Science Approach



Circle containing part 1 of our approach: helping managers protect our public land & natural resources             Circle containing part 2 of our approach: Investing in the research capacity of public universities             Circle containing part 3 of our approach: Collaborating with tribes & indigenous communities to prepare for climate risks            Circle containing part 4 of the approach: Education and training the next generation of scientists


With a strong emphasis on collaboration and partnerships, NCCWSC and the CSCs produce science that answers important climate impact and adaptation questions. The network partners with natural and cultural resource managers, tribes and indigenous communities, and university researchers to produce science that addresses real-world needs and incorporates the best available expertise to answer these questions. To ensure that this collaborative approach is sustained long-term, the network trains early career scientists and managers to develop their knowledge of climate science and build skills in areas such as science communication and stakeholder engagement.


Helping managers protect our public land & natural resources

Image of a moose foragingClimate change is creating new challenges for natural resource managers, decision makers, and communities. The CSCs and NCCWSC are gathering information on how fish, wildlife, ecosystems, and other natural and cultural resources will be affected by climate change and are developing cutting-edge tools that fulfill critical management needs.

Blue arrow IN ACTIONCSCs have helped states identify priority species, habitats, and conservation actions by providing information about the vulnerability of wildlife to climate change for State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) in the Northeast and Colorado.


Investing in the research capacity of public universities

Image of the Colorado RiverThe CSCs are federal-university partnerships. Each CSC is hosted by a public university and most are comprised of multi-institution consortia. CSC staff work closely with university researchers and staff to ensure the production of high-quality science and to foster collaboration among researchers with a broad range of expertise.

Blue arrow IN ACTION: In 2015 the CSCs provided over $10 million in funding to public universities across the country. This funding supported 50+ research projects and ensured collaboration between USGS and university scientists.


Educating & training the next generation of scientists

Image of aspen trees during fall in ColoradoThe CSCs train and support students and early career scientists in conducting climate research, developing skills in science communications and stakeholder engagement, and establishing a valuable network of peers. This commitment is manifested through programs across the country that target students from high school through post-doctoral levels.

Blue arrow IN ACTION: Through CSC programs, high school girls learn about changing glaciers in Alaska, minority students conduct climate research in forests, and a national training event brings together students from across the CSC network.


Collaborating with tribes & indigenous communities to prepare for climate risks

image of berriesFor centuries, tribes and indigenous communities have relied on natural resources that are now threatened by climate change. The CSCs and NCCWSC work with tribes and indigenous communities to better understand their specific vulnerabilities to climate change and to help them prepare for and adapt to these impacts.

Blue arrow IN ACTION: The Alaska CSC partnered with the Chugachmiut Tribal Consortium to predict and map optimum blueberry habitat on the southern tip of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. This work helps management efforts to sustain more resilient blueberry picking areas for local tribes.