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The mission of the National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) is to deliver science to help fish, wildlife, water, land, and people adapt to a changing climate. The domain of the CASC network covers the entire continental U.S., Alaska, Hawai'i, the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, and the U.S. Caribbean. 

Our Story

In recognition of the pressing need to better understand the effects of climate change on the nation’s natural resources, Congress established the USGS National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC), formerly named the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, in 2008 as a national center for independent and collaborative research on climate change vulnerability and adaptation. In the following decade, the NCASC further established eight regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) to carry out climate change research focusing on regional resource management priorities. A ninth center, the Midwest CASC, was established in FY22. In 2020, the CASC network became part of the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area (EMA). Learn more about the history of the CASC network here


Our Approach

The National and regional CASCs conduct research to provide resource managers and other partners with the scientific information and decision-making tools they need to understand and adapt to the effects of climate change on fish, wildlife, water, land, and people. CASCs collaborate with managers and scientists from state and federal agencies, Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities, universities, and NGOs to address science needs and inform adaptation planning.  

The CASC network places emphasis on generating actionable science, information and products that address identified science needs and are directly usable in supporting resource management decisions, actions, and plans. Development of actionable science requires scientists to work iteratively with the intended end users of the scientific product, such as federal, state, and tribal resource managers. 


Our Network

The National CASC (NCASC), based at USGS headquarters in Reston, Virginia, serves as the national office for the CASC network. The NCASC provides leadership and guidance on administration, partnerships, information management, and communications for the entire CASC network. The NCASC also carries out its own research on cross-regional, national, and international scales. As such, the NCASC conducts place-based research, funds national science synthesis projects, leads cross-CASC initiatives, and participates in international science bodies such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Learn more about the National CASC here.  

The nine regional CASCs, shown in the map below, are focused on delivering science that addresses resource management priorities of the states within their footprints. Each regional CASC is a federal-university partnership made up of a consortium of institutions, including university, tribal, and NGO partners, with each center housed at a host university selected through a competitive award process. Individuals at consortium institutions can apply for CASC funding, participate in cross-CASC initiatives, and serve in leadership positions within the CASC network. 

Learn more about the regional CASCs here

Download maps of the CASCs >>


Our Partners

The CASC network works with a diverse set of partners to meet today’s natural and cultural resource challenges, including resource managers within federal and state agencies, Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The CASCs work directly with their partners to identify priority issues, develop research plans, and produce useful science products. Sustained engagement between scientists and resource managers is a key aspect of the network’s strategy for discerning management challenges and identifying science needs. Learn more about who we work with and how we engage our partners here

Map showing the states and consortium members of the 9 regional CASCs