So Long, John. Hello, New Coworker.

It is with sad hearts and a fond farewell that we say goodbye this month to our longtime colleague John Stevenson as we start our search for a new colleague to take over his role at CIRC and OCCRI.

Since 2011, John worked as CIRC’s Regional Climate Extension Specialist, a position funded jointly by CIRC and Oregon Sea Grant. John is off to start a PhD program and he is leaving some big shoes to fill.

To apply to work with CIRC and learn what our new position’s responsibilities entail, click here. To get a more qualitative feel for the type of work you could be doing with us, read on.

As CIRC’s Regional Climate Extension Specialist, John led our stakeholder engagement effort. This meant that he was often the first CIRC team member to reach out and engage a community interested in working with us to help them adapt to climate change. It was john_stevenson_0lucky for us that John ended up being down to earth, likable, and eminently capable.

During his tenure, John was essential for the design, development, and completion of several CIRC efforts and collaborations. These included the Big Wood Basin Alternative FuturesEnvision Tillamook Coastal FuturesNorth Coast Climate Adaptation, and the Blue Mountains Adaptation Partnership projects. He even wrote an article or two for the CIRCulator, an academic publication or two, and several climate assessments and plans (see list of publications below). He also helped with a short video on the recent drought.

Working in Idaho’s Big Wood River Basin as part of our Big Wood Basin Alternative Futures project was John’s biggest challenge at CIRC and the one that he ultimately found the most rewarding. He described this work with his CIRC team members in a chapter of the book Environmental Modeling with Stakeholders. John wrote about his work with CIRC and the NOAA RISA program in Climate in Context: Science and Society Partnering for Adaptation.

But perhaps the best window into the work John did comes from a post he wrote for the CIRCulator about the Big Wood Basin Alternative Futures project. The post covers both the ethos and methodology underlying the coproduction of knowledge with communities. (Terms that John explains in the post.) It also gives those interested in taking over his role a sense of the on-the-ground challenges she or he might face as leader of our stakeholder engagement effort.

Here’s John’s take away from the Big Wood effort as written in his post:

“When my colleagues and I began this project, I found it difficult to know what to say to communities when they asked how climate change would impact them. Many of these communities, particularly in rural areas, were already facing challenges. Pointing out that climate change was only going to make things more difficult was not something people wanted to hear, especially if I couldn’t offer any solutions. Ultimately, our Big Wood project taught us that the role of human decision-making is significant. And that without providing actionable solutions, the unpleasant implications of even the best climate science cannot lead to results.”

John, we are grateful that you were able to deliver news people didn’t want to hear and, more importantly, convince them to continue working with you. We wish you the best and would like to send you off with a song that we know you will love.

For those interested in filling some rather big shoes, here’s that link again.

John’s Publications:

Clifton, Caty F., Kate T. Day, Kathie D. Dello, Gordon E. Grant, Jessica E. Halofsky, Daniel J. Isaak, Charles H. Luce, Mohammad Safeeq, Brian P. Staab, and John Stevenson. “Climate change and hydrology in the Blue Mountains.” In Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation in the Blue Mountains RegionGeneral Technical Report-Pacific Northwest Research Station, edited by Jessica E. Halofsky, and David Lawrence Peterson, 25-52. Fort Collins, Colorado: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 2017. General Technical Report: PNW-GTR-939.

Cone, Joe, Monty Johnson, Miriah Kelly, Colin Duncan, Kirsten Winters, and John Stevenson.Regional Framework for Climate Adaptation, Clatsop and Tillamook Counties. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon Sea Grant, 2015. (Download the PDF.)

Inouye, Allison M., Denise H. Lach, John Stevenson, John P. Bolte, and Jennifer Koch. “Participatory Modeling to Assess Climate Impacts on Water Resources in the Big Wood Basin, Idaho.” In Environmental Modeling with Stakeholders, edited by Steven Gray, Michael Paolisso, Rebecca Jordan, and Stefan Gray, 289-306. AG, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2017. Print ISBN: 978-3-319-25051-9. Online ISBN: 978-3-319-25053-3.

Joyce, Linda A., Marian Talbert, Darrin Sharp, Jeffrey Morisette, and John Stevenson,  “Historical and Projected Climate in the Northern Rockies.” In Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation in the Northern Rockies (draft), edited by Jessica E. Halofsky, David Lawrence Peterson,S. Karen Dante-Wood, Linh Hoang, Joanne J. Ho, and Linda A. Joyce, 58-65. Fort Collins, Colorado: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 2016. General Technical Report: RMRS-GTR.

Ruggiero, Peter, Eva Lipiec, Alexis Mills, John Bolte, Pat Corcoran, John Stevenson, Katherine A. Serafin, and Janan Evans-Wilent. The Tillamook County Coastal Futures Project: Exploring alternative scenarios for Tillamook County’s coastline. Corvallis, Oregon: Pacific Northwest Climate Impacts Research Consortium, Oregon State University, 2017. (Download the PDF.)

Stevenson, John, Michael Crimmins, Jessica Whitehead, Julie Brugger, and Clyde Fraisse. “Connecting climate information with practical uses: Extension and the NOAA RISA program.” In Climate in Context: Science and Society Partnering for Adaptation, edited by Adam S. Parris, Gregg M. Garfin, Kirstin Dow, Ryan Meyer, and Sarah L. Close, 75-98. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2016. Print ISBN: 9781118474792. E-book ISBN: 9781118474785.

Photo Caption: Okay…this is just a random picture of the John Day River, home to the endangered bull trout. We just needed a feature image to go with this post. (Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture, some rights reserved.)

Nathan Gilles is the managing editor of The Climate Circulator, and oversees CIRC’s social media accounts and website. When he’s not writing for CIRC, Nathan works as a freelance science writer. Other Posts by this Author. 

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