Climate Adaptation Science Centers
10 Things You May Not Know About Our Coasts
Coasts provide many benefits to their inhabitants but are threatened by changing conditions. Scientists are working to understand the related impacts.Learn More
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The National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC) acts as the managing entity for the eight Department of the Interior Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs). The National and Regional CASCs partner with natural & cultural resource managers to provide science that helps fish, wildlife, ecosystems & the communities they support adapt to climate change.Learn More About Our Work
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 our Research Projects
How and Why Upper Colorado River Basin Land, Water, and Fire Managers Choose to Use Drought Tools (or Not)
Preparing for and responding to drought requires integrating scientific information into complex decision making processes. In recognition of this challenge, regional drought early warning systems (DEWS) and related drought-information tools have been developed under the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). Despite the...
Information Science staff help the National Office of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Centers and individual Climate Science Centers with a variety of project and data management activities, including storing, managing, and distributing datasets; building and maintaining metadata; discovering datasets; and delivering their data and metadata as web services through various...
Long periods without rainfall can alter the delicate balance of natural ecosystems and harm many fish and wildlife species. The term “ecological drought” encompasses and emphasizes these environmental consequences. The CSCs and NCCWSC are working with partners to understand the regional effects of ecological drought, identify potential threats to valued resources, and prioritize research...
The CSCs and NCCWSC are working with tribes and indigenous communities to better understand their specific vulnerabilities to climate change and to help them adapt to these impacts. This work is conducted through research projects, outreach events (ie. cultural festivals and tribal schools), training workshops, stakeholder meetings, youth internships and other coordination activities.
The CSCs and the NCCWSC are committed to supporting 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.
The work and research initiatives at the CSCs and NCCWSC is strongly guided by our partners. We work closely with federal agencies, state and local governments, American Indian tribes and indigenous communities, nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector to make important decisions about science focus areas and funding priorities.
Science projects are the backbone of the NCCWSC and CSCs. Our projects are based on the needs of our partners, including land managers, natural/cultural resource managers, tribal and indigenous communities. Our research is complemented by our other efforts that include training the next generation of scientists and conducting national synthesis projects that cross CSC boundaries.
Hypotheses from recent assessments of climate impacts to biodiversity and ecosystems in the United States
Climate change poses multiple threats to biodiversity, and has already caused demonstrable impacts. We summarize key results from a recent national assessment of observed climate change impacts to terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems in the United States, and place results in the context of commonly articulated hypotheses about ecosystem...Filho, Walter Leal; Barbir, Jelena; Preziosi, Richard; Carter, Shawn L.; Lynch, Abigail J.; Myers, Bonnie; Rubenstein, Madeleine A.; Thompson, Laura M.
Habitat overlap between Asiatic black bear Ursus thibetanus and red panda Ailurus fulgens in Himalaya
Studying habitat overlap between sympatric species is one of the best ways to identify interspecies relationships and to direct conservation efforts so that multiple species can benefit. However, studies exploring interspecies relationships are very limited in Nepal, making it difficult for the government of Nepal and conservation partners to...Bista, Manjit; Panthi, Saroj; Weiskopf, Sarah R.
U.S. Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers and U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center—Annual report for 2017
IntroductionThe year 2017 was a year of review and renewal for the Department of the Interior (DOI) Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC). The Southeast, Northwest, Alaska, Southwest, and North Central CSCs’ 5-year summary review reports were released in...Varela Minder, Elda
Early-career experts essential for planetary sustainability
Early-career experts can play a fundamental role in achieving planetary sustainability by bridging generational divides and developing novel solutions to complex problems. We argue that intergenerational partnerships and interdisciplinary collaboration among early-career experts will enable emerging sustainability leaders to contribute fully to a...Lim, Michelle; Lynch, Abigail J.; Fernández-Llamazares, Alvaro; Balint, Lenke; Basher, Zeenatul; Chan, Ivis; Jaureguiberry, Pedro; Mohamed, A.A.A.; Mwampamba, Tuyeni H.; Palomo, Ignacio; Pliscoff, Patricio; Salimov, R.A.; Samakov, Aibek; Selomane, Odirilwe; Shrestha, Uttam B.; Sidorovich, Anna A.
The nexus of fun and nutrition: Recreational fishing is also about food
Recreational fishing is a popular activity in aquatic ecosystems around the globe using a variety of gears including rod and line and to a lesser extent handlines, spears, bow and arrow, traps and nets. Similar to the propensity to engage in voluntary catch-and-release, the propensity to harvest fishes strongly varies among cultures, locations,...Cooke, Steven J.; Twardek, William M.; Lennox, Robert J.; Zolderdo, Aaron J.; Bower, Shannon D.; Gutowsky, Lee F. G.; Danylchuk, Andy J.; Arlinghaus, Robert; Beard, Douglas
Defining ecological drought for the 21st century
No abstract available.Crausbay, Shelley D.; Ramirez, Aaron R.; Carter, Shawn L.; Cross, Molly S.; Hall, Kimberly R.; Bathke, Deborah J.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Colt, Steve; Cravens, Amanda; Dalton, Melinda S.; Dunham, Jason B.; Hay, Lauren E.; Hayes, Michael J.; McEvoy, Jamie; McNutt, Chad A.; Moritz, Max A.; Nislow, Keith H.; Raheem, Nejem; Sanford, Todd
Snow and ice: Chapter 3
Temperature and precipitation are key determinants of snowpack levels. Therefore, climate change is likely to affect the role of snow and ice in the landscapes and hydrology of the Chugach National Forest region.Downscaled climate projections developed by Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (SNAP) are useful for examining projected...Hayward, Gregory D.; Colt, Steve; McTeague, Monica L.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.; Littell, Jeremy; McAfee, Stephanie A.; O'Neel, Shad; Sass, Louis C.; Burgess, Evan; Colt, Steve; Clark, Paul
Global synthesis of the documented and projected effects of climate change on inland fishes
Although climate change is an important factor affecting inland fishes globally, a comprehensive review of how climate change has impacted and will continue to impact inland fishes worldwide does not currently exist. We conducted an extensive, systematic primary literature review to identify English-language, peer-reviewed journal publications...Myers, Bonnie; Lynch, Abigail; Bunnell, David; Chu, Cindy ; Falke, Jeffrey A.; Kovach, Ryan; Krabbenhoft, Trevor J. ; Kwak, Thomas J.; Paukert, Craig P.
U.S. Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers and U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center—Annual report for 2016
Introduction2016 was an exciting year for the Department of the Interior (DOI) Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC). In recognition of our ongoing efforts to raise awareness and provide the scientific data and tools needed to address the impacts of climate...Weiskopf, Sarah R.; Varela Minder, Elda; Padgett, Holly A.
Grand challenges in the management and conservation of North American inland fishes and fisheries
Even with long-standing management and extensive science support, North American inland fish and fisheries still face many conservation and management challenges. We used a grand challenges approach to identify critical roadblocks that if removed would help solve important problems in the management and long-term conservation of North American...Lynch, Abigail; Cooke, Steven J.; Beard, Douglas; Kao, Yu-Chun; Lorenzen, Kai; Song, Andrew M.; Allen, Micheal S.; Basher, Zeenatul; Bunnell, David B.; Camp, Edward V.; Cowx, Ian G.; Freedman, Jonathan A.; Nguyen, Vivian M.; Nohner, Joel K.; Rogers, Mark W.; Siders, Zachary A.; Taylor, William W.; Youn, So-Jung
Comparing stream-specific to generalized temperature models to guide salmonid management in a changing climate
Global climate change is predicted to increase air and stream temperatures and alter thermal habitat suitability for growth and survival of coldwater fishes, including brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis), brown trout (Salmo trutta), and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). In a changing climate, accurate stream temperature modeling is increasingly...Andrew K. Carlson; William W. Taylor; Hartikainen, Kelsey M. ; Dana M. Infante; Beard, Douglas; Lynch, Abigail
Identifying western yellow-billed cuckoo breeding habitat with a dual modelling approach
The western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) was recently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Yellow-billed cuckoo conservation efforts require the identification of features and area requirements associated with high quality, riparian forest habitat at spatial scales that range from nest...Johnson, Matthew J.; Hatten, James R.; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Shafroth, Patrick B.
The images below show examples of the types of wildlife, habitats, and landscapes our researchers are studying. Our projects help resource managers and decision-makers protect these important animals and places. Learn more about our work and the ways that climate change will impact wildife and ecosystems by browsing through our website or checking out our library of webinar recordings.Explore Our Webinars
Projections of climate and land use change can help inform the allocation of resources across space and among species. North Central CSC supported work in the Prairie Pothole Region highlighted a framework for projecting climate change impacts, and developed methods for assessing surrogate species relationships. Join this webinar to learn more about the degree to which...
Researchers supported by NCCWSC are working to improve managers’ understanding of ungulates’ response to a warmer climate. For example, when surface water is unavailable, the water content within ungulates’ food provides them with their main source of water, and they must make resourceful foraging decisions to meet their water needs. Scientists researching desert bighorn...
Landscape view of an un-named glacier off the Sargent Icefield, directly across from Wolverine Glacier, above the Nellie Juan River, in Alaska. Taken during a visit to a wolverine glacier field site as part of a study to examine how alpine areas are changing as temperatures rise in Alaska.
This webinar was conducted as part of the Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series, held in partnership by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the FWS National Conservation Training Center.
Webinar Summary: Prescribed fire is commonly used by managers in the western U.S. to remove potential wildfire fuel, such as small trees...
This webinar was conducted as part of the Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series, held in partnership by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildilfe Science Center and the USFWS National Conservation Training Center. Webinar Description: Drought is a prominent feature of the climate of Hawai‘i with severe impacts in multiple sectors. Over the last century,...
This webinar was conducted on August 7, 2017 as part of the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center’s Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series, held in partnership with the USFWS National Conservation Training Center.
Webinar Summary: The South Central U.S. is one of the main agricultural regions in North America: annual agricultural...
This webinar was conducted on July 17, 2017 as part of the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series, held in partnership with FWS National Conservation Training Center.
Webinar Summary: Sagebrush steppe rangelands comprise a large fraction of North America, but they are in decline due to increases...
This webinar was recorded on May 18, 2017 as part of the Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series, held in partnership by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the USFWS National Conservation Training Center.
Webinar Summary: Estimates of streamflow are critical to inform natural resource managers about water availability for...
Natural resource managers face increasing challenges in dealing with drought. As competition for water increases between its various uses (water supply, energy demands, ecological services, recreation, and other environmental and ecological needs), our ability to forecast the onset and termination of drought becomes ever more important. This is particularly true given...
This webinar was recorded as part of the Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series (hosted in partnership by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and FWS National Conservation Training Center). Webinar Summary: Accurate information on the atmospheric evaporative demand (i.e., thirst of the atmosphere) and the land-surface evaporative...
A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners has identified situations and conditions where some animals display behavioral flexibility – the ability to rapidly change behavior in response to short – or long-term environmental changes such as climate variability.
For the Swinomish people of northwestern Washington, water is life. But this symbiotic relationship between man and nature has been disrupted, and increasingly threatened, by sea-level rise and changes in Northwestern storm and rainfall patterns.
Migrating mule deer track “green waves” of spring forage: study highlights importance of habitat corridors for migrating game and other species
Migratory mule deer in Wyoming closely time their movements to track the spring green-up, providing evidence of an underappreciated foraging benefit of migration, according to a study by University of Wyoming and U.S. Geological Survey scientists at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.
Hybridization, or the interbreeding of species, is increasing between native and invasive trout across the northern Rocky Mountains, according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners.
Changes in rainfall and temperature are predicted to transform wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world within the century, a new study from the USGS and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley concludes.
Hundreds of articles have been written about the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history, at Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora just over 200 years ago. But for a small group of New England-based researchers, one more Tambora story needed to be told, one related to its catastrophic effects in the Gulf of Maine that may carry lessons for intertwined human-natural systems facing climate change today.
Permafrost Loss Dramatically Changes Yukon River Chemistry and Hydrology with Potential Global Implications
New USGS-led research shows that permafrost loss due to a rapidly warming Alaska is leading to significant changes in the freshwater chemistry and hydrology of Alaska’s Yukon River Basin with potential global climate implications. Such permafrost degradation is already fundamentally transforming the way that high-latitude, Northern Hemisphere ecosystems function.
The Interior Department’s Climate Science Centers, managed by USGS, are helping the NPS pinpoint the specific impacts of climate change on parks and their cultural and natural resources. Doing so will help managers answer a critical question: which resources will require human intervention to ensure their continued existence?
Safeguarding Our Cultural Past from Future Climate Change: Stories from Cape Lookout National Seashore
The Interior Department’s Climate Science Centers, managed by USGS, are helping the National Park Service pinpoint the specific impacts of climate change on parks and their cultural and natural resources. Doing so will help managers answer a critical question: which resources will require human intervention to ensure their continued existence?
Plan also addresses other rangeland threats
A recent study looks at the impact of climate change on certain fish in Wisconsin lakes.
Climate Science Center Offers Semester-Long Course