Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Resource Economics and Policy


Adam Daigneault

Second Committee Member

Kathleen Bell

Third Committee Member

Andrew Crawley


How communities respond to shocks has been of large interest to academics and governance since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Great Recession in 2008, and very recently the COVID-19 pandemic. The likelihood and extent of these shocks are ever increasing with the threat of climate change, leading to increased pressure on communities to understand and prepare for future shocks. Urban communities are often better prepared to strengthen their resilience due to the vast amount of resources they have available. Smaller, more rural communities typically have fewer resources to strengthen their resilience, making it harder to prepare for future shocks. This thesis analyzes community level resilience across Maine and the United States to assist communities in their preparation for shocks. My research focuses on measuring resilience at a community scale, in contrast to most resilience research done at a county level in the United States. In chapter 1, resilience scores were calculated by aggregating metrics believed to be correlated with community resilience. I found that resilience scores had significant correlations with urban/rural classifications and a communities dependency on natural resources, suggesting places with fewer resources to adapt to future shocks are the most susceptible. The second chapter focuses on aiding municipalities in the development of climate adaptation plans to best prepare for the future shocks of climate change. I developed two decision support tools through literature review and applying the Delphi method. The first tool is the climate adaptation plan criteria list which aims to give municipalities concepts and topics that should be addressed in a thorough climate adaptation plan. The second tool is the climate adaptation and resilience outcome tool (CAROT) which aims to give examples to municipalities of how others have measured the success of their climate adaptation plans. Both tools highlight the varying topics that should be addressed with climate adaptation planning. Both chapters provide tools to analyze and strengthen community resilience. Overall, this work aims to strengthen communities’ abilities to understand their vulnerabilities to shocks and build their community resilience towards future shocks. The tools and lists developed in each chapter are of use to all communities regardless of resource limitations but are of most use and importance to communities who are constrained in shock preparedness.