Climate Model Series (Part 5 of 5): Can we get a 2nd opinion? Why multiple models are key to understanding climate change impacts.

By Liz Allen In the Climate Modeling Series, I have explored what you need to know to interpret and use models effectively (you can find the four previous posts in the series by searching “Climate Model Series” on For this final installment, I’d like to use hot-off-the-press research of global significance to illustrate why, […]

Climate Model Series (Part 4 of 5)– What We Know About What We Don’t Know

By Liz Allen Just how well can we model the impacts that climate change will have on agriculture in the Pacific Northwest? Simply put, there will always be uncertainty about exactly how the climate of the future will differ from historical patterns and what those changes will mean for farmers in the region. How accurately […]

Climate Model Series (Part 3 of 5)— The “Wicked” Problems of the West, and Why We Need to Link Environmental Models

By Liz Allen Last month I wrote about “top down” (system dynamics) and “bottom up” (process based) modeling approaches. The key take-away there was that modelers’ decisions about how to represent a system depend on: 1) the scope and framing of the issues being investigated, 2) availability of data and 3) intended audience. For example, […]

Climate Model Series (Part 2 of 5)— “Top-down” and “bottom-up” perspectives of environmental systems

By Liz Allen Within my research team, I have the very unusual role of studying my fellow scientists. I use research methods from anthropology and sociology—interviews, surveys and participant observation—to understand how academic scientists think about the relationship between their research and their stakeholders, who make management and policy decisions about water resources, forests and […]

Climate Model Series (Part 1 of 5) – Why models are critical for studying climate change

By Liz Allen When I was a Masters student in central Massachusetts I spent my nights and weekends bartending at a pub that catered to an eclectic mixture of college students, blue-collar workers and retirees from the neighborhood. Working there, I had a lot of conversations with regulars about my research and for the most […]

Spring is Coming! Reflections on Growing the AgClimate Network

By: Brooke Saari “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow” ~ Proverb from Guinea Winter is in its final stages and spring is knocking on our door. As a Florida native living in Washington, I for one am ready for some sunshine, flowers and warmth! While I dream of that glorious […]