Areas of Interest
Science-policy connections in natural resources
Introduction to Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology (FW 2001W): A sophomore level, writing intensive, interdisciplinary class that takes a case-study approach to decision making. We ask, "What are the decisions made in this field, who make those decisions, and what uncertainty faces those decision makers?"
Wildlife Care and Handling Externship (FW 4629): The 15 cr Wildlife Care and Handling Minor concludes with a 3 cr capstone field experience (i.e., an externship). This class meets for seven weeks to explore obtaining, optimizing and reflecting on an externship. Students then join an institution (e.g., field crew, zoo, animal care facility) to experience, and share reflections during a 200-hour field experience.
Water Quality: Management of a Natural Resource (ESPM 4061W/5061): This graduate and undergraduate level, writing intensive, case study class explores water quality decision making around the world. We view water quality as an ecosystem service managed at the watershed scale. We examine landscapes, stakeholders and the decisions that control water quality.
Coral Reef Management (FW 1901) This Freshman Seminar Abroad focuses on coral reefs and the values they offer to society. We discuss the fish, plants and other animals of the reef and the decisions humans make about them. Then we travel to Belize to spend a week snorkeling on and studying the MesoAmerican Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the northern hemisphere.
Machu Picchu and the Amazon (CFAN 3514) World Heritage sites are globally significant locations that are unique and valued by all humankind. But, World Heritage sites are subject to climate change and other human influences. This 3-week Global Seminar occurs fully in Peru. We experience and study the plants and animals of the Amazon. We experience and reflect on the spirituality of Machu Picchu. We ask what risks climate change poses to these and other World Heritage sites and what adaptation options society has in response to those risks.
I am working to advance ecosystem management at the scale of large watersheds, with explicit attention to climate-based adaptation. For quite some time, I have focused that work on resilience to advance climate change adaptation in large protected areas, notably natural World Heritage sites. My work is global, broadly applicable to watersheds as ecosystems, and more notably to protected areas including and all natural World Heritage sites. Although the work is global in theme, it is always applied at the local scale. A recent edited volume (Harvey and Perry, 2015) reframes the ways we consider heritage concepts as climates change. In a more focused review paper (Perry, 2015), I argue that climate change adaptation in World Heritage sites is a wicked problem (meeting several criteria for that), and that so-called clumsy solutions provide a way forward. Because this is a global problem, society must choose among sites to guide resource allocation. In support of such prioritization, I analyzed 208 natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites to build a global "hot spots" model that ranks sites and identifies those most at risk from climate change (Perry 2011). However, because climate change adaptation always is a local scale action, I continued that work in collaboration with UNESCO to develop a climate change adaptation manual for managers of natural World Heritage sites or other protected areas (Perry & Falzon 2014). That manual guides any local manager in understanding the risks climate change poses to his/her site, and guides him/her toward adaptation strategies That work was initially field tested in Kenya and India, translated and available in three languages, and is being used worldwide. Some of the adaptation strategies offered are fine scale (i.e., on-site) and some coarse scale (i.e., involving the surrounding landscape). To advance the latter, I worked with many others to develop an ecosystem-based approach to managing a watershed, catchment or landscape (e.g., one containing a World Heritage site or protected area) (Perry et al. 2012).
That ecosystem scale work was developed in collaboration with UNEP and concluded with a global training program for ecosystem management (Perry et al. 2012). That work was initially field tested in Kenya, and then deployed in a Train-The-Trainers phase, beginning with a 12-country workshop in South Korea. All of that work has been done in the context of greater societal goals, goals that advance society's ability to recognize and adapt to new climate regimes. That work has recently been taken forward with special attention to vulnerable communities in watersheds facing climate changes (Perry et al. 2018).
Climate change adaptation, ecosystem management, watershed management, decision making
- Perry, JA & I Gordon 2021 Adaptive heritage: Is this creative thinking or abandoning our values? Climate. 9, 128,
- Perry, JA, D Roy, L Paas & A Tetron 2018 The Adaptive Watershed (TAW). https://www.iisd.org/project/adaptive-watershed-training-watershed-based-adaptation-and-management
- Perry, JA 2015 Climate change adaptation in the world’s best places: a wicked problem in need of immediate attention. Invited Review paper for Landscape and Urban Design 133: 1-11
- Harvey, DC & JA Perry (ed.) 2015 Heritage and climate change: loss, adaptation and creativity. Routledge, London
- Perry, JA & C Falzon 2014 Climate change adaptation: a toolkit for World Heritage site managers. World Heritage Papers 37 UNESCO Paris
- Perry, JA et al. 2012 Ecosystem management: concept to local scale implementation. A global training program. UNEP Nairobi
Honors and Awards
H.T. Morse Professor of Water Quality & Environmental Management