CU Boulder to Host Federal Climate Adaptation Science Center

CU Boulder to Host Federal Climate Adaptation Science Center



Researchers will focus on science in support of natural resource management, addressing tribal, federal, state and local needs


The U.S. Geological Survey has selected a University of Colorado Boulder team to host the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center for the next five years, in a move that will foster both innovation and applied research, said new University Director Jennifer Balch. The center is one of eight regional climate centers created to help meet the changing needs of land and resource managers across the country; the North Central center serves Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska.


Balch, an assistant professor of Geography at CU Boulder and director of CIRES’ Earth Lab, said the new, $4.5-million award recognizes the huge potential for synergy with existing campus programs and expertise.


“The new center is about generating useable science, and Earth Lab is all about accelerating discovery. The key advantage of having them both at CU Boulder and CIRES is that we can tightly couple those things to better serve resource managers,” Balch said.


U.S. Geological Survey funds will enable CU Boulder researchers and a consortium of  partner institutions to focus state-of-the-art analysis tools on climate-related challenges facing natural resource management agencies: How to manage the habitat of a species in a changing environment, for example, and how to protect Tribal lands resources in the face of a changing climate. “Or how do we manage a resource so that it’s resilient in the face of extreme events?” Balch said.


Consortium partners include the Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance, Wildlife Conservation Society, Conservation Science Partners, South Dakota State University, and the University of Montana.