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As the impacts of climate change amplify, understanding the consequences for wetlands will be critical for their sustainable management and conservation, particularly in arid regions such as the Columbia Plateau. The depressional wetlands in this region (wetlands located in topographic depressions where water can accumulate) are an important source of surface water during the summer months. However, their health depends directly on precipitation and evaporation, making them susceptible to changes in temperature and precipitation. Yet few tools for monitoring water movement patterns (hydrology) in and out of these landscapes currently exist, hindering efforts to model how they are changing. This project provided...
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The rugged landscapes of northern Idaho and western Montana support biodiverse ecosystems, and provide a variety of natural resources and services for human communities. However, the benefits provided by these ecosystems may be at risk as changing climate magnifies existing stressors and allows new stressors to emerge. Preparation for and response to these potential changes can be most effectively addressed through multi-stakeholder partnerships, evaluating vulnerability of important resources to climate change, and developing response and preparation strategies for managing key natural resources in a changing world. This project will support climate-smart conservation and management across forests of northern Idaho...
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The Integrated Scenarios of the Future Northwest Environment project (an FY2012 NW CSC funded project), resulted in several datasets describing projected changes in climate, hydrology and vegetation for the 21st century over the Northwestern US. The raw data is available in netCDF format, which is a standard data file format for weather forecasting/climate change/GIS applications. However, the sheer size of these datasets and the specific file format (netCDF) for data access pose significant barriers to data access for many users. This is a particular challenge for many natural/cultural resource managers and others working on conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest. The goal of this project was to increase...
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Cheatgrass began invading the Great Basin about 100 years ago, changing large parts of the landscape from a rich, diverse ecosystem to one where a single invasive species dominates. Cheatgrass dominated areas experience more fires that burn more land than in native ecosystems, resulting in economic and resource losses. Therefore, the reduced production, or absence, of cheatgrass in previously invaded areas during years of adequate precipitation could be seen as a windfall. However, this cheatgrass dieoff phenomenon creates other problems for land managers like accelerated soil erosion, loss of early spring food supply for livestock and wildlife, and unknown recovery pathways. We used satellite data and scientific...
This is a collaborative project to support enhanced camas prairie monitoring and synthesis of existing camas lily monitoring data in the Weippe Prairie Unit of Nez Perce National Historical Park (NEPE) and in Big Hole National Battlefield (BIHO), within the Upper Columbia Basin Network (UCBN). The NPS will work with Oregon State University (OSU) to: (1) Synthesize camas monitoring data from NEPE and BIHO dating back to 2005 with weather and soil moisture and water table data to describe how variation in climate and weather influences soil moisture and camas density and flowering rates; (2) augment the existing camas monitoring protocol with new standard operating procedures for establishing and surveying permanent...
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Resource managers, policymakers, and scientists require tools to inform water resource management and planning. Information on hydrologic factors – such as streamflow, snowpack, and soil moisture – is important for understanding and predicting wildfire risk, flood activity, and agricultural and rangeland productivity, among others. Existing tools for modeling hydrologic conditions rely on information on temperature and precipitation. This project sought to evaluate different methods for downscaling global climate models – that is, taking information produced at a global scale and making it useable at a regional scale, in order to produce more accurate projections of temperature and precipitation for the Pacific...
The objective of this project is to integrate observations from multiple image acquisition platforms into a coherent time series of glacier volume changes for a variety of sites in the Pacific Northwest, including South Cascade Glacier and the others in Washington State (e.g., Mt. Olympus, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker). Specific objectives include: Enhancing glacier mass balance methodology by incorporating newly derived and reanalyzed geodetic records in the form of Digital Elevation Models and associated Area Altitude Distributions. Estimating regional patterns of glacier mass balance by expanding the spatial density of mass balance measurements and the geographic diversity of monitored glaciers. Understanding hydrologic...
Climate change is expected to result in changes in plant-pollinator interactions, but the severity of these changes is not yet clearly understood. This project will address both spatial and temporal effects of climate change on plant-pollinator interactions by studying butterfly and plant phenology in alpine and subalpine environments of Mount Rainier National Park (MORA). Western Washington University and the National Park Service will collaborate on several project objectives, including conducting field work at multiple meadows at MORA to collect plant and butterfly data, constructing plant phenophase profiles for common forbs, constructing butterfly emergence curves for commonly detected species, developing a...
Elevated anthropogenic nitrogen (N) emissions are causing higher rates of atmospheric N deposition (Ndep) that may saturate Cascade ecosystems with reactive N. Simultaneously, increasing global temperatures and altered circulation patterns generated by climate change are expected to strongly impact snow regimes in the Cascade Range, causing reduced snowpack, earlier snowmelt dates, and higher proportions of rain precipitation. Concern over the impacts of Ndep to sensitive, high-elevation ecosystems has prompted calls for research into its interaction with climate change and the effects of Ndep on ecosystem services. This is a collaborative project between the National Park Service and Washington State University...
The Coastal Engineering Inventory project aims to inventory, catalog and map coastal engineering projects in and adjacent to coastal units of the National Park Service (NPS). The goal is to develop a greater understanding of the extent of coastal engineering modification along our coast and provide information to allow resource managers to make better decisions about how to preserve NPS resources and allow for visitor use and recreation. This project will build upon an existing pilot study and GIS database that was completed for ten coastal parks. This collaborative project will expand the coastal engineering inventory to include an evaluation of coastal engineering impacts on NPS resources by developing a prioritized...
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The Gulf of Alaska is one of the most productive marine ecosystems on Earth, supporting salmon fisheries that alone provide nearly $1 billion per year in economic benefits to Southeast Alaska. Glaciers are central to many of the area’s natural processes and economic activities, but the rates of glacier loss in Alaska are among the highest on Earth, with a 26-36 percent reduction in total volume expected by the end of the century. This project brought together scientists and managers at a workshop to synthesize the impacts of glacier change on the region’s coastal ecosystems and to determine related research and monitoring needs. Collected knowledge shows that melting glaciers are expected to have cascading effects...
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Rainwater Harvesting and Stormwater Research is a priority research area identified by the Arizona Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Water Sustainability, which recommended that universities take the lead to identify regulatory barriers, cost and benefits, water quality issues and avenues for increasing utilization of stormwater and rainwater at the regional, community and individual property level. In an effort to address the priority research area, the University of Arizona will develop a decision support tool to be used by public utilities and agencies to evaluate suitability and cost-effectiveness of rainwater and stormwater capture at various scales for multiple benefits. Data from the City of Tucson, Arizona...


map background search result map search result map Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Cheatgrass Die-Off Areas in the Northern Great Basin Improving Projections of Hydrology in the Pacific Northwest From Icefield to Ocean: Glacier Change Impacts to Alaska’s Coastal Ecosystems Moving from Awareness to Action: Informing Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Planning for Idaho and Montana National Forests Utility Guide to Rainwater/Stormwater Harvesting as an Adaptive Response to Climate Change Integrated Scenarios Tools: Improving the Accessibility of the Integrated Scenarios Data Can We Conserve Wetlands Under a Changing Climate? Mapping Wetland Hydrology in the Columbia Plateau Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Cheatgrass Die-Off Areas in the Northern Great Basin Moving from Awareness to Action: Informing Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Planning for Idaho and Montana National Forests Can We Conserve Wetlands Under a Changing Climate? Mapping Wetland Hydrology in the Columbia Plateau Integrated Scenarios Tools: Improving the Accessibility of the Integrated Scenarios Data Utility Guide to Rainwater/Stormwater Harvesting as an Adaptive Response to Climate Change Improving Projections of Hydrology in the Pacific Northwest From Icefield to Ocean: Glacier Change Impacts to Alaska’s Coastal Ecosystems