12, '14) on location at Dixon Marsh, just outside of Sackville.