Sea level rise due to our changing climate is leading to losses in vital coastal habitats throughout the world, presenting a complex and pressing conservation concern.

Adaptation planning is necessary if U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal National Wildlife Refuges are going to maintain the goods and services provided from healthy coastal habitats.


DJ Case partnered with researchers from the South Central USGS Climate Adaptation Science Center and Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge to help create resilient, adaptation planning based on the best science available.  

Cape Romain NWR is one of many actors and stakeholders in a complex landscape. This complexity of a place is not unique to the South Carolina Low Country but is true for all locations. DJ Case researchers identified and analyzed the utility of human behavior change models to determine best practices for engaging diverse stakeholders. Our social science lens brought the vision needed to recognize culture, place, and meaning-making all as vital variables that must be included in conservation planning.   

With our collaborators, DJ Case helped to organize a series of meetings and later workshops with organizations active in both natural and cultural conservation in the Low Country. These collaborative workshops helped to identify novel approaches for more resilient conservation planning.


The results of this project were recently published in the peer reviewed journal Ecology and Society.