Display Project

Extended Monitoring and Modeling of Climate Change Effects on Pacific Northwest Wetlands

Project Information

Affiliation: Northwest CSC

Principal Investigator(s):
Joshua Lawler
Alan Hamlet
Michael C Adams (U.S. Geological Survey, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center)
Wendy J Palen (Simon Fraser University)
L. Monika Moskal (University of Washington)
Regina Rochefort (North Cascades National Park)
Lara Hansen (EcoAdapt)
Maureen Ryan (University of Washington)
Meghan Halabisky (University of Washington)
Se-Yeun Lee (University of Washington)

Start Date: September 2012

End Date: December 2014

Project Status: Completed

Tags: Wetlands, Monitoring, modeling, Climate change, Hydrologic model, remote sensing, biological assessment, in-situ monitoring, park, national park, North Cascades, Olympic, Mount Rainier, Mt. Rainier, Pacific Northwest, United States, USA, WA, Washington, vulnerability assessment, CSC, Northwest CSC, 2012

Fiscal Year: FY 2012 Projects


Wetlands are widely recognized as important ecosystems that provide critical services for natural communities and human society, including nutrient cycling, wildlife habitat and provisioning, water storage & filtration, carbon sequestration, and agriculture & recreation. Wetlands challenge our current scientific capacity because of their sheer number, their wide range of sizes, and their dynamic nature. As a result, wetlands are understudied compared to other ecosystem types. However, wetlands are thought to be among the most sensitive ecosystems to climate change, so the dearth of scientific resources has accelerating consequences going forward. Our goal in this project was to address the deficiency in wetland resources by developing new approaches and technical tools to better understand wetlands in general and to more effectively manage and conserve wetlands under a changing climate. By focusing our efforts on a range of wetland types, our goal was to better characterize landscape-scale climate change impacts to wetlands across the Pacific Northwest region in support of ongoing assessment and adaptation efforts. Our approach was designed in collaboration with natural resource managers, and involved three methodological advances. First, using remote sensing approaches, we developed new methods for mapping wetlands and reconstructing historical wetland hydrologic dynamics. Second, we used the Variable Infiltration Capacity model, a regional-scale hydrologic model, to hindcast historical wetland dynamics and project the future impacts of climate change on wetlands. Third, we linked these approaches with ecological data to evaluate the impacts and risk of climate change to several classes of wetlands across three ecoregions of Washington state. In the process we developed or collected multiple new datasets on wetland distributions, dynamics, and species occupancy. This work has broad societal value in deepening our understanding of wetland dynamics over time; creating new tools that enable better management and conservation of wetlands and the ecological services that they provide; and enriching conservation and climate adaptation planning efforts with resource and evidence-based decision power.  

Products & Data
  • Amphibian Occupancy in Ponds in Olympic, Mount Rainier, and North Cascades National Parks: amphibian presence, site, and survey attributes, 2012-2013

    amphibianOccupancy_fgdc.xml (Download)
    Ryan_Logistic_and_Occupancy_Code.R (Download)
    Ryan_mastersheet.csv (Download)
    Ryan_Metadata Questionnaire.docx (Download)
  • Amphibians in the climate vice: loss and restoration of resilience of montane wetland ecosystems in the western US

    Ryan et al., 2014 (External URL)
  • Climate Change Could Spell Final 'Chuckle' For Alpine Frog

    NPR Highlight (External URL)
  • Final Report for "Extended Monitoring and Modeling of Climate Change Effects on Pacific Northwest Wetlands"

    NWCSC_G12AC20482_UW_Lawler_FinalReport.pdf (Download)
  • Projecting the Hydrologic Impacts of Climate Change on Montane Wetlands

    Lee et al. 2015 (External URL)
  • Wetland Inventory for Mt. Rainier National Park created through object-based image analysis of lidar and high resolution imagery, 2014

    Metadata Questionnaire_MtRainierdataset.docx (Download)
    MtRainier_wetlands.dbf (Download)
    MtRainier_wetlands.prj (Download)
    MtRainier_wetlands.sbn (Download)
    MtRainier_wetlands.sbx (Download)
    MtRainier_wetlands.shp (Download)
    MtRainier_wetlands.shp.xml (Download)
    MtRainier_wetlands.shx (Download)
    MtRainier_wetlands_fgdc.xml (Download)
    RuleSet_MtRainier.txt (Download)
  • Wetland surface water dynamics in the channeled scablands of Washington State reconstructed from a time series of Landsat satellite imagery, 1983–2011

    ColumbiaPlat_hydrologic_data.csv (Download)
    ColumbiaPlat_wetlands.shp.zip (Download)
    CP_wetland_hydrographs.zip (Download)
    CP_wetlands_metadata.xml (Download)
    readme.txt (Download)
Map Files

Download all map files

  • NW_CSC_FocalAreas_NAD83.shp [x-gis/x-shapefile] (Download)
  • NW_CSC_FocalAreas_NAD83.dbf [application/octet-stream] (Download)
  • NW_CSC_FocalAreas_NAD83.shx [x-gis/x-shapefile] (Download)
  • NW_CSC_FocalAreas_NAD83.prj [text/plain] (Download)
  • NW_CSC_FocalAreas_NAD83.sbn [x-gis/x-shapefile] (Download)
  • NW_CSC_FocalAreas_NAD83.sbx [x-gis/x-shapefile] (Download)
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