In the semi-arid Okavango Delta of Botswana, livelihoods are inextricably tied to a highly variable natural environment. While humans have developed adaptive strategies to address variability in seasonal precipitation, global change has the potential to exacerbate vulnerabilities and challenge existing strategies. Variability in the overall amount of rainfall has increased, and climate change model predictions indicate that water resources could decrease by as much as 25% in the region over the next several decades (IPCC 2007). The people of the Okavango Delta rely on water resources for consumption, household use, food production, and to sustain wildlife populations essential to local tourism-based livelihoods. Anticipated changes in precipitation are predicted to affect wildlife populations, their abundance, locations, and migration patterns (Malcolm et al. 2002), which has the potential to increase conflicts between humans and wildlife as competition for limited resources increases with decreases in rainfall. Furthermore, many rural communities receive benefits from wildlife tourism through Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) programs. With joint goals of poverty reduction and natural resource conservation, changes in wildlife population densities and movements could greatly impact livelihoods in communities where benefits from CBNRM are of critical importance. Global change adds further complexity and uncertainty to an already delicately balanced ecosystem and human habitat. This transdisciplinary research is based upon the premise that information is a critical currency for adaptation, and to begin to understand how humans may react to anticipated climatic and environmental changes, we must investigate how people access and integrate information from various sources. The study employs social network analysis and cognitive mapping exercises to investigate information flows to and among community members and the influence that this incoming information has on individuals’ mental models, the cognitive representations of one’s environment and experiences. Since decisions are based upon an individual’s interpretation of available information, the investigation of information flows and cognition can importantly inform our understanding of vulnerability and adaptability of rural populations facing global change uncertainties. This study specifically addresses water and wildlife resources in four rural villages participating in CBNRM in the Okavango Delta region of Botswana. While there are national government ministries that influence the management of both water and wildlife resources in Botswana, communication around these resources differs. Decisions about water are often made at the micro scale, with information exchanged within households and family groups. In contrast, wildlife resources are managed at the community level, with information disseminated through CBNRM governance structures. The investigation of variables affecting information flows can contribute to more effective communication strategies about the resources themselves, as well as people’s rights with regard to these resources. Results indicate that many variables affect information flows, the integration of information into mental models, and the decisions people make. Information sharing can vary with trust among information providers and receivers, the potential for elite capture of information, the size of the community (both number of individuals and geographic extent), the ethnicity of the community member, and the management structure of the resource in question (CBNRM for wildlife, not water). Understanding the communicative connections among people, their perceptions and decisions, provides vital information about how individuals can learn from others, become empowered through enhanced communication, build adaptive capacity for greater socio-ecological resilience, and ultimately make more informed decisions.