Find us at the National Adaptation Forum! Don't Miss the Release of CRAVe!

The USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), together with a number of federal and non-federal partners, is announcing this week, at the National Adaptation Forum, the release of a new online registry for vulnerability assessments! The Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe) is a new web-based community resource that houses information on assessments of the vulnerability of various natural and cultural resources to a changing climate. 

CRAVe portal screenshotVulnerability assessments are important for identifying resources that are most likely to be affected by climate change and providing insights on why certain resources are vulnerable. Consequently, they provide valuable information for informing climate change adaptation planning. CRAVe allows users to enter information about their vulnerability assessments and includes a public search of existing assessments for specific geographic regions, assessment targets or endpoints, managing entities, and other factors. CRAVe was developed by NCCWSC, EcoAdapt, and a number of other federal and non-federal partners.  The purpose of the tool is to share information among different organizations regarding climate change vulnerability and reduce duplicate efforts, which will, ultimately, increase the value of existing assessment investments.  

CRAVe is being inaugurally released this week (May 12-14, 2015) at the National Adaptation Forum (NAF) in St. Louis, Missouri during several sessions/events:

  • Poster: Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe): A Tool to Track Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: Tuesday 17:30 – 18:30
  • CAKE Tools Café: Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe): A Tool to Track Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments: Tuesday 18:30 – 20:30
  • Symposium: CAKE Tools Café: Emerging Adaptation Tools and Resources From Around the Field: Wednesday 15:30 – 17:30

National Adaptation Forum Logo

Directors and staff from NCCWSC and several of the Climate Science Centers will also be participating at NAF and leading sessions on various topics:

  • Working Goup: Tribal Climate Adaptation: Working Together, Making Progress, and Charting the Course Forward: Tuesday 13:30 – 15:30 (NCCWSC)
  • Working Group: Identifying Decision‐Focused Climate Adaptation Activities and Aligning Priorities across Multiple Sectors and Scales in the Southeast United States: Tuesday 13:30 - 15:30 (Southeast CSC)
  • Symposium: Is it Doing Any Good? Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Adaptation ActivitiesTuesday 16:00 – 17:30 (Southwest CSC)
    Poster: Adapting to climate change impacts across the Northeast and Midwestern United States: Case studies from the Northeast Climate Science Center: Tuesday 17:30 – 18:30 (Northeast CSC)
  • Training Sessions: Climate Science Grant Writing Workshop for Tribes: Wednesday 13:00 – 15:00 (South Central CSC)
  • Working Group: Speaking Truth to Power and Power to Truth: Building a Two‐Way Street in Climate Change Assessments: Thursday 13:30 – 15:30 (South Central CSC)
    Symposium: Federal climate science and adaptation programs in the US: Identifying pathways for synergistic coordination and collaboration: Thursday 10:30-12:30 (Southwest CSC, Southeast CSC, NCCWSC)
  • Post-NAF (May 15) meeting on best practices for evaluation of GCMs and downscaled datasets: The South Central CSC will be holding an informal meeting to discuss “best practices” for evaluating global climate models and downscaled datasets as well as guidance for their use in climate assessments and planning. 
    Friday May 15 (8:00am-noon) at the Missouri Pacific Room at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel

NCCWSC/CSC participants at NAF include: Robin O'Malley (NCCWSC), Nicole DeCrappeo and Josh Foster (NW CSC), Kim Winton, Renee McPherson, Derek Rosendahl, Mike Langston, and April Taylor (SC CSC), Michelle Staudinger and Alex Bryan (NE CSC), Aranzazu Lascurain, Cari Furiness, Adam Terando, Adrienne Wootten and Elda Varela-Acevedo (SE CSC), and Steve Jackson and Carolyn Enquist (SW CSC).

We hope to see you there!


Federal Advisory Committee Issues Recommendations for Addressing Climate Change to NCCWSC & CSCs

Working directly with resource managers to produce science and tools to address effects of climate change on the nation’s biological resources should remain the core focus of the DOI Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), according to the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science's Report to the Secretary of the Interior, released today, May 11, 2015. 

ACCCNRS Report 2015 thumbnailThe report recognizes the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior for achieving significant accomplishments since the establishment of the NCCWSC and CSCs and provides several key recommendations to clarify, focus, and enhance the program's efforts.

The committee also recommends that the NCCWSC/CSC program should expand its capacity to work closely with partners, including states, tribes and other indigenous groups, and environmental organizations, both within DOI and with other federal agencies.

A “how-to guide” for “actionable science” is included as an appendix to the Committee’s report. The report also includes two other documents to which committee members contributed: one is a summary of a primer on climate change and indigenous peoples and the other provides guidelines for considering traditional knowledge in climate change initiatives.

The report also advised developing more avenues to coordination with other federal programs and with regional stakeholders. “The need for practical, actionable climate science is so large that we must coordinate closely with partners to be sure every science investment is useful and unique,” said Sarah Ryker, deputy associate director of the USGS Climate and Land Use Change program and the federal co-chair of the committee. “One of the early successes of the program is partnering with universities to provide even more expertise to answer important regional resource management questions.”

The federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science advises the Interior Secretary on the operations of NCCWSC and the eight CSCs. The committee has members from state and local governments, scientific and conservation organizations, American Indian tribes, academia, individual landowners, business interests and federal agencies.

View the Report >>

Read the full USGS news release about the report >>

Its American Wetlands Month! Check out our Research on Climate Change Impacts to Wetlands

Wetlands across the U.S. and around the world act as a crucial link between land and water, providing a number of services such as removing excess nutrients, pollutants, and sediment from water and acting as natural buffers to floodwaters. In 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency established May as American Wetlands Month to celebrate the importance of these ecosystems. 

St. Marks NWR Wakulla County, FloridaUnderstanding both the impact of climate change on wetlands and the role that wetlands play in adapting to climate change is a vital part of ensuring climate change preparedness. Several of the research projects funded by the Climate Science Centers (CSCs) focus on ways to improve the methods and tools used in wetland research and to help shed light on how changes in climate might affect these invaluable resources. The results of these studies are often used to support planning and decision-making by natural and cultural resource managers. 

•    In the Northwest, a group of researchers found that some wetland amphibians are at risk of local extinction due to climate change and the intentional introduction of predatory species, as described in a paper published last year. The team is integrating remote sensing, hydrological and biological modeling, and traditional fieldwork to understand climate change impacts to wetland habitats. 

•    In the Gulf of Mexico, a team is researching the connections between climate and wetland ecosystem structure. This study explores the effect of freshwater availability on plant species abundance, comparing scenarios of a drier vs. wetter future for the south central and south eastern U.S.

•    Mangrove forests are also being studied in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coast to understand how mangrove forest migration, due to changes in regional climate, can cause displacement of salt marshes. This change in coastal plant life has important implications for the ability of coastal ecosystems to handle climate change impacts such as sea-level rise and extreme storm events.

South Central wetland - Mike Osland project

•    Researchers in the Northeast have conducted a critical evaluation of terrestrial and wetland habitat classification and mapping methods to help standardize various ecosystem maps that currently exist and help managers utilize such maps when making decisions about wetland vulnerability or other problems.

•    Studies are being conducted in the Pacific Northwest and in California where salt marshes, mudflats, and shallow bays act as connected habitats that support a wealth of wildlife species. Scientists are examining current weather patterns, bottom elevations, tidal range, and sediment of wetland habitats to see how these elements affect plants and animals, and to understand how they will be impacted by climate change. 

These projects represent only a small portion of our work on understanding climate change impacts to wetlands and other important ecosystems throughout the U.S. To learn more about our research, please browse our project pages or visit our project search page

You can also learn more about wetlands from the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center:

Images on page:
Top right: St. Marks NWR Wakulla County_FL (by Alan Cressler)
Middle left: A Cascades frog peeks out of the water in Olympic National Park (by Maureen Ryan)

Bottom right: Mangrove marsh (by Mike Osland)

SW CSC Scientist Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Southwest Climate Science Center (SW CSC) Principal Investigator Glen M. MacDonald was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of his distinguished and continuing contributions in original research.

Glen MacDonald PhotoGlen is a Presidential Chair and Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Geography and of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles. Glen is active in the dissemination of information about climate change and environmental change to policy makers and the public.

Glen is also involved with several research projects including two funded by the SW CSC:

Read the NAS News Release >>

NCCWSC Research Fisheries Biologist Featured by Partner Organization

Climate change is expected to have a range of impacts on fish populations, both in the United States and globally. Dr. Abigail (Abby) Lynch, Research Fisheries Biologist for the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), has been examining these impacts for a number of years now and received her PhD at the Michigan State University with her dissertation titled: “Designing a decision-support tool for harvest management of Great Lakes lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) in a changing climate.” 

Abby Lynch

Abby's current work with NCCWSC includes involvement in several projects related to fisheries and climate change, as well as a national synthesis project on the ecological impacts of drought. Abby's work, and the pathway to her current position, was recently featured in a member spotlight by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Check out the feature here to learn more about Abby's work and to learn why Abby believes that research science is a public service!    

Climate Science Center Research Supports Coastal Tribes and Indigenous Communities

Sea level rise and other climate change impacts are already having an effect on coastal areas, threatening important cultural and natural resources and communities. Tribal and indigenous communities may see these impacts on sacred and traditional living sites, cultural practices, local forests and ecosystems, traditional foods and water quality. 



Scientists supported by the Climate Science Centers are working with these coastal communities to study the impacts of climate change on the health and vitality of the social, economic and natural systems of these communities.

USGS recently featured this work in a "Top Story" on its website. Check out the story here to learn more! 



Image: Two Yupik Eskimo students from Chevak, Alaska holding a tundra swan cygnet. These student volunteers were helping with an annual USGS waterfowl banding program along the Kashunuk River near the Bering Sea coast in western Alaska.

Live Tweeting Event for Wyoming Big Game Capture Starts March 2!

Starting the week of March 2, 2015, as cellular connectivity allows, researchers will be sharing photos, videos, maps and graphics from their work on 8 different studies involving elk, moose, mule deer, and bighorn sheep. 

Follow this big game capture event on:
Twitter @wyokauffman & @wgf, using the hashtags ‪#‎wyoelk‬‪#‎wyomoose‬,‪#‎wyodeer‬, and ‪#‎wyosheep‬

The Wyoming Migration Initiative Director Matt Kauffman, a University of Wyoming professor and U.S. Geological Survey scientist will tweet from @wyokauffman.

Wyoming Game and Fish biologists and wardens collaborating on these studies also will tweet from @wgfd.

We hope you join into the discussion!




AK CSC Poster, “From Icefield to Ocean”, Receives International Vizzie Award

Kristin Timm, a designer with the DOI Alaska Climate Science Center (AK CSC) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning, is among 10 designers who were recently recognized internationally for excellence in science communication. Timm worked with glaciologists Shad O'Neel, from the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center, and Eran Hood, from the University of Alaska Southeast. She also worked with ecologist Allison Bidlack, from the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center. 

From Icefield to Ocean Poster 2014Cosponsored by Popular Science magazine and the National Science Foundation, the Visualization Challenge competition — the Vizzies — recognizes some of the best scientific photos, videos, posters and illustrations produced each year. Timm and her collaborators received the People’s Choice award in the poster division for their illustration entitled “From Icefield to Ocean.”

The figure they developed depicts the important linkages between glaciers and the ocean. The team felt that it was particularly important to find a compelling way to communicate these research findings to Alaskans because Alaska’s coastal glaciers are among the most rapidly changing areas on the planet and glacier runoff can influence marine habitats, ocean currents and economic activities. The work was supported by the AK CSC as part of the project, Implications of Glacier Change in Alaska. (Learn more about the research described in the poster during a webinar on March 10, 2015.)

The illustration was one of over 300 entries into the annual competition, which has been held for more than a decade. During two rounds of judging, science and visualization experts narrowed the entries to 50 finalists. Readers voted online for the People’s Choice award, and independent experts vetted the winners for accuracy.

The figure will be published in the March 2015 issue of Popular Science. “From Icefield to Ocean” and the other contest winners can also be viewed on the Popular Science website.

Posted: 2/23/2015

SC CSC Offers Summer Internships for Undergraduate Students of Underrepresented Minorities

The South Central Climate Science Center (SC CSC) is pleased to announce a summer undergraduate internship opportunity in 2015 for students of underrepresented minorities interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields (for example, agricultural science, economics, environmental engineering). Interns will be involved in hands-on activities related to climate research that will allow them to see the direct impacts of climate variability and change on forest ecosystems in Oklahoma, coastal areas in Louisiana, and the Texas Hill Country. Internship participants will travel across the South Central United States to visit university campuses and field locations and interact with faculty conducting cutting edge research. 

The internship will take place from Sunday, May 31, 2015 to Saturday, June 20, 2015. Interns will spend one week with the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, one week with Louisiana State University, and one week with Texas Tech University. All meals, lodging and travel will be provided during the three-week period. In addition, interns will receive a $200/week stipend for the duration of the program. The program will not cover local travel between the participant's home to their closest airport, personal equipment (clothing, cameras, etc.), or other personal expenses. 

The SC CSC also had a wonderful experience with this program during the summer of 2014!

A sample of the 2014 itinerary is available here:
A video about the internship produced by participants in the 2014 program is available here:

The deadline to apply is 5:00 PM Central Time on Friday, March 20, 2015. For eligibility requirements and to access the application form, please see:

The South Central Climate Science Center is committed to encouraging diversity in the sciences. Please encourage your scientifically minded students to apply for this unique opportunity to experience climate research hands-on!
Posted: 2/10/2015

Upcoming Webinar Will Highlight New Tools for Projecting Impacts of Climate Change on Deer and Waterfowl

On Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 11am EST (10am CST), researchers will present a 2-part webinar describing updates on the development of Weather Severity Indices (WSI) for waterfowl and debuting an open-access web-based tool for querying and visualizing WSI data. The researchers will also discuss the development of projections of winter severity using dynamical downscaling.

waterfowl NE CSC webinar March 2015 414x146
Part 1: A Weather Severity Index for estimating influences of climatic variability on waterfowl populations, waterfowl habitat, and hunter opportunity and demographics
Dr. Michael Schummer Visiting Assistant Professor of Zoology, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY, Contract Scientist, Long Point Waterfowl, Port Rowan, Ontario Adjunct Professor, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY Adjunct Professor, Western University, London, Ontario 
Part 2: Application of dynamical downscaling to generate projections of winter severity, with implications for waterfowl migration and deer survival 
Dr. Michael Notaro Senior Scientist and Associate Director of the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
This webinar is being sponsored by the DOI Northeast Climate Science Center and the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative. 
This work is supported in part by the Northeast Climate Science Center through the project, 

Development of Dynamically-Based 21st Century Projections of Snow, Lake Ice, and Winter Severity for the Great Lakes Basin to Guide Wildlife-Based Adaptation Planning, with Emphasis on Deer and Waterfowl

Posted: 2/8/2015