Science Strategy & Approach

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Climate science for wildlife & people.

Our research looks at how intense droughts, sea-level rise, extreme storms, and other consequences of climate change are affecting wildlife, ecosystems, and human communities that depend on these resources. We strive to develop data and tools that are usable and that directly address the informational needs of natural & cultural resource managers. Explore CSC and NCCWSC projects >>

Blue arrow Science at Local, Regional, and National Scales

Each of the eight regional Climate Science Centers (CSCs, view CSC region map) conducts and supports science projects that address specific local and regional research priorities and needs. Browse CSC projects by region >>

Projects led by the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Office (NCCWSC) often cross CSC boundaries and build on CSC science to examine climate change impacts at a national or multi-region level. Currently, the NCCWSC is leading efforts that include understanding the impacts of "ecological drought" on important natural resources across the country, examining the impacts of climate change on migratory waterbirds, and evaluating the use of downscaled climate information for the purpose of informing natural resource management actions.

Gopher TortoiseThe framework below is an overview of activities that occur at the CSCs and NCCWSC.
Science Project Goals
  • blue arrow Assess and synthesize our state of knowledge about climate and land use change impacts to natural and cultural resources
    blue arrow Perform vulnerability assessments of species and ecosystems
    blue arrow Understand the social-ecological impacts of climate and land use change
    blue arrow Understand the interactions between climate and the physical, biological, and chemical forces that influence the structure and functioning of ecosystems and the goods and services they provide (search our projects)
Science Infrastructure and Capacity Building Goals
  • blue arrow Collaborate, communicate and translate science results to managers, stakeholders and the public interested in climate change activity
    blue arrow Create a shared information and data management platform
    blue arrow Educate and train a core of climate scientists that will provide expertise in the future (learn more about our educational programs)
    blue arrow Evaluate the impacts of the CSC/NCCWSC enterprise

CaribouBlue arrow Stakeholder Input

The CSCs and NCCWSC rely on stakeholder input for the identification of research needs, the prioritization of projects, and the elevation of research products. Each CSC has a regional Stakeholder Advisory Committee that it meets with several times a year. These Committees include members from federal, state, local, regional, and tribal natural and cultural resource management entities and science providers. These regional committees, along with the Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science, provide direct input into our annual and longer-term science planning efforts and help develop our regional science themes that comprise our funding opportunity announcements.

Blue arrow Education & Training

The CSCs and NCCWSC support young and early career scientists and managers in learning about and conducting research on the climate change impacts to fish and wildlife, developing skills in science communications, user interactions, and stakeholder engagement, and developing a network of peers to support their career development. This commitment is carried out through various programs across the country targeted at undergraduate and graduate students, Ph.D. candidates, and post doctoral researchers. Learn more about our education & training programs >> 

Atlantic Salmon

Blue arrow Funding Opportunities

Every two years, the CSCs and NCCWSC announce a national funding opportunity open to researchers at CSC consortium institutions and USGS centers and offices. The next national funding opportunity will be held in Fiscal Year 2017. Opportunities for funding from and collaboration with the CSCs may be available in the interim. Learn about these opportunities by visiting and monitoring the individual CSC websites and the NCCWSC website, or by signing up for our BioClimate newsletter. Learn more about our research funding opportunities >>

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