Abstract for: A Sea Level Rise Simulator for Coastal Communities

Climate change-induced sea level rise and its associated affects (like increased flooding frequency, severity and duration) are already affecting the San Francisco Bay Area and other coastal urban areas around the world. Our simulations show that possible responses to these threats have complex and interconnected effects on the city’s and surrounding region’s ecological, structural, socioeconomic and governance systems. We developed a simulator that provides a ‘learning laboratory’ to investigate the impact of sea level rise on a small portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. Users are encouraged to use the simulator in a group setting, collectively deciding on future actions before seeing the simulated results and then using open dialogue to build collective understanding of the causal connections between the various sub-systems.