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The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the USGS, and tribal organizations collaborated to establish a team of Tribal Resilience Liaisons at the regional CASCs. The Tribal Liaisons facilitate communication, engagement, and research between Indigenous peoples and the CASCs and do so via research projects, training workshops, stakeholder meetings, and other activities.

Resources to Support Tribes in Preparing for Climate Change    

As the natural world responds to climate change, American Indian tribes across the country are grappling with how to plan for a future that balances inevitable change with protecting the resources vital to their cultural traditions. The University of Washington Climate Impacts Group and regional tribal partners, with support from the Northwest CASC, have developed a collection of resources that can help tribes evaluate their vulnerability to climate change. Learn more >> 

Working with Loko I‘a (Hawaiian Fishpond) Managers to Build Adaptive Capacity

Loko i‘a (Hawaiian fishponds) are a unique traditional Hawaiian aquacultural practice. Pacific Island CASC funded research led by University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa professor in partnership with Hawai‘i Sea Grant and Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo has the goal of learning from and building adaptive capacity within the loko i‘a community. Findings from this research is meant to support ongoing work by the statewide fishpond practitioner network, Hui Mālama Loko I‘a (Hui) through co-developed solutions that allow for continuous adaptation to changes impacting indigenous aquaculture systems over time. 

Workshop on Invasive Beetles’ Impact on Ash Trees

Northeast CASC researcher Anthony D’Amato led a two-day Spring 2019 colloquium attended by university researchers, Tribal representatives, and federal partners involved in the Black Ash Consortium and related activities. Providing a multitude of learning and networking opportunities, the event focused on the preservation of black ash. Colloquium sessions discussed topics such as the current status and management of EAB, the ecology of black ash, the cultural role of the tree species (such as for basket masking), and assessments of current preservation efforts. Learn more>>

Tribal Workshops Across the South Central U.S.

In 2019, the South Central CASC offered 10 climate adaptation workshops for Tribes and Pueblos across the region. Over 200 individuals from 36 unique Tribes and Pueblos across the region attended the workshops. Topics have included an introduction to climate change, climate impacts on local resources and health, data collection and data use, and vulnerability assessments. The last workshop in 2019 focused on Climate Change and Health and included health impacts of climate change, introduction of health vulnerability assessments, a GIS activity on mapping Lyme disease, and a NASA Mosquito monitoring activity. There were 18 attendees for this workshop, representing four different tribes.

Tribal Resources Webapp

The Southeast CASC compiled resources that provide Tribal Nations and Indigenous Communities with a comprehensive selection of climate change adaptation tools while considering traditional knowledges and the cultural significance of land, water, and other natural resources. In addition to relevant resources, this page holds a GIS-based map which details the location and contact information for state and federally recognized Tribes in the Southeast region, along with points of contact. Learn more >>

Southwest Tribal Climate Change Summit

Members of the Southwest CASC participated in the Southwestern Tribal Climate Change Summit (SWTCCS), which was sponsored by the Climate Science Alliance and the Southwest CASC. The SWTCCS brought together members of 34 tribal communities and 142 attendees, from both tribal and non-tribal communities, to examine a variety of climate challenges to tribes across the Southwest region, and to examine tribal adaptation planning and prospects for implementing theseplans. Southwest CASC tribal resilience liaison, Althea Walker, was a featured speaker on climate change planning and SW CASC investigator, Tamara Wall, led the participants in breakout sessions on “Moving from Planning to Action”. Key outcomes included Youth Challenge Project proposals, to develop education and watershed restoration campaigns, school clubs, and workshops to highlight how indigenous youth and their tribes are being impacted by climate changes. Learn more >>

South Central CASC Welcomes New Mexico Tribal Liaison

In 2019, the South Central CASC welcomed Maurice Cruz as their New Mexico Tribal Liaison. Maurice is an enrolled member of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, and received his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Geographic Information Science from the University of New Mexico. With a background in team leadership, rangeland management, and remote sensing using GIS, Maurice is working to facilitate tribal planning and decision-making by providing the connection to data and resources in coordination with Indigenous ways of knowing. Learn more >>

Southeast and Northeast Tribal Climate Science Liaison Spotlighted by AGU

Southeast and Northeast Tribal Climate Science Liaison Casey Thornbrugh was featured in the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) On the Job blog. He explains how a big part of his job is listening to Tribal Nations and helping them tap into their own expertise to then link it with what science has to offer. Learn more >>


Tribal Liaisons in Focus

In newsletters through 2019, the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) featured short interviews with several of the CASC tribal liaisons:

  • Sara Smith: Sara Smith is the Midwest Tribal Resilience Liaison with the Northeast CASC & College of    Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute. Learn more about how Sara facilitates indigenous peoples and scientists working together to meet the current challenges of a changing climate. Learn more >>

  •  Althea Walker: Althea Walker, with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, is the Southwest CASC tribal liaison. The interview shows how Althea,, in her role as Tribal Liaison, can assist tribes and tribal organizations with adaptation and resilience planning. 

  • Malinda Chase: Malinda Chase is the Tribal Resilience Liaison for the Alaska CASC, in partnership with the Aleutians Pribilof Islands Association. Learn more about how Malinda supports indigenous peoples, scientists, and professional development  initiatives that perpetuate and share the knowledge, beliefs, and strength of Alaska Native Peoples. Learn more >>

Learn more about the CASC Tribal Liaison team members and the work they do at

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