With a strong emphasis on collaboration and partnerships, the National and Regional CASCs produce science that answers important climate impact and adaptation questions. The CASC network partners with natural and cultural resource managers, tribes and indigenous communities, and university researchers to produce science that addresses real-world needs and incorporates the best available expertise to answer these questions. To ensure that this collaborative approach is sustained long-term, the network trains early career scientists and managers to develop their knowledge of climate science and build skills in areas such as science communication and stakeholder engagement.
Climate change is creating new challenges for natural resource managers, decision makers, and communities. The national and regional CASCs are gathering information on how fish, wildlife, ecosystems, and other natural and cultural resources will be affected by climate change and are developing cutting-edge tools that fulfill critical management needs.
IN ACTION: CASCs have helped states identify priority species, habitats, and conservation actions by providing information about the vulnerability of wildlife to climate change for State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) in the Northeast and Colorado.
The CASCs are federal-university partnerships. Each regional CASC is hosted by a public university and most are comprised of multi-institution consortia. CASC staff work closely with university researchers and staff to ensure the production of high-quality science and to foster collaboration among researchers with a broad range of expertise.
IN ACTION: In 2015 the CASCs provided over $10 million in funding to public universities across the country. This funding supported 50+ research projects and ensured collaboration between USGS and university scientists.
The CASCs train and support students and early career scientists in conducting climate research, developing skills in science communications and stakeholder engagement, and establishing a valuable network of peers. This commitment is manifested through programs across the country that target students from high school through post-doctoral levels.
IN ACTION: Through CASC programs, high school girls learn about changing glaciers in Alaska, minority students conduct climate research in forests, and a national training event brings together students from across the CASC network.
For centuries, tribes and indigenous communities have relied on natural resources that are now threatened by climate change. The CASCs work with tribes and indigenous communities to better understand their specific vulnerabilities to climate change and to help them prepare for and adapt to these impacts.
IN ACTION: The Alaska CASC partnered with the Chugachmiut Tribal Consortium to predict and map optimum blueberry habitat on the southern tip of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. This work helps management efforts to sustain more resilient blueberry picking areas for local tribes.