CAFA Principal Investigator Community of Practice (2020-2023)

Gary Cooper helps dump a catch of walleye pollock onto a sorting table onboard the NOAA ship Miller Freeman during a stock and food source assessment in September 2007

Gary Cooper helps dump a catch of walleye pollock onto a sorting table onboard the NOAA ship Miller Freeman during a stock and food source assessment in September 2007. (Photo by Ingrid Spies, provided by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center.)

The CAFA Program organized a Community of Practice to foster communication, coordination and collaboration to help advance the projects funded beginning in Fiscal Year 2020. The projects were funded to (1) integrate climate, ecological, and socio-economic research and modeling efforts to evaluate the performance of fisheries management strategies under different climate and ocean scenarios and inform climate-resilient fisheries management, and (2) promote regional collaboration across the science and management communities to provide information on future conditions, risks, and management strategies for use in fishery stock assessments and fisheries management decisions. 

The core members of the Community of Practice are principal investigators (PIs) of funded projects from universities, science institutions, NOAA and other Federal centers and laboratories. Members of the Community of Practice also include CO-PIs, other project participants and invited scientists from across the community with interest and expertise.

Through monthly video calls, the Community of Practice provides a mechanism to share knowledge, insights, and experience across regional projects. The Community of Practice also facilitates collaboration with other relevant activities inside and outside of NOAA.

For the abstracts of projects funded from CAFA’s FY2020 competition, please click here.

CAFA Community of Practice Objectives:

  1. Provide a mechanism to share information, lessons learned, and solutions developed across the projects. 
  2. Foster a community of practice to discuss project developments, exchange ideas and information, find solutions, and build innovations. 
  3. Foster collaboration with other relevant efforts including the NOAA Climate and Fisheries Initiative. 
  4. Help communicate project-related activities and results to interested audiences.

New Assessment Shows Impact of CPO-Supported Planning Tool on Climate Adaptation Processes

  • 29 September 2020
New Assessment Shows Impact of CPO-Supported Planning Tool on Climate Adaptation Processes

A recently published assessment highlights the impact of 14 applications of the Vulnerability, Consequences, and Adaptation Planning Scenarios (VCAPS) tool. Originally developed through a 2009 CPO/Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) Program project, VCAPS is designed to assist communities in becoming more resilient to climate change and weather events through local vulnerability assessments and climate adaptation planning. The assessment found that VCAPS informed plans and decisions of municipalities, informed actions and decisions of other public and private actors, generated broader support for subsequent actions, helped efforts to secure/seek funding for climate adaptation actions, developed material resources to support planning, and promoted learning among participants.

The Social and Environmental Research Institute along with the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments Programs (one of 11 NOAA RISA teams) first implemented VCAPS in two South Carolina coastal communities. Since 2011, VCAPS has been applied to other communities in states such as Alabama, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and South Carolina through collaborations with key partners such as state Sea Grant programs. 

The VCAPS process includes several different components. It guides community members to engage in informative discussions surrounding climate threats, summarize and discuss existing local knowledge, identify gaps in knowledge, and think strategically on how to take climate-resilient measures.

Using qualitative interviews, the study explored the perceived value and the measurable performance outcomes of VCAPS at both individual and community scales occurring 3–10 years after the processes were conducted. The report found that VCAPS performed better when there is wide community participation. Many participants in the VCAPS framework viewed adaptation planning as an on-going process. Lastly, it was noted that linking scientific knowledge with local knowledge is a critical part of the VCAPS process.   

View the assessment »



Contact Us

Jennifer Dopkowski
NOAA Research

Climate Program Office
P: (301) 734-1261

Roger Griffis
NOAA Fisheries
Office of Science and Technology

P: (301) 427-8134


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Silver Spring, MD 20910


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.