Jade Delevaux, Ph.D.

Land and sea, nature and culture are inseparable dualities on islands. Therefore during my PhD, I developed a novel linked land-sea decision support tool at a spatial scale relevant to Pacific Islands, which improved our understanding of the effects of climate change and local human activities (urbanization, agriculture, and fishing) on freshwater, terrestrial and marine resources. We applied it in areas with active community-based management in Hawai‘i and Fiji. Through scenario planning, it can assist decision-makers to identify where local conservation actions (forest conservation or marine closures) can foster coral reef resilience to climate change. My research showed that coral reef conservation cannot be effective without accounting for land-sea linkages and that local management can foster coral reef resilience to climate change. Another critical lesson from this research and development process was the need for collaborative research among resource managers, community members, and scientists to develop applied research, leverage multiple knowledge systems, and identify practical solutions to our environmental issues.

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