History of the CASCs

The National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC), formerly named the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, was established by Congress in 2008. Housed within the USGS, NCASC was tasked with providing science to help managers of the country's fish and wildlife resources respond to the impacts of climate change. To meet this goal, NCASC established the 8 regional CASCs.

In 2009, Secretary of the Interior Salazar signed a secretarial order recognizing the Department of the Interior (DOI) as taking the lead in protecting the country’s natural and cultural resources “from the dramatic effects of climate change that are already occurring – from the Arctic to the Everglades”. As part of the secretarial order, the entities that were at the time recognized referred to as regional “hubs” were renamed the DOI Climate Science Centers. The mission of the centers was also expanded, to include the development of science and tools to help managers address the impacts of climate change on the Nation’s land, water, fish, wildlife, and cultural heritage resources.

In the fiscal year 2018 budget, the Climate Science Centers were renamed the Climate Adaptation Science Centers. Functionally, the mission of our network did not change. The changes in name more clearly aligned the national and regional centers, and emphasized the centers’ focus on meeting natural resource adaptation needs. Today, there are eight regional CASCs and one National CASC. The regional CASCs are housed within DOI and managed by the NCASC, which is housed within the USGS.


  • 2008: The National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (later renamed the National Climate Adaptation Science Center) is established. That year, NCCWSC funds its first projects.
  • 2009: Secretarial Order No.3289 expands the mandate of the network to "synthesize and integrate climate change impact data and develop tools that the Department's managers and partners can use when managing the Department's land, water, fish and wildlife, and cultural heritage resources."
  • 2010: The Alaska, Southeast, and Northwest Climate Science Centers (CSCs) are established.
  • 2011: The North Central and Southwest CSCs are established.
  • 2012: The Northeast, South Central, and Pacific Islands CSCs are established.
  • 2014: The CSCs begin a collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to place Tribal Resilience Liaisons at each CSC. This effort is designed to better understand, communicate, and meet the needs of Tribes and Indigenous Communities through partnerships to promote more resilient Tribal communities.
  • 2017: The Alaska, Southeast, and Northwest CSCs complete their first recompetition, during which changes were made to the host university in the Northwest and to consortium partners in all three CSCs. Host institution and consortium partners are selected through a competitive process approximately every five years.
  • 2018 (March): The Climate Science Centers are renamed the Climate Adaptation Science Centers, and NCCWSC is renamed the National CASC.
  • 2018 (Oct): The North Central and Southwest CASCs complete their recompete process. A new host institution is selected for the North Central, and new consortium partners are selected in both CASCs.
  • 2019: The South Central, Northeast, and Pacific Islands CASCs complete their recompete process.
  • 2020: The FY 2020 appropriation bill provides funding to support the establishment of a CASC in the Midwest region of the country.

Founding Documents

In 2018, the name of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center was changed to the National Climate Adaptation Science Center, and the Climate Science Centers were renamed the Climate Adaptation Science Centers. You will still see our old names in the reports below. 

Program Establishment Workshops

NCCWSC 2009 National Workshop Summary, July 2009
NCCWSC 2008 National Workshop Summary, December 2008
Central Regional Workshop, June 2009
Western Regional Workshop, June 2009
Eastern Regional Workshop, May 2009

Original Planning and Strategy

National Partners Dialogue: Progress Report, November 2011
National Partners Dialogue: Final Report, November 2011
Secretarial Order No. 3289, September 2009
Secretarial Order No. 3289 - amended, February 2010
NCCWSC Five Year Planning Strategy, July 2009
Final Report on NCCWSC Outreach and Recommendations, December 2009
Advisory Committee reports and presentations, 2013-2016

Background Presentations

CASC Background, May 2018
CSC Background, March 2011
National Partners Dialogue, November 2011