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The South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) has several Communities of Practice (CoPs) focused on resource manager needs across the region (e.g. understanding at-risk species and ecosystems, building resilient coastal ecosystems, extreme weather and climate change, etc.). Each CoP has expertise in the subject matter and has been working on projects that are relevant to the resource community, including conducting literature reviews and small-scale pilot projects. The current research project will leverage the expertise of the existing CoPs to enhance the content available through the Conservation and Adaptation Resources Toolbox (CART) as identified through the partnership between the South Central...
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Elodea spp. (Elodea) is Alaska’s first known invasive aquatic plant, first discovered in urban lakes in 2010. The combination of human pathways and climate change related shifts in seasonality and temperature have resulted in Elodea’s range expansion into Alaska’s freshwater resources. Elodea transmission often occurs when plant fragments get entangled in seaplane rudders and are carried to remote waterbodies where they quickly establish dense plant growth. This growth inhibits seaplane access and drastically alters aquatic ecosystems. Recent research showed that Elodea can have significant negative impacts on parks, subsistence, aviationā€related recreation, and Alaska’s salmon fisheries. For example, the economic...
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Changes in stream temperature can have significant impacts on water quality and the health and survival of aquatic fish and wildlife. Water managers, planners, and decision makers are in need of scientific data to help them prepare for and adapt to changes and conserve important resources. Scientists are tasked with ensuring that this data is produced in useful formats and is accessible to these stakeholders. In October 2015, project researchers hosted and facilitated a 1.5 day workshop, “Data Storage, Dissemination and Harvesting”, that brought together over 50 stakeholders from state and federal agencies, tribal governments, universities, and non-profit organizations interested in monitoring stream temperature...
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The Jago, Okpilak, and Hulahula rivers in the Arctic are heavily glaciated waterways that are important for fish and wildlife as well as human activities including the provision of food, recreation, and, potentially, resource extraction on the coastal plain. If current glacial melting trends continue, most of the ice in these rivers will disappear in the next 50-100 years. Because of their importance to human and natural communities, it is critical to understand how these rivers and their surrounding environments will be affected by climate change and glacier loss. The overarching goal of this project was to research (1) the amount of river water, sediment, nutrients, and organic matter in the Jago, Okpilak, and...
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The objective of this project is to map the supply of ecosystem services (where natural ecosystems have the capacity to provide a certain product or service that could be of use to people), use of those services (where people or other entities that use the product or service exist), and the condition of ecosystems providing these services over time. The resulting datasets were used to generate metrics for pilot ecosystem accounts for the southeast – part of natural capital accounts that assess ecosystems’ contributions to the economy in order to help governments better understand their reliance on natural systems and manage natural resources to ensure their benefits are sustained into the future. These data were...
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Mosquito-borne disease is the biggest threat to Hawai‘i’s remaining native forest birds, of which more than half are threatened or endangered. Currently, disease-carrying mosquitoes are unable to move into colder high-elevation forests, but as the islands warm due to climate change, mosquitoes are steadily moving into the last native bird strongholds. Mosquito suppression efforts are planned for three Hawaiian Islands, however, there is currently no monitoring program to assess the effectiveness of those efforts. To address this pressing need, this project will develop new monitoring tools and protocols to provide managers with information about changes in bird and mosquito numbers that are related to climate change...
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Ducks and other waterfowl in the U.S. are valued and enjoyed by millions of birdwatchers, artists, photographers and citizens for their beauty and appeal. Waterfowl also provide game for hunters throughout the country and act as an important source of revenue for states and local communities. Loss of habitat and migration corridors due to land use changes and changes in climate threaten these birds, however more scientific information is needed to understand these processes. This project used available annual surveys of duck counts, along with data on the location and availability of ponds and temperature and precipitation patterns, to model where across the continental landscape waterfowl were present and if their...
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Water is a key ecosystem service that provides life to vegetation, animals, and human communities. The distribution and flow of water on a landscape influences many ecological functions, such as the distribution and health of vegetation and soil development and function. However, the future of many important water resources remains uncertain. Reduced snowfall and snowpack, earlier spring runoff, increased winter streamflow and flooding, and decreased summer streamflow have all been identified as potential impacts to water resources due to climate change. These factors all influence the water balance in the Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest (PCTR). Ensuring healthy flow and availability of water resources is...
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Suicide Basin is a glacier-fed lake that branches off Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. Since 2011, Suicide Basin has been collecting melt- and rainwater each summer, creating a temporary glacier-dammed lake. Water that accumulates typically gets released through channels that run beneath the glacier. These channels are normally blocked by ice, but if the water pressure gets too high the channel breaks open, rapidly draining the basin in what is known as an “outburst flood”. In past years, these events have led to flooding along Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall River in the most heavily populated neighborhood of Juneau. Because of the threats posed to infrastructure in the Mendenhall Valley, it is critical that...
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USFWS Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) throughout the Mississippi River Basin (MRB) have identified high nutrient runoff, a major contributor to Gulf hypoxia, and declines in wildlife populations (especially grassland and riparian birds), as conservation challenges requiring collaborative action. This project aimed to develop a spatial decision support system (DSS) to address these issues. The DSS was designed to identify MRB watersheds where application of conservation practices can (1) reduce nutrient export to the Gulf hypoxia zone and (2) enhance conservation for grassland and riparian birds, based on (3) identifying landowners willing and capable of implementing these practices. The DSS is expected...
Categories: Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: 2014, Bird Conservation, Birds, Birds, Birds, All tags...
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Vernal pools are small, seasonal wetlands that provide critically important seasonal habitat for many amphibian species of conservation concern. Natural resource managers and scientists in the Northeast, as well as the Northeast Refugia Research Coalition, coordinated by the Northeast CSC, recently identified vernal pools as a priority ecosystem to study, and recent revisions to State Wildlife Action Plans highlighted climate change and disease as primary threats to key vernal pool ecosystems. Mapping out the hydrology of vernal pools across the Northeast is an important step in informing land management and conservation decision-making. Project researchers modeled the hydrology of roughly 450 vernal pools from...
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Berry-producing plants, a key resource in Alaska Native communities, provide primary subsistence and have been integral to maintaining cultural cohesion, sense of place, and physical ties to the surrounding landscape. Despite the importance of berry-producing plants, relatively little is known about their vulnerability to changes in climate and environmental conditions. The dynamics of insect populations are strongly related to climate; however, very little is known about the insect pollinators of berry plants in Arctic and sub-Arctic ecosystems. This interaction between plants and pollinators is critical to plant communities and for providing fruit resources to Indigenous communities. Numerous plant species...
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Salmon are an important resource to the ecosystems, economy, and culture of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. However, salmon are under increasing stress due to warming water temperatures and decreasing stream flow. Groundwater is a major contributor to many streams that can help maintain fish habitat during low flows and contributes cooler water that regulates stream temperatures in the warm summer months. As the climate warms, the ability for groundwater to cool stream temperatures will likely become more critical to streams that are used by salmon, such as Beaver Creek near Kenai, Alaska. Preliminary analysis of historical streamflow data indicates that on average, Beaver Creek receives nearly 80% of its flow...
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Rates of glacier loss in the northern Pacific coastal temperate rainforest (PCTR) are among the highest on Earth. These changes in glacier volume and extent will affect the flow and chemistry of coastal rivers, as well as the nearshore marine ecosystem of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Runoff from glaciers accounts for about half of the land-to-ocean movement of freshwater into the GOA, strongly influencing the freshwater and marine ecosystems along the coast. Runoff from glaciers, for example, significantly impacts the water temperature and clarity of aquatic habitats, which are important conditions for salmon reproduction. Moreover, runoff from glaciers along the GOA is an important factor in the structure of the...
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Ongoing and future climate change throughout Alaska has the potential to affect terrestrial ecosystems and the services that they provide to the people of Alaska and the nation. These services include the gathering of food and fiber by Alaskan communities, the importance of ecosystems to recreation, cultural, and spiritual activities of people in Alaska, and the way that land cover and vegetation in ecosystems affect temperature and water flow (runoff, flooding etc.) throughout the state. Assessments of the effects of climate change on these “ecosystem services” have been hindered by a lack of tools (e.g. computer models) capable of forecasting future landscapes in a changing climate while taking into account numerous...
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Ongoing climate change has the potential to negatively impact Alaska’s ecosystems and the critical services that they provide. These ecosystem services include supplying food and fiber for Alaskan communities, offering opportunities for recreational, cultural, and spiritual activities, and regulating temperature and water flow (runoff, flooding, etc.). Scientists build models to better understand processes and interactions in the natural environment and to use what we know to predict what will happen in the future, so that we can plan for it. Researchers from multiple institutions and disciplines developed an Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM) for Alaska and Northwest Canada. The model helps forecast how climate...
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The western coastline of Alaska is highly susceptible to coastal storms, which can cause erosion, flooding, and saltwater storm surge, affecting natural ecosystems, human communities, and commercial activity. Historically, a large buffer of ice along the shoreline has protected this region from some of the more severe effects of coastal storms. However, climate change may not only increase the frequency and intensity of storms, but also cause a loss of shoreline ice, possibly increasing the incidence of coastal erosion and flooding and introducing saltwater to freshwater environments. These hazards have the potential to substantially disrupt the environment and commerce in the region, but more information is needed...
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For the Upper Yukon area of interior Alaska, climate change has become a daily fact of life, causing a wide range of impacts to the environment, and in some cases to community health. In 2015 the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center organized a series of assessments to better understand the impacts of climate change being observed in this region, including the communities Arctic Village, Fort Yukon, and Venetie. Support for this project was provided by USGS and by local tribal partners including Arctic Village Traditional Council, Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich’in Tribal Council, and the Venetie Village Council. The assessments were also performed in partnership with three...
The first meeting of the Advisory Council for Climate Adaptation Science (ACCAS) was held on February 27-28, 2024 in Washington, D.C. Materials from the meeting will be made available below.


map background search result map search result map Development of the Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Model to Illustrate Future Landscape Change Understanding the Links between Climate and Waterbirds Across North America Understanding the Impacts of Permafrost Change: Providing Input into the Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Model The Impacts of Glacier Change on the Jago, Okpilak, and Hulahula Rivers in the Arctic Modeling Western Alaska Coastal Hazards Assessing Links between Glaciers and the Northern Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest Ecosystem Projecting the Future Distribution and Flow of Water in Alaskan Coastal Forest Watersheds Science to Assess Future Conservation Practices for the Mississippi River Basin Mapping Climate Change Resistant Vernal Pools in the Northeastern U.S. Prioritizing Stream Temperature Data Collection to Meet Stakeholder Needs and Inform Regional Analyses Community Observations on Climate Change: Arctic Village, Fort Yukon, and Venetie, Alaska Improving Forecasts of Glacier Outburst Flood Events Detecting and Predicting Aquatic Invasive Species Transmission Via Seaplanes in Alaska Groundwater Flow and Temperature Modeling to Predict Stream Temperatures in Beaver Creek, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska Enhancing Climate Adaptation for Native Communities in Western Alaska: Linking Pollinator Diversity and Abundance to Berry Production in a Rapidly Changing Environment Expanding the Conservation and Adaptation Resources Toolbox (CART) to the South Central United States Mapping Ecosystem Services for Natural Capital Accounting Advancing Wildlife Monitoring to Improve Management of Endangered Hawaiian Birds in a Changing Climate Improving Forecasts of Glacier Outburst Flood Events Community Observations on Climate Change: Arctic Village, Fort Yukon, and Venetie, Alaska Groundwater Flow and Temperature Modeling to Predict Stream Temperatures in Beaver Creek, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska The Impacts of Glacier Change on the Jago, Okpilak, and Hulahula Rivers in the Arctic Advancing Wildlife Monitoring to Improve Management of Endangered Hawaiian Birds in a Changing Climate Projecting the Future Distribution and Flow of Water in Alaskan Coastal Forest Watersheds Mapping Climate Change Resistant Vernal Pools in the Northeastern U.S. Modeling Western Alaska Coastal Hazards Expanding the Conservation and Adaptation Resources Toolbox (CART) to the South Central United States Assessing Links between Glaciers and the Northern Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest Ecosystem Mapping Ecosystem Services for Natural Capital Accounting Science to Assess Future Conservation Practices for the Mississippi River Basin Prioritizing Stream Temperature Data Collection to Meet Stakeholder Needs and Inform Regional Analyses Detecting and Predicting Aquatic Invasive Species Transmission Via Seaplanes in Alaska Development of the Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Model to Illustrate Future Landscape Change Understanding the Impacts of Permafrost Change: Providing Input into the Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Model Understanding the Links between Climate and Waterbirds Across North America Enhancing Climate Adaptation for Native Communities in Western Alaska: Linking Pollinator Diversity and Abundance to Berry Production in a Rapidly Changing Environment