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Assessing the impact of flow alteration on aquatic ecosystems has been identified as a critical area of research nationally and in the Southeast U.S. This project aimed to address the Ecohydrology Priority Science Need of the SE CSC FY2012 Annual Science Work Plan by developing an inventory and evaluation of current efforts and knowledge gaps in hydrological modeling for flow-­‐ecology science in global change impact studies across the Southeast. To accomplish this goal, we completed a thorough synthesis and evaluation of hydrologic modeling efforts in the Southeast region (including all states of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,...
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The USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), as part of the work of the Interagency Land Management Adaptation Group (ILMAG), initiated a project in 2013 to develop plans for a searchable, public registry on climate change vulnerability assessments. Member agencies from the USGCRP Adaptation Science Work Group, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), and several NGO’s also contributed. Vulnerability assessments are important for identifying resources that are most likely to be affected by climate change and providing insights on why certain resources are vulnerable. Consequently, they provide valuable information for informing climate change adaptation planning. CRAVe allows...
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Social scientists funded through the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and the Climate Science Centers (CSCs) have an obligation to provide access to their climate science related research data. We suspect, as with other data types, that tools for creating and editing social science metadata specific to the climate science domain and linking the metadata to the actual data either do not exist or are non-intuitive for scientists. Through our research we sought to verify whether any definitive metadata tool for social scientists working in the climate science domain exists. We also sought to determine whether a commonly agreed upon social science metadata standard exists. We suspect that...
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There is growing evidence that headwater stream ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changing climate and land use, but managers are challenged by the need to address these threats at a landscape scale, often through coordination with multiple management agencies and landowners. This project sought to provide an example of cooperative landscape decision-making by addressing the conservation of headwater stream ecosystems in the face of climate change at the watershed scale. Predictive models were built for critical resources to examine the effects of the potential alternative actions on the objectives, taking account of climate effects and examining whether there are key uncertainties that impede decision making....
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The goal of this project is to inform implementation of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee (GYCC) Whitebark Pine (WBP) subcommittee’s “WBP Strategy” based on climate science and ecological forecasting. Project objectives are to: 1. Forecast ecosystem processes and WBP habitat suitability across the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) under alternative IPCC future scenarios; 2. Improve understanding of possible response to future climate by analyzing WBP/climate relationships in past millennia; 3. Develop WBP management alternatives; 4. Evaluate the alternatives under IPCC future scenarios in terms of WBP goals, ecosystem services, and costs of implementation; and 5. Draw recommendations for implementation...
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Contributing to a core component of the Nature’s Network, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy conducted an analysis on species-habitat associations data to develop a measure of overall species importance, summarized across all species, for each habitat class in the Northeast. This project extended the Habitat Associations project, in which the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative partnered with NatureServe to produce a tabular dataset linking set of terrestrial and aquatic habitat layers with NatureServe element occurrence data for over 600 species of greatest conservation concern identified by states in FWS Region 5. Results data from the analysis were delivered in tabular format and joined to the...
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Changing climate conditions such as increasing droughts, floods, and wildfires, hotter temperatures, declining snowpacks, and changes in the timing of seasonal events are already having an impact on wildlife and their habitats. In order to make forward-looking management decisions that consider ongoing and future projected changes in climate, managers require access to climate information that can be easily integrated into the planning process. Co-production, a process whereby scientists work closely with managers to identify and fill knowledge gaps, is an effective means of ensuring that science results will be directly useful to managers. Through a multi-phase project, researchers are implementing co-production...
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The beaches of the Hawaiian Islands attract nearly 9 million visitors each year, who inject around $15.6 billion into the state’s economy and support almost 200,000 jobs. Beyond their economic importance, Hawaiian beaches are also culturally and ecologically valuable. However, climate change driven sea-level rise is causing many beaches to disappear, endangering property, infrastructure, and critical habitats. The goal of this project was to develop a method for forecasting erosion-vulnerable beach areas that could be used in coastal management planning. Researchers focused on the island of Kauaʻi, modeling beach response to rising sea level over the next century and producing maps that provide information about...
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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 Department of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey have made it a priority to train the next generation of scientists and resource managers. The DOI Climate Science Centers (CSCs) are working to contribute to this initiative by building and supporting a network of students across the country who are interested in understanding climate impacts and adaptation. This project will support the development of a national communications and networking resource for early career scientists, managers, and conservation practitioners. The goal of this project is to facilitate and increase information sharing across the eight regional CSCs and consortium institutions. This will be achieved by working with and expanding...
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Appropriate ecological indicators of climate change can be used to measure concurrent changes in ecological systems, inform management decisions, and potentially to project the consequences of climate change. However, many of the available indicators for North American birds do not account for imperfect observation. We propose to use correlated-detection occupancy models to develop indicators from the North American Breeding Bird Survey data. The indicators will be used to test hypotheses regarding changes in range and distribution of breeding birds. The results will support the Northeast Climate Science Center’s Science Agenda, including the science priority: researching ecological vulnerability and species response...
We propose to support the revision and implementation of the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative’s Conservation Blueprint by integrating its Ecosystem Indicators into a structured decision support system that makes explicit how the Indicators are interrelated and how these will respond to management and policy interventions aimed at improving the conservation status of the South Atlantic region. Our specific objectives are to (1) develop ecological production functions that predict theecological impacts of selected conservation actions relative to current conditions, and to propagate these impacts through other affected systems or functions; (2) codify protocols for updating and curating geospatial...
We will develop SMART-SLEUTH, an advanced spatially explicit modeling framework designed to augment the current SLEUTH model with sophisticated smart-growth capabilities. Based on the latest version of SLEUTH, we will create an open-source GIS-enabled software package that will implement SMART-SLEUTH with advanced modules and tools for evaluating, predicting, and visualizing smart growth scenarios and outcomes. In this software package, a more user friendly Graphic User Interface (GUI), a multi-level automatic calibration approach built on machine learning algorithms, and new spatial landscape metrics for quantifying land change patterns will provide enhanced support for complex model configuration, calibration,...
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recently completed an unprecedented assessment of almost 14,000 dams in the Northeastern United States. The Northeast Aquatic Connectivity (NAC) project allows fisheries managers and other interested parties to assess dams at multiple scales based on their potential to benefit anadromous and resident fish species if removed or bypassed. This work has continued, with support from NOAA and USFWS, in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, where data refinements and further analysis have produced a web map and tool that allow users to interactively prioritize dams for mitigation at multiple scales and with varying criteria.The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) has recently completed...
Version 2.0 Data Viewer for the South Atlantic Create a Version 2.0 Simple Viewer for the South Atlantic Conservation Blueprint that includes updates, additional data (category priorities, actions, justifications, ownership, and partner data), and dynamic charting of indicators and presentation of ecosystem and analysis unit aggregate indicator scores. Continue to refine and improve the South Atlantic Conservation Planning Atlas (salcc.databasin.org) Provide technical guidance and recommendations about how to structure data and future Viewer platforms to achieve specific functions for future versions of the Blueprint hosted within an interactive viewer and the South Atlantic Conservation Planning Atlas.
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Determining which species, habitats, or ecosystems are most vulnerable to climate change enables resource managers to better set priorities for conservation action. To address the need for information on vulnerability, this research project will leverage the expertise of university partners to inform the North Central Climate Science Center on how to best assess the vulnerability of elements of biodiversity to climate and land use change in order to inform the development and implementation of management options. Outcomes from this activity will include 1) a framework for modeling vegetation type and species response to climate and land use change, 2) an evaluation of existing alternative vegetation and species...
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The South Central U.S. encompasses a wide range of ecosystem types and precipitation patterns. Average annual precipitation is less than 10 inches in northwest New Mexico but can exceed 60 inches further east in Louisiana. Much of the region relies on warm-season convective precipitation – that is, highly localized brief but intense periods of rainfall that are common in the summer. This type of precipitation is a significant driver of climate and ecosystem function in the region, but it is also notoriously difficult to predict since it occurs at such small spatial and temporal scales. While global climate models are helpful for understanding and predicting large-scale precipitation trends, they often do not capture...
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Hawaiian shorelines and near-shore waters have long been used for cultural activities, food gathering and fishing, and recreation. As seascapes are physically altered by changing climate, the ways in which people experience these environments will likely change as well. Local perspectives of how seascapes are changing over time can help managers better understand and manage these areas for both natural persistence and human use. For this project, researchers conducted interviews and surveys of surfers and other ocean users to gather observations and perceptions of change over time at Hilo Bay, Hawaiʻi. They combined these results with historical data on public beach use and biophysical data from monitoring buoys...


map background search result map search result map Assessing the Vulnerability of Vegetation to Future Climate in the North Central U.S. Science and Forecasting to Inform Implementation of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee’s Whitebark Pine Management Strategy Improving Representation of Extreme Precipitation Events in Regional Climate Models Development of the Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe): A Searchable, Public Online Tool for Understanding Species and Habitat Vulnerability Forecasting Beach Loss from Sea-Level Rise on the Island of Kauaʻi Changing Hawaiian Seascapes and Their Management Implications Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey Can We Conserve Wetlands Under a Changing Climate? Mapping Wetland Hydrology in the Columbia Plateau Models of ecological uplift from conservation activities in the SALCC Version 2.0 Data Viewer for the South Atlantic Analysis of Habitat Importance for Imperiled Species in Nature's Network Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Forecasting Beach Loss from Sea-Level Rise on the Island of Kauaʻi Changing Hawaiian Seascapes and Their Management Implications Can We Conserve Wetlands Under a Changing Climate? Mapping Wetland Hydrology in the Columbia Plateau Models of ecological uplift from conservation activities in the SALCC Version 2.0 Data Viewer for the South Atlantic Improving Representation of Extreme Precipitation Events in Regional Climate Models Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Analysis of Habitat Importance for Imperiled Species in Nature's Network Assessing the Vulnerability of Vegetation to Future Climate in the North Central U.S. Science and Forecasting to Inform Implementation of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee’s Whitebark Pine Management Strategy Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey Development of the Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe): A Searchable, Public Online Tool for Understanding Species and Habitat Vulnerability Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts