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News Release

December 19, 2013
Stephen  T. Jackson 307-760-0750 (C)
Leslie  Gordon 650-329-4006

Interior’s Secretary Jewell Announces New Wildlife and Climate Studies at the Southwest 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 are available here.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that Interior’s Southwest Climate Science Center is awarding nearly $1.2 million to universities and other partners for research to guide managers of parks, refuges and other cultural and natural resources in planning how to help species and ecosystems 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 six funded studies will focus on how climate change will affect natural resources and management actions that can be taken to help offset such change. They include:

"With its dry climate, flammable forests, extensive public lands and urban centers dependent on distant water sources, the southwestern United States faces many significant climate-related challenges," said Stephen T. Jackson, Interior’s Southwest Climate Science Center director.  "These projects will advance our scientific understanding of climate impacts while providing information that resource managers can use directly to guide their decisions and planning."

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 studies will be undertaken by teams of scientists from the universities that comprise the Southwest CSC, from USGS science centers and from other partners such as the states, the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, Indian tribes, regional and municipal water-management agencies, and the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives in each region.

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 Southwest Climate Science Center is hosted by the University of Arizona, Tucson, with the University of California, Davis; University of California, Los Angeles; Desert Research Institute; Scripps Institution of Oceanography (San Diego); and University of Colorado, Boulder. The CSC conducts climate change science for Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and the Colorado River Headwaters in parts of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.  

Useful links:

Southwest CSC Projects

Southwest CSC Homepage

Southwest CSC Consortium/University webpage

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

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