08 Oct 2019

Seminar: Supporting Climate Change Decision Making: Data Transformation and Knowledge Exchange with Resource Managers in the Pacific Islands


Speaker: Dr. Abby Frazier

Land managers are facing co-occurring threats to their landscapes such as climate change, invasive species,

wildfire, and drought. As novel ecosystems and climates emerge—particularly hotter and drier climates—

it is critical that scientists produce locally relevant, timely, and actionable science products. Trends in

rainfall and characteristics of drought have been analyzed for the State of Hawai‘i since 1920, and additional

high-resolution climate datasets have been recently produced (e.g., 25 years of gridded daily rainfall and

temperature). However, the ability to use GIS is needed to extract site-specific information as no geospatial

tools have been developed. For future climate projections, only raw climate model outputs are available

for users. A knowledge exchange and technical assistance process is needed to encourage formal collaboration

between researchers and managers. To address this need, we are piloting a knowledge exchange and

technical assistance process with individual land managers in Hawai‘i and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific

Islands to co-produce customized site-specific drought and climate data products based on the needs of

each manager. To improve the accessibility of the downscaled climate projections in Hawai‘i, the raw

outputs have been re-processed and transformed into derived variables in raster format and standardized

across models. This often-overlooked role of translating scientific outputs into usable, accessible data

formats and engaging resource managers in research planning and knowledge co-production is essential

to enable and support informed climate change decision making.


Dr. Frazier specializes in geospatial analysis of big climate datasets. Currently, her work is focused on El Niño, drought,

and water resource issues in the Pacific Islands, but she is also interested in climatology, GIS, geostatistics, climate

variability (ENSO and PDO), rainfall in the tropics, complex topography, landscape ecology, drought, wildfire, food and

water security, remote sensing, and big data analysis. Dr. Frazier received her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of

Hawai‘i (UH) at Manoa in Geography. She joined the East-West Center’s Research Program as a Fellow in July 2018

and is an Affiliate Graduate Faculty member in the UH Department of Geography and Environment.


  • East-West Center Research Program Fellow and Affiliate Graduate Faculty member, UH Department of Geography and Environment

    Dr. Abby Frazier

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