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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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National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) along the East Coast of the United States protect habitat for a host of wildlife species, while also offering storm surge protection, improving water quality, supporting nurseries for commercially important fish and shellfish, and providing recreation opportunities for coastal communities. Yet in the last century, coastal ecosystems in the eastern U.S. have been severely altered by human development activities as well as sea-level rise and more frequent extreme events related to climate change. These influences threaten the ability of NWRs to protect our nation’s natural resources and to sustain their many beneficial services. Through this project, researchers are collaborating with...
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Scientists, planners, policy makers and other decision-makers in the South Central U.S. want to understand the potential impacts of changes in climate, precipitation, and land-use patterns on natural and cultural resources. Though the potential impacts of climate change can be modeled to help decision-makers plan for future conditions, these models rarely incorporate changes in land-use that may occur. Climate change and land-use change are often linked, as shifts in precipitation and temperature can alter patterns in human land-use activities, such as agriculture. This project seeks to address this gap by developing new software tools that enable stakeholders to quickly develop custom, climate-sensitive land-use...
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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 Northwest Climate Conference (formerly called the Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference) is the premier climate science event for the region, providing a forum for researchers and practitioners to share scientific results and discuss challenges and solutions related to the impacts of climate change on people, natural resources, and infrastructure in the Northwest. Conference participants include policy- and decision-makers, resource managers, and scientists from academia, public agencies, sovereign tribal nations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. More information can be found at the conference website: http://pnwclimateconference.org. The Seventh Annual Northwest Climate Conference...
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In southwestern Colorado, land managers anticipate the impacts of climate change to include higher temperatures, more frequent and prolonged drought, accelerated snowmelt, larger and more intense fires, more extreme storms, and the spread of invasive species. These changes put livelihoods, ecosystems, and species at risk. Focusing on communities in southwestern Colorado’s San Juan and Gunnison river basins, this project will expand opportunities for scientists, land managers, and affected residents to identify actions that can support resilience and adaptation in the face of changing climate conditions. This project builds on the project “Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in southwestern...
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Researchers with the North Central Climate Science Center have made substantial progress in assessing the impacts of climate and land use change on wildlife and ecosystems across the region. Building on this progress, researchers will work with stakeholders to identify adaptation strategies and inform resource management in the areas that will be most affected by changing conditions. There are several components of this project. First, researchers will use the Department of Interior “resource briefs” as a mechanism to communicate information to resource managers on climate and land use change and their impacts to resources. These briefs will support coordinated management of ecosystems that contain public, private,...
The Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and their managing organization, the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey, have chosen the emerging climate science field of Ecological Drought as a research focus area. This workshop is part of a series of meetings at each of the nation’s eight CSCs aimed at collating our existing knowledge of the ecological impacts, resistance, and recovery from drought. The eight CSCs provide a fantastic opportunity to compare the ecological effects of drought, related research activities, and management options at different regions, spatial scales, and biomes.
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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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Hawaiʻi is considered a worldwide biodiversity hotspot, with nearly 90 percent of its native plants found nowhere else in the world. However, about half of these native plants are imperiled by threats including human development, non-native species, and climate change. Through this project, scientists modeled the relative vulnerability of over 1,000 native plant species to the effects of climate change. A panel of experts in Hawaiian plant species assisted with the development of the model and verified its results. From the model, researchers were able to develop a vulnerability score for each plant species and identify categories of species with high, medium, and low vulnerability to climate change. This information...
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Forests are of tremendous ecological and economic importance. They provide natural places for recreation, clean drinking water, and important habitats for fish and wildlife. However, the warmer temperatures and harsher droughts in the west that are related to climate change are causing die-offs of many trees. Outbreaks of insects, like the mountain pine beetle, that kill trees are also more likely in warmer, drier conditions. To maintain healthy and functioning forest ecosystems, one action forest managers can take is to make management decisions that will help forests adapt to future climate change. However, adaptation is a process based on genetic change and few tools are currently available for managers to use...
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A limited amount of valid scientific information about global climate change and its detrimental impacts has reached the public and exerted a positive impact on the public policy process or future planning for adaptation and mitigation. This project was designed to address this limitation by bringing together expertise in the social and communication sciences from targeted academic institutions affiliated with the Department of the Interior’s Climate Science Centers (CSCs) through a workshop. The project team brought together expertise in the social and communication sciences from targeted academic institutions, particularly experts and scholars who are affiliated with the nation’s CSCs, by means of an invited...
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The South Central U.S. is one of the main agricultural regions in North America: annual agricultural production is valued at more than $44 billion dollars. However, as climate conditions change, the region is experiencing more frequent and severe droughts, with significant impacts on agriculture and broader consequences for land management. For example, in 2011 drought caused an estimated $7.6 billion in agricultural losses in Texas and an additional $1.6 billion in Oklahoma. Although there are many drought monitoring tools available, most of these tools were developed without input from the stakeholders, such as farmers and ranchers, who are intended to use them. The goal of this project is to assess the information...
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Federal land managers need an adaptive management framework to accommodate changing conditions and that allows them to effectively link the appropriate science to natural resource management decision-making across jurisdictional boundaries. FRAME-SIMPPLLE is a collaborative modeling process designed to accomplish this goal by coupling the adaptive capabilities of the SIMPPLLE modeling system with accepted principles of collaboration. The two essential components of the process are FRAME (Framing Research in support of the Adaptive Management of Ecosystems), which creates a collaborative problem-solving environment, and SIMPPLLE (SIMulating Patterns and Processes at Landscape Scales), which is a vegetation dynamics...
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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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The Southeastern U.S. spans broad ranges of physiographic settings and contains a wide variety of aquatic systems that provide habitat for hundreds of endemic aquatic species that pose interesting challenges and opportunities for managers of aquatic resources, particularly in the face of climate change. For example, the Southeast contains the southernmost populations of the eastern brook trout and other cold-water dependent species. Climate change is predicted to increase temperatures in the South and is likely to have a substantial effect on extant populations of cold-water biota. Thus, aquatic managers are tasked with developing strategies for preserving cold-water dependent biota, such as eastern brook trout,...
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Sport fisheries of lakes are embedded in complex system of ecological and social interactions. The multiple drivers that affect lake sport fisheries, along with the complex interactions within lakes, make it difficult to forecast changes in sport fisheries and plan adaptive responses to build resilience of these important resources. Resilience involves managing with an eye toward critical thresholds for behavior of ecosystems. Project researchers are working to develop quantitative tools for assessment of thresholds in sport fisheries that can be used by management agencies to evaluate potential impacts of climate change mediated through species and habitat interactions. Several outputs of the project will be adaptable...
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Coastal wetlands and the many beneficial services they provide (e.g., purifying water, buffering storm surge, providing habitat) are changing and disappearing as a result of sea-level rise brought about by climate change. Scientists have developed a wealth of information and resources to predict and aid decision-making related to sea-level rise. However, while some of these resources are easily accessible by coastal managers, many others require more expert knowledge to understand or utilize. The goal of this project was to collate science and models pertaining to the effects of sea-level on coastal wetlands into a format that would be accessible and useful to resource managers. Researchers conducted training sessions...
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Throughout Alaska, land managers and rural communities are being called upon to develop climate adaptation strategies that prepare for changes in terrestrial habitat characteristics and their associated resources and services. Discovery of relevant documents and data sources is one of the greatest challenges for land use managers and stakeholders within Alaska despite -- and because of -- the tsunami of information available on the Internet. A focused document portal with geospatial and semantic search capabilities would assist land use mangers in their decision-making and planning processes by connecting them to current and historical research and scientific reports within their region of interest. Effective scientific...


map background search result map search result map Using a Collaborative Modeling Approach to Explore Climate and Landscape Change in the Northern Rockies and Inform Adaptive Management USGS-USFS Partnership to Help Managers Evaluate Conservation Strategies for Aquatic Ecosystems based on Future Climate Projections Building Capacity within the CSC Network to Effectively Deliver and Communicate Science to Resource Managers and Planners A Handbook for Resource Managers to Understand and Utilize Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Wetland Models Establishing Climate Change Vulnerability Rankings for Hawaiian Native Plants Improving Representation of Extreme Precipitation Events in Regional Climate Models Developing Effective Drought Monitoring Tools for Farmers and Ranchers in the South Central U.S. Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes Development of the Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe): A Searchable, Public Online Tool for Understanding Species and Habitat Vulnerability Moving from Awareness to Action: Informing Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Planning for Idaho and Montana National Forests Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges Integrated Scenarios Tools: Improving the Accessibility of the Integrated Scenarios Data Using Genetic Information to Understand Drought Tolerance and Bark Beetle Resistance in Whitebark Pine Forests Support for the Seventh Annual Northwest Climate Conference Building a Decision-Support Tool for Assessing the Impacts of Climate and Land Use  Change on Ecological Processes Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in Southwestern Colorado: Phase 2 Foundational Science Area: Climate Adaptation Strategies for Wildlife and Habitats in the North Central U.S. Northwest Science and Management Research Tool Using Genetic Information to Understand Drought Tolerance and Bark Beetle Resistance in Whitebark Pine Forests Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in Southwestern Colorado: Phase 2 Establishing Climate Change Vulnerability Rankings for Hawaiian Native Plants Moving from Awareness to Action: Informing Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Planning for Idaho and Montana National Forests Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes Integrated Scenarios Tools: Improving the Accessibility of the Integrated Scenarios Data Support for the Seventh Annual Northwest Climate Conference Building Capacity within the CSC Network to Effectively Deliver and Communicate Science to Resource Managers and Planners Improving Representation of Extreme Precipitation Events in Regional Climate Models Building a Decision-Support Tool for Assessing the Impacts of Climate and Land Use  Change on Ecological Processes USGS-USFS Partnership to Help Managers Evaluate Conservation Strategies for Aquatic Ecosystems based on Future Climate Projections Using a Collaborative Modeling Approach to Explore Climate and Landscape Change in the Northern Rockies and Inform Adaptive Management Foundational Science Area: Climate Adaptation Strategies for Wildlife and Habitats in the North Central U.S. Developing Effective Drought Monitoring Tools for Farmers and Ranchers in the South Central U.S. A Handbook for Resource Managers to Understand and Utilize Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Wetland Models Northwest Science and Management Research Tool 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