Supporting Collaborative Relationships between Tribes and Climate Science in the Northeast Region to Address Climate Impacts

Project Type: 
Stakeholder-Identified Research Project
Fiscal Year: 
FY'15
Project Leader: 
Research Partners: 
Kyle Whyte (Michigan State University); Marie Schaefer (College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute and Michigan State University)
Project Fellows: 
Status: 
Ongoing
Science Themes: 
All peoples have a right to make meaningful plans for their future. For many Tribes in the northeast region of the United States, trends in the environment such as shifting lake levels, patterns of precipitation and other seasonal cycles pose potential problems. This includes financial burdens on Tribal governments and stresses on Tribal cultural practices such as harvesting medicinal plants and food staples such as wild rice. Consistent with the U.S. federal trust responsibility to Tribes, the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) has key scientific resources for supporting Tribal adaptation planning in light of noted shifts in environmental trends. The primary activity of this project will be for the College of Menominee Nation (CMN) Sustainable Development Institute (SDI), in collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU), to facilitate a relationship between 6 Tribes from across the Northeast Region that will produce, for each participating Tribe, a set of future climate change scenarios. The scenarios will serve both to identify climate change impacts unique to each participating Tribe and to propose solutions for adaptation and resiliency that are relevant for each scenario. The scenarios can be used as the basis for motivating more extensive Tribal adaptation plans, justifying future Tribal adaptation/mitigation projects, and creating the foundation for more sophisticated collaborations between Tribes, other parties and the Northeast Climate Science Center that harness robust risk analysis, decision tools and modeling. The scenarios, then, will serve as the basis for characterizing climate change vulnerabilities and the needed capacities to address them.
 
Presentations: 
  • Chris Caldwell, "NE CSC Collaboration in Action", Menominee Community Engagement workshop, January 13, 2016
  • Marie Schaefer presented, "National Climate Assessment 4", at the National Tribal Forum on Air Quality, May 18th, 2016. 
  • Marie Schaefer, "National Climate Assessment 4: Tribal Input", Rising Voices 4: Collaborative Science with Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Solutions, July 7th, 2016.