WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the selection of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to host the Department of the Interior’s Northeast Climate Science Center. He also announced the University of Oklahoma to host the South Central Climate Science Center, and the University of Hawaii-Manoa to host the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center.
The three locations complete the national network of eight CSCs that will serve to provide land managers in federal, state and local agencies access to the best science available regarding climate change and other landscape-scale stressors.
“The Northeast center and other Climate Science Centers will provide the scientific talent and commitment necessary for understanding how climate change and other landscape stressors will change the face of the United States, and how the Department of the Interior, as our nation’s chief steward of natural and cultural resources, can prepare and respond,” said Secretary Salazar.
Each CSC has a consortium of partners facilitating collaboration across the entire science community and expanding the expertise available to the CSC.
In addition to its University of Massachusetts-Amherst host, for example, the Northeast Climate Science Center has engaged the College of Menominee Nation with its extensive network of tribal nation colleges and its expertise in sustainability. Other consortium partners include Columbia University, Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri-Columbia, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The new Northeast Climate Science Center region contains 22 states, multiple ecoregions, 41 percent of the U.S. population, and 7 of the 22 regions established for the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs). The interaction of the CSCs and LCCs is part of Secretary Salazar’s department-wide climate change strategy initiated in 2009.
“The members of the Northeast Climate Science Center currently participate in, or are co-located with, a number of the existing LCCs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regional offices, NOAA RISA projects, and Science Centers,” said Professor Richard Palmer, scientific director of the new Center. “These interactions increase our ability to effectively interact with potential federal stakeholders.”
The members of the Northeast Climate Science Center are pioneering new analytical and science support tools for landscape scale analyses of climate change effects, and regional conservation networks for developing climate adaptation and mitigation strategies by diverse stakeholders.
Salazar noted that the CSCs will expand climate science capabilities without building new facilities or duplicating existing capabilities.
The CSCs will serve as regional hubs of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, located at the headquarters of Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey. USGS is taking the lead on establishing the CSCs and providing initial staffing. Together, Interior’s CSCs and LCCs will assess the impacts of climate change and other landscape-scale stressors that typically extend beyond the borders of any single national wildlife refuge, national park or Bureau of Land Management unit and will identify strategies to ensure that resources across landscapes are resilient.
A list of the eight regional Climate Science Centers is available http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Secretary-Salazar-Names-Three-Universities-to-Host-Regional-Climate-Science-Centers.cfm