The Center for Integrated Forest Science (CIFS), a pioneering research program within Forest Research and Development, addresses complex questions that require science to inform natural resource management and policy decisions. Most of these questions require understanding biophysical and human dimensions, and fusing science from the natural and social sciences.

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Climate Change, Streamflow, and Social Vulnerability: Locating Increased Risks

What happens when climate change or urbanization increases the frequency or severity of floods? How well can different downstream communities prepare for and respond to those catastrophic events? USDA Forest Service scientists and approached these questions in a new way. They developed a risk matrix that pairs the likelihood of high streamflow events – which can be an indicator of flooding – with local community capacity to bear the consequences.

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