Anticipating Future Environments: Climate Change, Adaptive Restoration, and the Columbia River Basin

Anticipating Future Environments: Climate Change, Adaptive Restoration, and the Columbia River Basin

by Shana Lee Hirsch


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Drought. Wildfire. Extreme flooding. How does climate change affect the daily work of scientists? Ecological restoration is often premised on the idea of returning a region to an earlier, healthier state. Yet the effects of climate change undercut that premise and challenge the ways scientists can work, destabilizing the idea of “normalcy” and revealing the politics that shape what scientists can do. How can the practice of ecological restoration shift to anticipate an increasingly dynamic future? And how does a scientific field itself adapt to climate change?

Restoration efforts in the Columbia River Basin—a vast and diverse landscape experiencing warming waters, less snowpack, and greater fluctuations in precipitation—may offer answers to some of these questions. Shana Hirsch tells the story of restoration science in the basin, surveying its past and detailing the work of today’s salmon habitat restoration efforts. Her analysis offers critical insight into scientific practices, emerging approaches and ways of thinking, the incorporation of future climate change scenarios into planning, and the ultimate transformation—or adaptation—of the science of ecological restoration. For scientists and environmental managers around the globe, Anticipating Future Environments will shed light on how to more effectively cope with climate change.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780295747293
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication date: 07/16/2020
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Shana Lee Hirsch is a research scientist in the department of Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

List of Abbreviations xi

Introduction: No Small Task 3

1 A Science for the Columbia River Basin 38

2 River Restoration in the Columbia River Basin 62

3 The Work of Restoration in a Changing Climate 88

4 Emergence: Making Room for the River to Breathe 104

5 Acclimation: Rethinking Monitoring for the Future 123

6 Anticipation: Imagining a Future 146

Conclusions: Environmental Imaginaries and River Futures 166

Notes 185

References 187

Index 205

What People are Saying About This

Stephen Bocking

An engaging and accessible analysis that should be of interest not just to restoration ecologists, but to all environmental scientists seeking to respond to our climate emergency.

Rebecca Lave

An important early intervention in our understanding of how climate change affects restoration practice and environmental management globally.

David R. Montgomery

In this hard look at how to restore an ecosystem that is changing our from under you, Hirsch reinforces the message that good science is not enough.

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