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Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Symposium

September 19-21, 2022

Agenda  |  Lightning Talks  | Poster Session  |  World Cafe  |  Field Trip  |  About the Area | Contact us

Event Information

The 2022 Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Symposium was held on September 19-21, 2022, at the Lodge at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, AL.

Goals of the symposium:

  • Support climate adaptation efforts by sharing science resources and tools and providing natural and cultural resource managers and regional experts with an opportunity to share lessons learned and best practices.
  • Discuss and identify gaps and needs for actionable science production and delivery that meets the requirements of managers for on-the-ground application.
  • Provide a venue for researchers, managers, and other resource people to share information about current activities, plans, and opportunities for collaboration.

Symposium Participants:

  • Researchers and managers working in the southeastern U.S., including the U.S. Caribbean, on climate impacts and adaptation for fish, wildlife, habitat, cultural resources.
  • Decision makers and practitioners from state fish and wildlife agencies, federal organizations, Tribal Nations and Tribal organizations, NGOs.

Global Change Fellows Lightning Talks

The Global Change Fellows Lightning Talks featured seven former Global Change Fellows presenting on their climate decision focused research and conservation.

This session was held on Monday, September 19, 4:00-4:30 pm.

Poster/Tools Networking Session

Poster and Tools Networking Session is intended for students, researchers, managers, and partners to present posters depicting current research findings and partner resources, and to share management-relevant tools.

The session was held on Monday, September 19, 4:30-6:00 pm.

World Cafe Session

The World Cafe session, 10:45 am – 12:45 pm on Tuesday, September 20, facilitated directed conversations and knowledge sharing on targeted themes. There were a variety of tables set up during this session, organized around specific topics and around specific organizations, hosted by a table lead. Participants rotated to tables based on their individual interests.

Field Trip Details

An optional two-part field trip to Fort Morgan State Historic Site at the mouth of Mobile Bay was held on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. On a tour led by Heather Tassin, Fort Morgan State Historic Site Director, participants learned about the history of the Fort along with the climate-related management challenges of this important cultural resource. The second part of the tour was led by Jackie Sablan, USFWS Active Refuge Manager at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. She led participants along the surrounding dune and marsh habitats managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Fort Morgan Historic Site field trip engaged participants in this region’s rich history as an American battleground and also in its climate adaptation and conservation efforts. Fort Morgan is located west of Gulf Shores, Alabama on Mobile Point. This site served as the battle site for the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864. The fort continued to be used during the Spanish American War, World War I, and World War II. This seacoast fortification experienced much adaptation and change over the years by the U.S. Army to best protect the country. In 1946, the site was declared a historic site to the state of Alabama. Fort Morgan also has many outdoor resources and activities, such as beaches, nature trails, bird watching areas, and fishing. Outside the site is a federal wildlife area managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with dunes and marshes providing habitats for at-risk species, especially important in the face of changing climate and development pressures in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Optional tours

Four optional tours in and around the Lodge were conducted by Chandra Wright, Director of Environmental & Educational Initiatives, during our symposium.

The Lodge is the first hotel in the world to achieve LEED Gold, SITES Platinum, and FORTIFIED Commercial certifications. On a 45-minute tour, guests learned about the history of the Lodge and what makes it one of the most sustainable resorts in the world.

On this 30-minute beach walk, guests learned about the habitat around the Lodge and some of the protected creatures that can be found here (as well as the efforts to help them).

The Interpretive Center is Alabama’s most environmentally friendly building, built to achieve LEED Platinum and full Living Building Challenge certification (as well as being the first-ever FORTIFIED Commercial facility). On this 30 minute tour, guests explored the unique design features of the Interpretive Center and learned how the facility generates its own energy and drinking water.

About the Area

The Lodge is a beachfront LEED Gold certified hotel located within the beautiful 6,150-acre Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama. This family-friendly environment is accessible to over 27 miles of nearby hiking trails, a freshwater fishing lake, and an Educational Center exhibits information about dune ecosystems and environmentally friendly architecture. A range of dining options are available within the hotel and nearby attractions offer additional dining and entertainment alternatives.

Gulf Shores is home to many coastal plants and animals and The Lodge is committed to keeping them healthy and safe for generations to come. This LEED Gold certified hotel was designed to reduce internal energy and water use by up to 35%. Additionally, the building is oriented to take advantage of the Gulf’s natural breeze for ventilation and natural lighting. In addition to the above sustainable elements, The Lodge has detailed their efforts on their website. This commitment to sustainability was an essential factor in choosing a meeting location. We hope to bring together resource managers and researchers without leaving a substantial impact on the environment.

Exploring Gulf Shores, AL

Explore the nine ecosystems found in Gulf State Park, ranging from our white sugar sand beaches to our maritime forest. With 28 miles of hiking and biking accessible trails, our complimentary bikeshare program and our park tram, you’ll find it’s easy to make new discoveries.

Want to explore the park on a guided Segway tour? Or want to get out on Lake Shelby and explore the park by kayak or paddleboard? Contact our friends at Coastal Segway Adventures to make your reservation.

Check out the programs offered at the Gulf State Park Learning Campus (behind Park Headquarters) and at the Nature Center (inside the Gulf State Park Campground). You can find the Calendar of Events here:

Whether you want to try your hand at saltwater-fishing (license required) or just want to see the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sally on September 16, 2020, you will want to explore the Gulf State Park Fishing & Education Pier, which is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Prior to Hurricane Sally, the Pier was the largest on the Gulf of Mexico and still boasts over 1400 feet of fishing space while awaiting repairs. Complimentary sightseeing access is provided by showing your Lodge room key. If you choose to drive rather than walk next door, there is a nominal parking fee of $3.00 for two hours.

For art afficionados, don’t miss a visit to the Coastal Arts Center in Orange Beach, which has a great gallery in addition to glass blowing demonstrations at the Hot Shop as well as pottery demonstrations in the Clay Studio. Find your own unique souvenir!

There are great shopping and dining opportunities in the area, including the Wharf (, OWA (including Tropic Falls, an award-winning theme park and all-new indoor water park;, and the Tanger Outlets in nearby Foley, Alabama ( For even more options, including more things to do, check out

Questions or Comments?

Questions can be directed to Cari Furiness,