Playas are shallow, rain-fed wetlands that provide crucial ecosystem services, such as wildlife habitat, flood control, and aquifer recharge, throughout the Great Plains. In addition to threats such as sedimentation and invasive species, playas may also be vulnerable to changes in precipitation and temperature associated with climate change. Playas are predominantly surrounded by agricultural production and grassland ecosystems, thus, management decisions by local farmers and ranchers can impact how playas function.
In partnership with the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri and the Missouri Transect EPSCoR Project, Rachel Owens, a doctoral student at the University of Missouri, is conducting a research survey aimed at gathering information on how communities in the Great Plains currently view climate change and perceive the challenges and solutions for solving problems caused by climate change, specifically as they relate to playa wetlands and agricultural ecosystems in the region. This survey will inform the development of educational resources to assist in playa conservation and support engagement with landowners and managers through meaningful, productive discussions about issues impacting playa wetlands and their functions in Great Plains communities.
Owen is asking stakeholders to share their ideas and opinions about climate change, agriculture, and playa wetlands through this survey, which takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary, there is no risk to participate, and responses will be kept confidential. The survey can be accessed at bit.ly\playawetlands. Electronic survey responses will close on May 30, 2018. If you are interested in learning more about the overall project, visit www.rachelkowen.com/playa-wetlands or follow Owen on Twitter (@RachelKSoils). For questions, email Owen at email@example.com
Rachel Owen is a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri studying the impact of changing climate conditions on playa wetland ecosystems. Owen received the 2017-2018 Science-to-Action Fellowship from the U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, which supports travel to field days and workshops throughout the Great Plains.