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September 26, 2023

The USGS Climate Adaptation Science Centers are thrilled to announce that Dr. Molly Cross will be the new Regional Administrator of the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center. A longtime collaborator with the CASC network, Molly is bringing years of non-profit experience to the Regional Administrator position (formerly known as “Director”). 

A smiling woman with blonde hair.
Photo of Molly Cross.

Molly joins the North Central CASC from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), where she served as the Climate Adaptation and Resilience Lead for their Global Forests and Climate Change Program. Molly has served as a consortium partner with the North Central CASC for the past several years, helping WCS to become one of the first non-profits to join a CASC consortium. She has also led CASC-funded research projects on topics such as ecological drought and climate change management planning.  

“I feel fortunate that I've had so many opportunities to collaborate across the CASC network over the years,” she says. 

Molly is thrilled to join her friends and colleagues in the USGS. 

“I'm excited about being part of a large team, working towards the shared mission around advancing climate adaptation for natural resource management and conservation,” she says. “The CASCs have really great people who are doing inspiring work.” 

In her nearly two decades working for non-profits, Molly has become intimately familiar with on-the-ground needs in the climate adaptation space. She has helped managers and conservation practitioners develop new innovations and implement creative solutions, and has facilitated collaborations with federal, state, and Tribal agencies.  

“I have a lot of experience understanding what kinds of actions people are taking on the ground,” she says. “I’m looking forward to helping the CASCs expand their work to include scientific research on the effectiveness of adaptation actions as they're being experimented with and implemented in our region.” 

“I think it's a unique niche, and I'd love to see us build out our work in that direction.” 

Molly has lived and worked in the North Central region for her entire adult life, including a stint doing climate change research in the Colorado Rocky Mountains during her dissertation. She currently lives in Montana with her family, which includes two born-and-raised cold-weather kids who try to keep their bedroom windows open even in the wintertime. 

“I have a real fondness for the work going on here in my very extensive backyard,” she says. “I'm excited to build on my existing relationships in this region and to establish new ones.” 

When she isn’t working, Molly enjoys spending time in the mountains with her friends and family. A plant ecologist by training, she likes to hike, identify wildflowers, and float on the river. 

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