Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Minnesota
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Minnesota Project

Public acceptance and preferences for climate change adaptation in the Mid-West.

May 2021 - December 2023


Participating Agencies

  • U.S. Geological Survey/Midwest CASC

The objectives of this study are to: 1) to understand public acceptance of climate change consequences and public preferences for climate change adaptation strategies and the stability of those preferences; 2) identify the key antecedents and consequences of stability of these preferences for climate change adaptation management strategies; 3) develop recommendations for engaging the public and stakeholders in developing climate change adaptation management strategies. Very limited knowledge exists about key public stakeholders’ (e.g., hunters, anglers, birdwatchers) perception of the conditions resulting from climate change to fish and wildlife resources or their preference for adaptation strategies to these changes. This limited understanding of public preferences has also impeded early, intensive interventions by resource managers to improve conservation outcomes. Recent research suggests that presentation of the uncertainty of consequences as well as information about the potential benefits of strategies can affect the trust the public has in information as well as preference for adaptation strategies and the malleability of those preference. We will use social psychological experiments embedded in online social surveys to clarify relationships among uncertainty, trust, preference, and key characteristics of respondents. Project reports, information workshops, and presentations will be provided and stored digitally on a project website for peer scientists at universities as well as fish and wildlife managers at state and federal agencies, tribes, and non-governmental organizations. In addition, 3 peer-reviewed journal articles will be developed for publication in respected journals. Key personnel include: 1) Dr. David C. Fulton (Principal Investigator), U.S. Geological Survey, Assistant Unit Leader, Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and Adjunct Professor, University of Minnesota; 2) Dr. Olivia LeDee (Cooperating Investigator), U.S. Geological Survey, Midwest/Midcontinent Climate Adaptation Science Center, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota; 3) Post doc Research Fellow to be identified.