Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Geography and Geology

Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



This study aimed to develop an understanding of how a scenario planning process could be used to assist businesses to adapt to climate change. The focus of this study was on the Icelandic fishing industry since Iceland is experiencing firsthand climate change impacts. Mitigation strategies are the main focus in climate change research, but this study focused on a possible adaptation method that requires changing management practices in order to reduce the impact of climate change on the economy. Tours of Icelandic fisheries and interviews with individuals within the Icelandic fishing industry were conducted to assess the current adaptive capacity of the industry. Three company profiles were created to represent fisheries at different levels of preparedness for climate change. Future climate scenarios were derived from data provided in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report. The climate scenarios were used to make predictions about the future challenges or opportunities the company profiles would face. The findings of this study reflect that Iceland’s fishing industry will continue to be greatly impacted by climate change, and the industry does not have a specific planning approach to climate change. The results from this study also suggest that the scenario planning process is a promising approach to complex issues with high levels of uncertainty like climate change, but a successful scenario planning process is difficult to achieve due to a lack of time and resources. This thesis provides a starting point for large-scale scenario analysis and can be returned to fisheries management in Iceland to highlight both the resources needed to make the scenario processes effective and the benefit of using a scenario planning approach to climate change in the fishing industry.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Leslie North


Climate | Natural Resource Economics | Strategic Management Policy