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Science Tools for Managers

Through our science projects, the CASCs strive to conduct science that is directly useful to resource managers and informs adaptation decision making. CASC-funded researchers develop data sets, web applications, assessments, surveys, and other tools that are publicly available for future management or research projects. Browse our projects below or use our Project Explorer database to explore our science.

Filter Total Items: 73

Exploring the Past to Plan for the Future: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Paleoperspectives to Inform Climate Change Adaptation

Tribal resource managers in the southwest U.S. are facing a host of challenges related to environmental change, including increasing temperatures, longer periods of drought, and invasive species. These threats are exacerbating the existing challenges of managing complex ecosystems. In a rapidly changing environment, resource managers need powerful tools and the most complete information to make th
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Exploring the Past to Plan for the Future: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Paleoperspectives to Inform Climate Change Adaptation

Tribal resource managers in the southwest U.S. are facing a host of challenges related to environmental change, including increasing temperatures, longer periods of drought, and invasive species. These threats are exacerbating the existing challenges of managing complex ecosystems. In a rapidly changing environment, resource managers need powerful tools and the most complete information to make th
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Developing a Climate Change-Informed “Conservation Opportunity Area” Portfolio for Sensitive Species’ Preservation

Integrating climate change into place-based conservation (i.e. focusing efforts on a specific place or region) presents a pressing challenge in the future success of biodiversity conservation. In particular, the broad effects of climate change can make it difficult to prioritize specific actions in specific places. Currently, Natural Heritage New Mexico, along with state and federal partners, has
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Developing a Climate Change-Informed “Conservation Opportunity Area” Portfolio for Sensitive Species’ Preservation

Integrating climate change into place-based conservation (i.e. focusing efforts on a specific place or region) presents a pressing challenge in the future success of biodiversity conservation. In particular, the broad effects of climate change can make it difficult to prioritize specific actions in specific places. Currently, Natural Heritage New Mexico, along with state and federal partners, has
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Science to Inform Post-fire Conifer Regeneration and Reforestation Strategies Under Changing Climate Conditions

Climate change is causing an increase in the amount of forested area burned by wildfires in the western U.S. The warm, dry post-fire conditions of the region may limit tree regeneration in some areas, potentially causing a shift to non-forest vegetation. Managers are increasingly challenged by the combined impacts of greater wildfire activity, the significant uncertainty about whether forests will
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Science to Inform Post-fire Conifer Regeneration and Reforestation Strategies Under Changing Climate Conditions

Climate change is causing an increase in the amount of forested area burned by wildfires in the western U.S. The warm, dry post-fire conditions of the region may limit tree regeneration in some areas, potentially causing a shift to non-forest vegetation. Managers are increasingly challenged by the combined impacts of greater wildfire activity, the significant uncertainty about whether forests will
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Development of a Streamflow Data Catalog and Evaluation of the Vulnerability of Sensitive Fish Species to Climate Change Across the Pacific Northwest

As freshwater streams and native fish are threatened by changing environmental conditions, efforts to coalesce existing data and integrate modeling and projection tools are increasingly necessary for informing effective land, water, and species management. For example, identifying and integrating disparate datasets of streamflow, stream water temperature and species distribution is critical for de
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Development of a Streamflow Data Catalog and Evaluation of the Vulnerability of Sensitive Fish Species to Climate Change Across the Pacific Northwest

As freshwater streams and native fish are threatened by changing environmental conditions, efforts to coalesce existing data and integrate modeling and projection tools are increasingly necessary for informing effective land, water, and species management. For example, identifying and integrating disparate datasets of streamflow, stream water temperature and species distribution is critical for de
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Supporting the National Park Service in Climate Adaptation Planning

Natural and cultural resource managers across the country have begun to use a tool known as "scenario planning" to help prepare for climate change effects that may unfold in the future. In this process, scientific projections are used to identify different plausible, relevant, and divergent climate conditions for a particular area, and then through a participatory process, scientists and resource
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Supporting the National Park Service in Climate Adaptation Planning

Natural and cultural resource managers across the country have begun to use a tool known as "scenario planning" to help prepare for climate change effects that may unfold in the future. In this process, scientific projections are used to identify different plausible, relevant, and divergent climate conditions for a particular area, and then through a participatory process, scientists and resource
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Scoping the Feasibility of Incorporating Climate Change into Risk Assessments of Aquatic Invasive Species in the Upper Midwest

Aquatic invasive species threaten our lakes, streams, and wetlands. These species not only change the biology within the waterbody, but they can change the way we use those waterbodies and the resources they produce. Those changes may have large economic impacts, such as direct management costs and indirect costs to fisheries, tourism and commerce. These species can be small like zebra mussels or
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Scoping the Feasibility of Incorporating Climate Change into Risk Assessments of Aquatic Invasive Species in the Upper Midwest

Aquatic invasive species threaten our lakes, streams, and wetlands. These species not only change the biology within the waterbody, but they can change the way we use those waterbodies and the resources they produce. Those changes may have large economic impacts, such as direct management costs and indirect costs to fisheries, tourism and commerce. These species can be small like zebra mussels or
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Building Tools to Assess Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of the Canadian River Basin

Several times during the severe drought of 2010-2015, communities within the jurisdictional territories of the Chickasaw Nation and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma were precariously close to running out of water. According to previous studies, temperatures are expected to continue to rise throughout the southern states, and droughts are predicted to be longer and more severe. Even small changes to
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Building Tools to Assess Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of the Canadian River Basin

Several times during the severe drought of 2010-2015, communities within the jurisdictional territories of the Chickasaw Nation and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma were precariously close to running out of water. According to previous studies, temperatures are expected to continue to rise throughout the southern states, and droughts are predicted to be longer and more severe. Even small changes to
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Learning From the Past and Planning for the Future: Experience-Driven Insight Into Managing for Ecosystem Transformations Induced by Drought and Wildfire

Drought and wildfire pose enormous threats to the integrity of natural resources that land managers are charged with protecting. Recent observations and modeling forecasts indicate that these stressors will likely produce catastrophic ecosystem transformations, or abrupt changes in the condition of plants, wildlife, and their habitats, in regions across the country in coming decades. In this p
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Learning From the Past and Planning for the Future: Experience-Driven Insight Into Managing for Ecosystem Transformations Induced by Drought and Wildfire

Drought and wildfire pose enormous threats to the integrity of natural resources that land managers are charged with protecting. Recent observations and modeling forecasts indicate that these stressors will likely produce catastrophic ecosystem transformations, or abrupt changes in the condition of plants, wildlife, and their habitats, in regions across the country in coming decades. In this p
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A Climate-Informed Conservation Strategy for Southern California’s Montane Forests

California is a world biodiversity hotspot, and also home to hundreds of sensitive, threatened, and endangered species. One of the most vulnerable ecosystems in California is the “sky island” montane forests of southern California, forests of conifers and hardwoods located only in high-elevation mountain regions. Montane forests serve many important ecosystem functions, including protecting the up...
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A Climate-Informed Conservation Strategy for Southern California’s Montane Forests

California is a world biodiversity hotspot, and also home to hundreds of sensitive, threatened, and endangered species. One of the most vulnerable ecosystems in California is the “sky island” montane forests of southern California, forests of conifers and hardwoods located only in high-elevation mountain regions. Montane forests serve many important ecosystem functions, including protecting the up...
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Best Practices for Project Design: Effectively Addressing Natural Resource Management Needs

Hundreds of millions of dollars of public funding are invested annually in projects that aim to deliver research that can improve people’s lives and safeguard the environment. To invest that money wisely, we need to know how to design projects so that they will successfully address the information needs of natural resource managers. By using a process of systematic evaluation to assess the effecti...
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Best Practices for Project Design: Effectively Addressing Natural Resource Management Needs

Hundreds of millions of dollars of public funding are invested annually in projects that aim to deliver research that can improve people’s lives and safeguard the environment. To invest that money wisely, we need to know how to design projects so that they will successfully address the information needs of natural resource managers. By using a process of systematic evaluation to assess the effecti...
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Understanding the Effects of Climate Variability and Change on Ungulates in North America

Ungulates, or hoofed mammals such as elk, deer, and moose, occupy a diversity of habitats across North America, from Canada’s high arctic to the deserts of Mexico. Ungulates play an important ecological role, helping to regulate processes such as nutrient cycling in forests and grasslands, through their grazing activities. They are also economically and culturally important, providing recreational...
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Understanding the Effects of Climate Variability and Change on Ungulates in North America

Ungulates, or hoofed mammals such as elk, deer, and moose, occupy a diversity of habitats across North America, from Canada’s high arctic to the deserts of Mexico. Ungulates play an important ecological role, helping to regulate processes such as nutrient cycling in forests and grasslands, through their grazing activities. They are also economically and culturally important, providing recreational...
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Developing a Climate Adaptation Checklist to Inform Natural Resource Management

Scientific information about the risks of climate change to important natural and cultural resources is crucial for developing and implementing climate adaptation plans and management actions. Tools that incorporate both science and expert knowledge on adaptation actions can greatly benefit municipal, regional, and other decision makers, as they develop and implement their adaptation plans. In 201
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Developing a Climate Adaptation Checklist to Inform Natural Resource Management

Scientific information about the risks of climate change to important natural and cultural resources is crucial for developing and implementing climate adaptation plans and management actions. Tools that incorporate both science and expert knowledge on adaptation actions can greatly benefit municipal, regional, and other decision makers, as they develop and implement their adaptation plans. In 201
Learn More