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Climate Adaptation Postdoctoral (CAP) Fellows Program

The Climate Adaptation Postdoctoral (CAP) Fellows Program is a one-of-a-kind research opportunity that brings together postdoctoral scholars from around the country to conduct independent and collaborative applied research on climate change impacts to fish, wildlife, and ecosystems. 

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About the Program 

Hosted by the USGS Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs), the CAP Fellows Program supports applied research at both national and regional scales. Each two-year fellowship cohort is centered around a common climate theme, such as wildfire or aquatic flows. Through the program, fellows conduct management-relevant research to help partners on the ground understand and adapt to challenges relating to their theme. 


Future of Fire (2020-2022)

Future of Fire (2020-2022)

Future of Aquatic Flows (2022-2024)

Future of Aquatic Flows (2022-2024)

Future of Species Range Shifts (2025-2027) *COMING SOON*

Future of Species Range Shifts (2025-2027) *COMING SOON*

Regional CASCs each host one fellow per cohort at an associated consortium university. Fellows work with mentors from regional CASCs to conduct research related to the theme, focusing on the management challenges experienced by resource stewards in those regions.  

Simultaneously, the fellows also work with each other to create a national synthesis product that explores wide-scale implications of the theme. Just as each region is unique, each fellow brings their unique background and experience to the synthesis effort, creating a final product that is more than any one researcher could have made on their own. 

Postdocs, mentors, and CASC staff posing as a group on a sunny patio, with mountains in the background
Postdoctoral researchers, faculty mentors, and CASC staff participating in the Future of Aquatic Flows cohort of the Climate Adaptation Postdoctoral (CAP) Fellows Program met for their first in-person workshop in August 2023. The workshop was held in Santa Barbara, California. 

Fellows come together twice a year for workshops to develop their national synthesis product and to undergo professional development training. Professionals from the USGS and university partners provide trainings on topics such as: 

  • Actionable Science 
  • How to work with stakeholders 
  • Iterative creative problem-solving
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration 
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As a CAP Fellow, you will... 

  • Form community by becoming part of a cohort of researchers from different backgrounds and disciplines 
  • Build professional networks of federal and university scientists from across the country  
  • Develop confidence in working with interdisciplinary, collaborative teams through research experiences and formal training 
  • Make your work matter by work directly with resource managers and partners to make your research applicable to real-world issues 
  • Generate multiple publications and products through both regional research projects and a national synthesis effort 


Meet A Fellow!

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Want to get involved?  

Are you a graduate student or postdoc interested in applying for a future CAP Fellows Cohort?  

The 2025-2027 cohort on the future of species range shifts will begin seeking applications in 2024. Check back here for more information! 


Are you a researcher interested in becoming a CAP Fellows mentor? 

Do you work at a CASC consortium institution and are interested in hosting a CAP fellow for the 2025-2027 Future of Species Range Shifts cohort? Email Madeleine Rubenstein ( or Jackson Valler ( to learn more.   


About the CASCs 

The USGS Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) is a partnership-driven program that delivers science to help fish, wildlife, water, land, and people adapt to a changing climate. We follow an actionable science model, working directly with natural resource managers and other partners to create research and tools that can be applied directly to adaptation decisions. There is one National and nine reginal CASCs that serve the continental United States, Alaska, Hawai'i, the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, and the U.S. Caribbean. Regional CASCS are federal-university partnerships made up of consortiums of academic, Tribal and non-profit institutions. 

Map showing the states and consortium members of the 9 regional CASCs
Map of the Climate Adaptation Science Centers regions and consortiums. The CASC network has nine regional and one national CASC, serving the continental United States, Alaska, Hawai'i, the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, and the U.S. Caribbean.

Learn more about the CASCs >>