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Before and after image of an area with trees; the before shows full, green trees while the after shows dry trees

RADical ecosystem change: Applying the RAD (Resist-Accept-Direct) framework

(11am CT, 10am MT, 9am PT)

Most natural resource conservation and management approaches look to the past for precedent. But, what happens when the past doesn’t reflect the future? With climate change and other stressors, ecosystems are transforming, making many of these approaches increasingly untenable. The RAD (Resist-Accept-Direct) framework can help navigate the unfamiliar territory of ‘what comes next’ while still using some familiar tools and strategies (e.g., adaptive management). This presentation will introduce the RAD framework and discuss how it lays out adaptation options deliberately. These conversations are often uncomfortable but, at some point, we do need to ask “When to Resist?” and “Resist until when?” If we wait well past when restoration and rehabilitation efforts are effective, we’ve likely missed opportunities to prepare for adapting to ecosystem change under any RAD strategy and it will likely come at higher economic costs, greater losses of ecosystem services, and more significant consequences to natural systems.


Abigail J. Lynch

Abigail J. Lynch

USGS National Climate Adaptation Science Center

Research Fish Biologist

Abigail (Abby) J. Lynch is a Research Fish Biologist with the USGS National Climate Adaptation Science Center. She is also the coordinator for the international ‘InFish’ research network, an Associate Editor for Fisheries Management and Ecology, and a member of the IUCN Fisheries Expert Group. Abby has a BS in biology and BA in English literature from the University of Virginia, an MS in marine science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science on Atlantic menhaden genetics, and a PhD in fisheries and wildlife from Michigan State University on climate impacts to Great Lakes Lake Whitefish