NE CSC Newsletter

Friday, August 26, 2016

------ NE CSC NEWS: ---------------------------------------------------- 

New Publication: Managing Climate Change Refugia to Protect Wildlife     NE CSC’s Research Ecologist Toni Lyn Morelli and colleagues have a new paper describing how scientists and natural resource managers are working together to understand how safe havens from climate change might be identified and conserved to protect species and cultural traditions.  The paper, “Managing Climate Change Refugia for Climate Adaptation” in PLoS ONE lays out a framework for conserving areas buffered from climate change that protect natural and cultural resources, labeled “climate change refugia.” The paper describes what processes create climate change refugia and how they can be identified. The climate change refugia conservation cycle is developed to fit into existing decision support frameworks for climate adaptation. Managing climate change refugia can be an important option for conservation in the face of ongoing climate change.  Read More >>

New Publication on the Effect of Climate Change on the Distribution of North American Birds     Researchers at NE CSC looked at data on 49 bird species from the last three decades to examine the effect of climate change on population growth and occupancy. Joel Ralston, former NE CSC Fellow, with NE CSC Postdoctoral Fellow, Bill DeLuca and NE CSC Affiliated Investigator, Dave King found that population growth influences the birds’ niche in response to climate change.  The paper, “Realized climate niche breadth varies with population trend and distribution in North American birds” was published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.  This paper was also co-authored by Richard Feldman who was a postdoc in the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass and is now at Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán in Mexico.  Read More >>

Climate Change and the Conservation of Freshwater Species     NE CSC’s Science Coordinator, Michelle Staudinger is part of a new initiative to assess the status and develop cooperative conservation and adaptation strategies for threatened freshwater mussels in the Northeast.  A new freshwater research station at the former US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) salmon hatchery in Sunderland, Massachusetts will serve as a laboratory to rear threatened aquatic species and determine best methods for restoration of imperiled aquatic ecosystems.  In collaboration with the USFWS, USGS Cooperative Unit, Massachusetts Division Fisheries and Wildlife, and UMass Amherst’s new School of Earth and Sustainability, Michelle will be lending expertise to factor in anticipated climate impacts to better inform future monitoring and restoration efforts. Read More >>

NE CSC Hosts Workshop on Climate Change and Invasive Species in the Northeast    The first Northeast Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Management Workshop was held on July 21, 2016, at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. It was convened by NE CSC, the New York Invasive Species Research Institute, and UMass Amherst.   It was the first step in a conversation to address the question “How can we manage for upcoming biological invasions in the light of climate change?” 19 individuals representing nine northeastern state/municipal natural resource agencies, the North Atlantic LCC, the US Forest Service Northern Research Station, The Nature Conservancy, the USA National Phenology Network, and academic institutions attended the workshop.  Read More >> 

Phenology Shifts in the Gulf of Maine     How is the timing of biological and physical processes changing in the Gulf of Maine? That is the question that has been the focus of a 30 person working group stemming from last year’s Annual Science Meeting of the Regional Association for Research on the Gulf of Maine (RARGOM).  As part of the NE CSC funded project, "Ecological and management implications of climate change induced shifts in phenology of coastal fish and wildlife species in the Northeast CSC region", co-PIs Michelle Staudinger (NE CSC Science Coordinator) and Adrian Jordaan (UMass Amherst) have been leading an interdisciplinary team synthesizing the current state of knowledge of shifting phenology in coastal resources in the Gulf of Maine. Read More >> 

NE CSC Welcomes Graduate Fellow Nigel Golden     Nigel is a PhD student in NE CSC Research Ecologist Toni Lyn Morelli’s lab at the UMass, Amherst.   He is interested in understanding the impacts of climate change on arctic adapted species, and their interactions on permafrost vulnerability. Nigel incorporates research on population ecology and plant and soil science. At UMass, Nigel is studying the effects of climate change on the distribution of arctic ground squirrels, and testing hypotheses about feedbacks to the carbon cycle as a result of their ecology. Nigel hails from Milwaukee, WI and found that his research and travel experiences in Northeast Siberia and Alaska steered him to polar sciences and conservation.  See what Nigel has been up to this summer working with urban partners on monarch butterfly conservation.  Read More >> 

NE CSC Welcomes Valerie Pasquarella, Postdoctoral Fellow     Valerie will be working with NE CSC Affiliated Investigator, Bethany Bradley at UMass Amherst.  Val grew up in suburban New Jersey and attended Boston University, where she stumbled upon a course in geographic information systems and instantly found her calling as a geographer. Through the study of geography and landscape ecology, she has been able to combine her interdisciplinary interests with her passion for the environment, creating data-driven maps and models that directly support the needs of natural resource managers. Her long term vision is to integrate remote sensing datasets with citizen-driven databases of local information on both species and habitats to create dynamic landscape models that can be used for ecological forecasting, scenario-driven hypothesis testing, and improved land management.  Read More >>

NE CSC Welcomes Madeline Magee, Postdoctoral Fellow     Madeline has joined Pete McIntyre’s (NE CSC Principal Investigator) lab at the University of Wisconsin.  She is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, but moved to Wisconsin right before high school. She first became interested in lakes and streams while in high school, and made a shift from the structural engineering to water resources engineering track while in undergrad. When she was young, Madeline spent most of her summers either playing sports or enjoying the outdoors, which is how she still likes to spend her summers (although now with a significant amount of time spent doing research!).  Read More >> 

Summer Youth Outreach: NE CSC's Toni Lyn Morelli Works with Girls, Inc.     This summer, NE CSC Research Ecologist Toni Lyn Morelli and US Forest Service Research Ecologist Susannah Lerman, both UMass Adjunct Assistant Professors, worked with a group of middle school girls for two days in an activity to band songbirds and talk about the effects of climate change on urban wildlife.  Read More >>

NE CSC Graduate Fellow Blog on the Conservation of Montane Birds     Tim Duclos, UMass Amherst, wrote a blog for the Early Career Climate Forum, "High Stakes for our High Peaks: Working to Conserve Montane Birds of the Northern Forest in the Face of Climate Change”.  Read More >>

NE CSC’s Fall Seminar Series     Our Fall line-up starts with a presentation by Thomas Bonnot, NE CSC Graduate Fellow, on Wednesday September 21.  Other speakers include: Rob DeContoCraig PaukertAmbarish KarmalkarRadley HortonAdrian Jordaan and Michelle Staudinger.   Stay tuned: the announcement with full schedule, titles, and abstracts is coming soon...

Recent Publication from the NE CSC

Upcoming Presentations by the NE CSC

IUCN World Conservation Congress     NE CSC Research Ecologist Toni Lyn Morelli and Mary Ratnaswamy, Federal Director of the NE CSC are organizing a workshop, as well as presenting a poster, at the Congress entitled "Managing Climate Change Refugia for Biodiversity Conservation".  All scientists, conservation practitioners, and resource managers are welcome to participate to discuss how a climate adaptation strategy focused on managing areas buffered from climate change could be implemented on the ground. Honolulu, HI, September 1. Read More >> 


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Resilient Land Mapping Tool     New relevant tool from The Nature Conservancy that allows you to explore land in Eastern North America for climate resilience characteristics: landforms, landscape diversity (an estimate of microclimates) connectedness, and geology. Resilience concerns the ability of a living system to adjust to climate change, moderate potential damages, take advantage of opportunities, or cope with consequences; in short, the capacity to adapt. The Nature Conservancy’s resilience analysis develops an approach to conserve biological diversity while allowing species and communities to rearrange in response to a continually changing climate.  Read More >> 


------ LCC News: -------------------------------------------------------- 

Aligning LCC resources to support climate action in the Mid Atlantic region    A new fact sheet synthesizes products developed by the North Atlantic and Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) to inform the conservation of aquatic, coastal, and terrestrial systems in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay watershed in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and other partners.  Read More >> 

North Atlantic LCC:

            Three Hurricane Sandy-funded tools added to U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

            Connect the Connecticut provides guidance for sound investments to protect Long Island Sound

            Partners meet to review initial products from effort to identify conservation priorities across the Northeast

Appalachian LCC

            Nations Celebrate Centennial of Landmark Migratory Bird Treaty

            Partners in Flight 2016 Landbird Conservation Plan Released

            Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership 2017 Call for Project Proposals

            Tools and Resources for Addressing Energy Development in the Appalachians

Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC

            New Maps and Data Visualizations Support Landscape Conservation Design

Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks LCC

            Two new Climate Science Center studies focus on landscape scale wildlife conservation in the Southeast 

            South Central Climate Science Center: Outreach & Communications in “Co-production” of Knowledge

            Summer Vacations, and Landscapes Transformed

            Version 2 of Estuarine Tidal Marsh Assessment Complete           

            New Farm Service Agency (FSA) policy expands farmers' ability to enroll pivot corners in the CP33 practice to provide habitat buffers for upland birds

            Counterintuitive results, surprises from recent GCPO LCC projects

            Pent-up demand for GCPO LCC science products reflected in recent webinar attendance

------ UPCOMING EVENTS: --------------------------------------------------------

The 77th Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference    Private Landscapes, Public Responsibilities Accepting submissions for general contributed oral or poster presentations until September 9. The conference will take place February 5 - 8, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Read More >>

Climate Change Adaptation Planning      Offered by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, September 13-15, 2016 in Nebraska City, NE.   Read More >> 

National Adaptation Forum     Call for proposals is open for symposia, training sessions and working groups.  May 9-11, 2017 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Read More >> 

NIACS Forest Adaptation Planning and Practices     Adaptation Workshop with Heart of the Lakes and Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan. September 27-28, 2016 in Boyne Falls, MI. Read More >> 


 ------ OTHER NEWS: ----------------------------------------------------

Reconstructing 1,500 years of Greenland Climate   Raymond Bradley, NE CSC Principal Investigator and Director of the Climate System Research Center,  Dan Miller (NE CSC Graduate Fellow) and Greg De Wet (former NE CSC Graduate Fellow) have returned from Greenland with sediment core samples lifted from the lakes of southern Greenland. Funded by the National Science Foundation, their investigation of the sediment cores will provide new data on temperature change over the last 1,500 years in a region linked to the broader climate dynamics of the North Atlantic (watch the great video!).  Read More >> 

July Was the Hottest    Raymond Bradley, NE CSC Principal Investigator and Director of the Climate System Research Center, comments in a Boston Globe story about how July was the 10th consecutive month of record warmth in a year that is likely to be the hottest ever recorded.  Read More >> 

How Vulnerable Are National Parks to Climate and Land Use Change?     Up to 30% of the area within and surrounding U.S. national parks may be unsuitable for current species by 2030, according to North Central CSC researchers. Read More >> 

No Picnic for Our Parks: How Climate Change Could Impact National Parks and the Species they Protect     See this compilation by Kate Malpeli, of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, of work the CSCs are doing in the National Parks.  Read More >> 

Tribes Work with Scientists at the SC CSC    Combining science and indigenous knowledge, this research group seeks new ways to adapt to climate change.  Read More >> 

Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota Flood Linked to Climate Change     Extreme weather events usually beg the question about the possible contribution of climate change, and in this case the connection is quite clear. The Climate Signals website lays out a very compelling argument about how this recent storm of July 2016 fits into the overall pattern of more intense rainfall across the Midwest.   Read More >> 

Sustainable Forestry Institute State Implementation Committee Considers Climate Change     NIACS Stephen Handler shared information about climate change risks to forests in Minnesota, adaptation examples, and ways that SFI could help promote further awareness on this issue across the state.  Read More >> 


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NOAA’s Northeast Drought Outlook     NOAA Regional Climate Services, in collaboration with the Northeast and Southeast Regional Climate Centers, the National Weather Service offices in MA and NY, the NOAA/National Center for Environmental Information, the USDA Ag Hub, and the state climatologist from NH put together a summary of the drought situation in the Northeast (New York to Maine)     Read More >> 

Weekly Updates on the Northeast Drought     Every Thursday, the Northeast Regional Climate Center provides updates on drought monitoring.  Read More >>

Science Policy Podcast     "Lost in Translation” demystifies the complexities of climate models and discusses challenges associated with climate-related science communication.  The podcast series "The Forum: Where science comes to socialize," is hosted and produced by the Institute on Science for Global Policy.  Read More >> 

New Statistically Downscaled Climate Data Available for U.S.     A new statistically downscaled climate model dataset covering the conterminous U.S. is now available for download in the USGS GeoData Portal. This dataset contains daily downscaled meteorological and hydrological projections for the conterminous U.S. at 4-km resolution.  Read More >>

CAKE Highlight: New Publication    Human dimensions of climate change and fisheries in a coupled system: the Atlantic surf clam case.  Read More >> 

Flooding Forecast     NOAA unveiled a new tool that will allow it to give hourly forecasts for river conditions in 2.7 million locations across the United States. The agency called its innovation the “biggest improvement in flood forecasting the country has ever seen.” Read More >> 

EPA Releases 2016 Climate Change Indicators Report     This report shows compelling and clear evidence of long-term changes to our climate and highlights impacts on human health and the environment in the United States and around the world.  Read More >> 

New Publication on Engaging the Public on Sea Level Rise and Inundation     A new report published in the "Environmental Science and Policy" journal explores public perceptions of sea level rise risks and the use of deliberation to facilitate community-based decision-making in Maryland. Read More >> 

------ OPPORTUNITIES: --------------------------------------------------------

Job Opportunity: Climate Ecologist    The Field Museum Keller Science Action Center, Chicago, IL.  Read More >> 

Funding Opportunities with NOAA’s Climate Program Office     Various grants, deadlines starting October 24.  Read More >> 

Funding Opportunity: FY17 Tribal Wildlife Grants Program (USFWS)     This program provides a competitive funding opportunity for federally recognized tribal governments to develop and implement programs for the benefit of wildlife and their habitat, including species of Native American cultural or traditional importance and species that are not hunted or fished. Eligibility includes federally recognized Native American tribal governments. Funding opportunity # F16AS00199. Deadline is September 9. Read More >> 

Funding Opportunity: Modeling of Climate Change Mitigation, Impacts and Adaptation (EPA)     Proposals to advance the field of climate economic modeling to assist decision makers and the public in effectively responding to the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change. Funding opportunity # EPA-OAR-OAP-16-07. Deadline is September 12.  Read More >> 

Funding Opportunity: Coastal Program – Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (USFWS)     Funding is available to coastal areas within the U.S. portion of the Great Lakes basin which includes parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.  # F16AS00060. Deadline is September 30. Read More >>


------ WEBINARS: -------------------------------------------------------- 

Tuesday, August 30, 9:30am EST

NOAA and Northeast Regional Climate Center

NOAA Eastern Region Climate Services- on drought

To register, visit:


Tuesday, September 6, 7:30-9:30pm EST


NOAA Climate Stewards- Climate Change, Learn and Contribute

John McLaughlin, NOAA's Citizen Science Coordinator

To register, visit:


Thursday, September 15, 10am ET

The Conservation Biology Institute presents

Navigating the Data Basin Platform: A Guided Tour

Tosha Commendant, CBI

To register, visit: 


Wednesday, September 21, 3:30 pm ET

Northeast Climate Science Center

Integrating dynamic landscape population modeling and structured decision making to guide regional conservation under climate change

Thomas Bonnot, NE CSC and University of Missouri

To register, visit:


Thursday, September 22, 3 pm ET

NCCWSC webinar 

A Framework for Evaluating the Vulnerability of Multiple Wildlife Species to Climate Change at Regional Scales

Meryl Mims, USGS

To register, visit:



Northeast Climate Science Center


University of Massachusetts - Amherst

College of Menominee Nation

Columbia University

Marine Biological Laboratory

University of Missouri - Columbia

University of Minnesota

University of Wisconsin - Madison