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News Release

December 19, 2013
Gustavo Bisbal 541-737-2525 (O)
Paul Laustsen 650-329-4046

Interior’s Secretary Jewell Announces New Wildlife and Climate Studies at the Northwest Climate Science Center

Climate Science Centers’ Research Designed to Fill Knowledge Gaps, Provide Land and Wildlife Managers with Tools to Adapt to Climate Change

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Reporters: Descriptions of the funded projects for the Northwest Climate Science Center are available here.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center is awarding nearly $1.3 million to universities and other partners for research to assist Native Americans and federal and state land managers plan for and adapt to climate change.

"Even as we take new steps to cut carbon pollution, we must also prepare for the impacts of a changing climate that are already being felt across the country,"said Secretary Jewell. "These new studies, and others that are ongoing, will help provide valuable, unbiased science that land managers and others need to identify tools and strategies to foster resilience in resources across landscapes in the face of climate change."

The Northwest CSC will fund seven new projects and continue funding eight projects from previous years; the ongoing projects range from developing future climate, water, and vegetation scenarios for the Northwest to determine how climate impacts will affect different habitats, such as wetlands, streams and sagebrush steppe, and the animals that live in them, such as frogs, salmon and sage grouse.

Most of the new projects focus on the effects of climate on resources of cultural significance to tribes. While the emphasis is on Northwest tribes, the NW CSC has built a partnership with the Alaska CSC and the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative to fund projects that benefit Native Americans in both regions. This underscores the NW CSC pledge to provide enhanced services to the Native American community at large and to engage in collaborative partnerships that leverage limited resources and address shared priorities. New projects include:

 "Our Center contributes a broad range of services that better prepares the Northwest community to respond to the effects of climate on its people and resources," said Gustavo Bisbal, director of the Northwest CSC. "These services involve a large cohort of regional academic, agency and tribal minds to undertake complex science projects, help organize and translate climate data and results as they come in, educate and train young professionals, and communicate actively with a wide audience that is both curious and concerned about the changes they are experiencing now and those to come."

Each of the Department of the Interior's eight Climate Science Centers worked with states, tribes, federal agencies, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, universities supporting the CSCs and other regional partners to identify the highest priority management challenges in need of scientific input, and to solicit and select research projects.

The eight DOI Climate Science Centers form a national network, and are coordinated by the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, located at the headquarters of Interior's U.S. Geological Survey. CSCs and LCCs have been created under Interior's strategy to address the impacts of climate change on America’s waters, land, and other natural and cultural resources. Together, Interior's CSCs and LCCs will assess the impacts of climate change and other landscape-scale stressors that typically extend beyond the borders of any single national wildlife refuge, national park or Bureau of Land Management unit and will identify strategies to ensure that resources across landscapes are resilient in the face of climate change.

The Northwest Climate Science Center is hosted by Oregon State University with University of Washington and University of Idaho. The NW CSC conducts climate science for Idaho, Oregon, western Montana, and Washington.

Useful links:

Northwest CSC Projects

Northwest CSC Homepage

Full list of funded projects for all eight DOI Climate Science Centers

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