News Release

Managing for climate change with the resist–accept–direct framework

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Institute of Biological Sciences

BioScience February Cover

image: Climate change and other global anthropogenic stressors increasingly trigger ecological transformations that are irreversible at human time scales. The Meadow Fire, shown here, erupted in the Little Yosemite Valley area of Yosemite National Park, 7 September 2014, growing to over 2500 acres in one day. Damage from such fires may take considerable time before recovery. How actively should managers respond and with what desired outcomes in mind? A special section in this issue examines such modern natural resource stewardship challenges and describes how the resist-accept-direct (RAD) framework can help managers take strategic, forward-looking action. view more 

Credit: Photograph: Peter B. James (CC BY-SA 4.0).

The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.

Natural resource managers worldwide face a growing challenge: Global change increasingly propels ecosystems on strong trajectories toward irreversible ecological transformations. As once-familiar historical ecological conditions fade, managers need new approaches to guide decision-making. In a special section in BioScience, three dozen authors, led by National Park Service (NPS) ecologist Gregor Schuurman and US Geological Survey social scientist Amanda Cravens, describe the Resist–Accept–Direct (RAD) framework, designed for and by managers. The collection of articles, with an introductory article from Dr. Schuurman outlining the framework, is focused on understanding and responding to the challenges of stewarding ecological systems in a time of intensifying global change.

            According to the section authors, the RAD framework gives managers three general pathways for responding to change: They can take actions to resist the change, they can accept it, or they can try to direct the change to produce desirable outcomes. The NPS has honed the RAD framework with an expanding circle of parks and adaptation partners over the past half-dozen years, with federal natural resource management agencies collaborating to develop guidance for stewarding transforming ecosystems. The special section can be found in the January issue of BioScience.

For this episode of BioScience Talks, we are joined by Dr. Schuurman to discuss the RAD framework and the special section that describes it.

More about the RAD framework can be found on web pages maintained by the NPS and USGS.


To hear the whole discussion, visit this link for this latest episode of the BioScience Talks podcast.




BioScience, published monthly by Oxford Journals, is the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). BioScience is a forum for integrating the life sciences that publishes commentary and peer-reviewed articles. The journal has been published since 1964. AIBS is an organization for professional scientific societies and organizations, and individuals, involved with biology. AIBS provides decision-makers with high-quality, vetted information for the advancement of biology and society. Follow BioScience on Twitter @AIBSbiology.


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