The National Fish, Wildlife, & Plants Climate Adaptation Network has selected Northeast and Southeast CASC Tribal Climate Science Liaison Casey Thornbrugh and his colleagues at the United South and Eastern Tribes Office of Environmental Resource Management (USET) for a 2020 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award. In recognizing USET for this honor, the selection committee singled out Thornbrugh for his outstanding performance by crediting him with "bringing awareness, climate science resources, planning tools and bridge-building" skills to his position. The committee also praised the team for "filling an important void...with respect to building the capacity of Tribal Nations in the eastern U.S. with planning for conservation to their lands, water, fish and wildlife while also building important bridges with universities, NGOs, and state and federal agencies."
Selected from a national nominee pool, Thornbrugh's team was one of only six individuals or groups to be honored this year. The award was established in 2016 and recognizes outstanding leadership by individuals, organizations, businesses, and agencies in supporting the resilience of America's vital natural resources and the many people, businesses, and communities that depend on them in the face of a changing climate.
"It has been an honor to work with the Northeast and Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Centers, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Resilience Program, and the USET Office of Environmental Resource Management for the past three years," said Thornbrugh. "I am grateful to have collaborated with many colleagues who have been instrumental in helping Tribes develop adaptation plans that will better position them to adjust to a changing climate."
2020 marks the second consecutive year NE CASC personnel have claimed a Climate Adaptation Leadership Award. Last year, NE CASC Principal Investigator Chris Caldwell and Tribal Liaison Sara Smith were honored along with their collaborators for developing the Tribal Adaptation Menu, a groundbreaking document that provides a framework for integrating climate adaptation science with Indigenous and traditional knowledge, culture, and language.
The 2020 Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards ceremony was recently held via Zoom and is available for viewing here. Aranzazu Lascurain, Assistant Director of the Southeast CASC, begins her introduction of Thornbrugh at the 18-minute mark of the video. Award citations for all recipients of this year's awards are available for viewing here.