The Department of Interior's Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) is part of a federal network of eight Climate Science Centers (CSCs) created to work with natural and cultural resource managers to gather the scientific information and build the tools needed to help fish, wildlife, and ecosystems adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Climate Science Centers are supported by the Department of the Interior (DOI) and managed by the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC).
The NE CSC is hosted by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Recognizing the critical threats and unique climate challenges and the expansive and diverse nature of the Northeast and Midwest regions, no one institution can provide the region-wide expertise on all critical levels. Thus, the NE CSC Academic Consortium was formed to assemble outstanding expertise in climate science and natural and cultural resources management:
- University of Massachusetts Amherst,
- College of Menominee Nation,
- Columbia University,
- Marine Biological Laboratory,
- University of Minnesota,
- University of Missouri Columbia,
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Academic Consortium works closely with USGS partners to provide deep and diverse resources for successfully meeting the regional needs for climate impact science assessment, education and stakeholder outreach throughout the region.
Improving the way climate science informs resource management
Meeting these diverse regional climate change challenges requires a consortium with several key characteristics:
- Broad geographic scope and extensive expertise to address the wide diversity of threats to natural and human communities.
- Fundamental and structural commitment to interdisciplinary science that is able to evaluate complex interactions between earth and climate systems, natural communities and ecosystems, natural and cultural resources management, and human infrastructure.
- Climate science programs with expertise in climate system processes, climatic variability and global change issues, including their causes and consequences.
- Close relationships with both DOI and non-DOI resource management agencies, and USGS and other federal science programs.
Science and Coordination
The research direction taken by the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) is guided by the NE CSC Strategic Science Agenda for 2013-2018. This document describes the role and interactions of the NE CSC among its partners and stakeholders, clarifies the responsibilities of the Center to its partners, defines a context for climate impacts in the NE CSC region, and establishes the science priorities that the Center will address through research.
In developing the Strategic Science Agenda, the NE CSC received advice and guidance from its Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The NE CSC also periodically receives guidance from a panel of technical reviewers that assists with independent scientific review of projects comprising the NE CSC research program.
The NE CSC has identified seven priority science themes that will drive the CSC's regional science program:
- Science Theme 1: Climate projections and assessments
- Science Theme 2: Climate impacts on land-use and land-cover
- Science Theme 3: Climate impacts on freshwater resources and ecosystems
- Science Theme 4: Climate impacts on Atlantic and Great Lakes coastal and nearshore environments
- Science Theme 5: Ecological vulnerability and species response to climate variability and change
- Science Theme 6: Impacts of climate variability and change on cultural resources
- Science Theme 7: Decision frameworks for evaluating risk and managing natural resources under climate change
The proposal submitted by the Academic Consortium in May 2011 to establish the NE CSC is available below.