201 Stephenson Parkway, Suite 2100 Norman, OK 73019

Building Resilient Communities


Too often, conversations about climate science, change and adaptation are framed as if they are one-sided, with scientists and science educators teaching people living and taking action about climate change and potential impacts. Yet, people experience environmental changes in their everyday life, and they know their priorities, ways of living, and values. This community of practice will focus on climate change and adaptation on the ground, how people in their everyday lives and everyday work lives are experiencing, interpreting, responding and adapting to, and living with environmental change. This community of practice also focuses on the intersections among climate change, environmental change from development patterns and ways of living, and the social and economic changes that accompany environmental change or shape what actions are possible or desirable.

Our Team

First established in October 2018, the Resilience Communities team has multiple members:

Sharon Hausam (co-lead), South Central CASC

Caitlin Rottler (co-lead), South Central CASC

Renia Ehrenfeucht, University of New Mexico

Ebone Smith, University of Oklahoma

Azmal Hossan, Colorado State University

Sarah Franzen, Louisiana State University

Luke J. Kerr, University of Oklahoma

Aaron Russell, Oklahoma State University

Nicole Colston, Oklahoma State University

Yvette Wiley, South Central CASC

Barney Austin, Aqua Strategies

Arsum Pathak, National Wildlife Federation

Stephanie Paladino, Merolek Anthropology

Our Projects

On October 18, 2022 this Community of Practice hosted a webinar entitled “How Communities Contend with Climate: Rainwater Harvesting and Restoration” with speakers Dr. Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar and Flor Sandoval.

Dr. Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar’s talk was entitled “Community Resilience to Climate Change: From Treats to Community Empowerment” and Flor Sandoval’s talk was entitled “Promoting Economic Justice in Rainwater Harvesting“.

Milestones & Next Steps for 2022

In the past year the “Building Resilient Communities” Community of Practice (CoP) shifted its focus to how people in their everyday lives and everyday work lives are experiencing, interpreting, responding and adapting to, and living with environmental change. This community of practice considers the intersections among climate change, environmental change from development patterns and ways of living, and the social and economic changes that accompany environmental change or shape what actions are possible or desirable. 

At the fall science meeting the CoP discussed the focal communities (frontline/at the forefront, historically-marginalized, Indigenous, Black, Hispanic, rural resource users, urban minorities) sectors (natural resources, water, energy, health, infrastructure), and climate exposures (heat, wildfires, floods, coastal storms, sea level rise) in which partners are working.  The discussion centered around inequities in resilience approaches, maladaptation, best practices and “failed” methods, co-benefits, transformative governance, benefits that reach multiple underserved communities, and resilience in the face of multiple forces, including colonization.

The CoP also added new members through the fall science meeting, and now has representation from multiple locations.  The CoP defined its goals as learning from each other, collaborating, and co-producing tangible products.  The CoP will aim to produce a guiding paper on key unanswered questions related to community resilience that will frame a social science research agenda and support funded research and papers.