North Central CASC Director Robin O’Malley to Retire at Year’s End

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Robin O’Malley, Director of the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center, will be retiring from federal service at the end of the month after nearly four decades as a public and civil servant.

Photo of Robin O'Malley

Robin was instrumental in building the Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) network. In 2008, Congress appropriated $1.5 million to the U.S. Geological Survey to be used for climate change research and to establish a national center. The goal was to improve the science capacity of federal agencies to respond to changing climate conditions, and to support federal, state, and tribal natural resource managers to identify climate impacts and adapt to changing conditions. This national center, located at USGS headquarters, was originally known as the National Climate Change & Wildlife Science Center, later renamed the National CASC in 2018. Together with CASC Chief Doug Beard, Robin helped to establish a network of eight regional CASCs and define their unique operational structure. Each regional CASC was to be a federal-university partnership, focused on meeting the climate science needs of their particular region’s stakeholders.

Robin’s first role with the CASCs was as the network’s Policy and Partnership Coordinator, where he was responsible for establishing and maintaining inclusive processes that enabled partners to shape the CASC network’s science agenda. In this role, Robin also continued to guide the growth and development of the network and was a leading figure in refining the CASC’s strategic mission.

After eight years as the Policy and Partnership Coordinator at the National CASC, Robin moved into the role of Director of the North Central CASC, based in Fort Collins, CO in 2017. In that role, Robin led the North Central CASC’s efforts to foster innovative and applied research in support of the region’s tribal, federal, state, and local natural resource management communities.

Prior to joining the CASC network, Robin served in a number of federal positions, including on the Department of the Interior’s Policy staff and as Chief of Staff for the National Biological Survey; as a Special Assistant to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt; Deputy Science Advisor within the Interior Department; Associate Director for Natural Resources at the White House Council on Environmental Quality; and senior environmental advisor to Governor Thomas H. Kean of New Jersey.

Robin’s dedication to public service is an inspiration, and his leadership within the CASC network will be sorely missed. In his retirement, Robin is looking forward to continuing to explore the wild landscapes of Colorado and the western U.S. with his wife. In his own words, which exemplify Robin’s adventurous spirit: “Farewell for now. If you need me, shout towards the mountains.”

On behalf of the entire CASC network – thank you!