Climate Camps Expose Scientists and Resource Managers to the Power of Working Together to Address Climate Change

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Each summer the Northwest Climate Science Center hosts a weeklong Climate Boot Camp. The Boot Camp invites early career climate professionals from the Northwest and across the country get together to expand their knowledge and skills.

 

Image: View of Mount Rainier

A view during the 2015 Climate Boot Camp site visit to discuss landscape response to climate change at Mount Rainier, Washington.
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Each summer the Northwest Climate Science Center hosts a weeklong Climate Boot Camp. The CBC invites early career climate professionals from the Northwest and across the country to get together to expand their knowledge, skills and perspective on climate change adaptation. This annual event, now in its sixth year, is attended by early career professionals from federal and state agencies, tribes, universities and non-profit organizations. Watch this short video to hear insights from last year’s participants.

The Northwest Climate Science Center is a Department of the Interior initiative, sponsored by the USGS and jointly hosted by Oregon State University, the University of Idaho and the University of Washington. One objective of the NW CSC is to support and train graduate students and early career professionals to work at the interface of scientific research on climate and resource management decision-making.

In addition to the CBC, the NW CSC is partnering with the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and United Southern and Eastern Tribes to offer the inaugural Tribal Climate Camp. The CBC and TTCC will both take place at the UI’s McCall Field Campus in summer 2016.

“Being able to provide this unique educational opportunity is one of the most meaningful contributions the Northwest Climate Science Center can make to the Native American community at large,” said Gustavo Bisbal, NW CSC director. “Training tribal early-career professionals may have a lasting effect that can influence how a large number of tribes respond and adapt to the challenges of a changing climate.”

Climate change has a direct and evident impact on Native American tribal communities by disrupting local economies and traditional cultures. The new TTCC will bring together teams of early-career professionals and Elders from six tribes for a weeklong intensive educational experience to learn about climate-related impacts, and build leadership capacity to effectively address issues connected to Tribal concerns and local cultural and operating conditions.

The camp will address individual Tribes’ climate-related needs, including in-depth immersion in climate science, indigenous/traditional ecological knowledge, policy and management issues, and science communication and outreach. It will include case studies of climate-change issues related to the Tribes and field trips to experience firsthand the collaboration needed to successfully plan for adaptation. Faculty from universities and Tribal leaders from several Tribes are collaborating to develop the camp’s curriculum.

“University of Idaho faculty and students are excited to collaborate with and support this leadership development opportunity for Tribal leaders from many nations,” said Steven Daley-Laursen, 2016 Climate Boot Camp director, Tribal Climate Camp director and a faculty member in the UI Department of Natural Resources and Society. “We are honored to host this first-ever camp of its kind at our university’s beautiful lakeside field campus in McCall.”

The TTCC event is part of a recently announced bi-coastal tribal climate change initiative, sponsored by the Institute for Tribal Government, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, ATNI, USET and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center.

“The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indian’s organization is strategically partnering with the Northwest Climate Science Center and the universities to implement a national priority with the Obama administration and Tribal governments,” said Don Sampson, ATNI’s climate change coordinator. “Tribal communities are the most impacted communities in the United States and this effort will help build the Tribal capacity to address climate impacts.”

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The Northwest Climate Science Center is one of eight regional climate science centers initiated by the DOI to understand and address changes in climate and adaptation, addressing the full range of natural and cultural resources. The NW CSC is managed by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and was established in 2010 as a partnership between the federal government, Department of the Interior and an academic consortium led by OSU, UI and UW.

The University of Idaho is Idaho’s land-grant research university, home to nearly 12,000 students, a leader in student-centered learning, interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities and the advancement of diversity, citizenship and global outreach.

Image: Climate Boot Camp Group

The 2015 Climate Boot Camp fellows and Northwest Climate Science Center staff at Pack Forest Conference Center, Washington.
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