A "bight" can be defined as both a bend or curve in any geographical feature or a large bay. Both define the region of our study. This Google Earth image shows the arching coastline and the large embayment of the Southern California Bight.

Climate Change in the Southern California Bight

Climate change impacts will affect both the ocean and coastal ecosystem, as well as coastal communities. The implications of these changes are even more complex in a marine setting that borders a densely populated major urban area, such as the greater Los Angeles basin.

In 2010, USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences funded a three-year collaborative project entitled Climate Change in the Southern California Bight, directed by Dr. David Hutchins and Dr. Douglas Capone (USC Biological Sciences, Marine Environmental Biology program). The three main goals of this project are to:

  1. Undertake a series of workshops to identify data needs and develop a web-based clearinghouse for relevant but currently disparate environmental information which bears on changes in the Southern California coastal ocean,
  2. Develop and apply tools to integrate, synthesize and visualize information as vehicles for the effective transmission of this data, information and knowledge to scientists, businesses, policy-makers and the general public,
  3. Foster the development of integrated, interdisciplinary environmental research and education programs that focus specifically on the environmental challenges and the creation of effective environmental solutions to climate change in the urban coastal ocean.
Human Dimensions and Ocean Health in a Changing Climate

On March 12, 2013, we held a policy colloquium to focus on ocean health and human dimensions in a changing climate.  The goals of the colloquium were to provide a forum to foster understanding of the interplay among climate change, ocean health and human dimensions; understanding how social vulnerability can be mitigated through effective adaptation; and how communities can build resilience to climate change.

Download colloquium agenda here. Colloquium presentations are available for download below.

Morning Session: Ocean Health in a Changing Climate

Lunch Session

Afternoon Session: Social Vulnerability and Sea Level Rise Planning

For more information on this project, please contact: Dr. Douglas Capone or Dr. David Hutchins.