Climate Change Monitoring in Sonoma County: What To Do?

Publication Type  Conference Presentation
Authors  Claudia Luke; Christopher Halle
Affiliations  Sonoma State University Field Stations & Nature Preserves, 1801 E Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA; UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, P.O. Box 247, Bodega Bay, CA
Year  2009

One of the largest environmental issues of our time is upon us and we are bewildered by what we should be monitoring and studying to inform land use decisions. As we move forward in developing a coordinated effort in climate change monitoring and its related effects, we recommend focusing on three areas: (1) geographic identity, (2) multidisciplinary collaborations, and (3) existing and new resources. Firstly, we need to begin with a thorough understanding not only of our local climate, but also how we compare to other areas on earth. Unique climatic features of Sonoma County include adjacency to one of the earth’s four most consistent upwelling sites, the narrowest coastal atmospheric boundary layer measured in the world, dramatic spatial variability in microclimate, flooding events driven by tropical atmospheric “rivers”, and a dry regional climate compared to other areas of California’s north coast range. Secondly, the study of climate change is inherently a multi-disciplinary process. We need to transcend historical constructs such as marine vs terrestrial, agricultural vs ecological, and especially physical vs biological. Thirdly, some notable technological areas to start focusing on are the establishment of long-term research sites, data quality and archival systems, new developments in citizen science programs, and emerging environmental technologies.


Claudia Luke received her PhD in Zoology from UC Berkeley in 1989. She is Director of SSU Field Stations and Nature Preserves and has 20 years experience in merging research results with land use challenges, such as fire management planning, habitat connectivity, and invasive species control. Christopher Halle earned his PhD from UC San Diego at Scripps in 2002. He has industry and academic experience quantifying ocean currents and extreme events. He is currently project scientist at Bodega Marine Laboratory examining surface transport in the coastal ocean and its relation to marine protected areas.

Conference Name  2009 State of the Laguna Conference and Science Symposium
Presentation Type: 
2_luke_friday session 1.pdf2.68 MB