NC CASC Announces 2018 Projects

NC CASC Announces 2018 Projects


The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the following fiscal year 2018 projects funded via the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center:

Mapping the Risk of Ecological Transformation Across Pinyon Woodlands and the U.S. West
PIs: John Bradford (USGS Southwest Biological Science Center), Shelley Crausbay (Conservation Science Partners, Inc.)

This project will provide information on locations facing significant risk of ecological transformation in pinyon woodlands across the Western US. The team will use an array of paleorecords and other data to anticipate future transformation.


Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2

PIs: Molly Cross (Wildlife Conservation Society), Shelley Crausbay (Conservation Science Partners, Inc.)

Phase 1 of this project identified species and habitats that are of high concern to state wildlife management agencies, and for which the decisions could be improved by information on climate-related stressors or adaptation options. Phase 2 will follow up with multi-state support for needed science on one or more of the targets identified in Phase 1.

Improving the Success of Post-Fire Adaptive Management Strategies in Sagebrush Steppe

(project jointly funded by the Northwest, North Central and Southwest CASCs)

PI: Matt Germino (USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center)

This project will evaluate how ecological drought has affected seeding and planting outcomes in post-fire rehabilitation projects in sagebrush steppe, and contribute to the development of seeding, planting and related strategies that are part of an adaptive approach to post-fire management.

Predicting Future Forage Conditions for Elk and Mule Deer in Montana and Wyoming

PI: Tabitha Graves (USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center)

This project will explore changes in the timing of spring vegetation “green-up” and ungulate migration, and their effect on forage production, to inform changes to the BLM Kemmerer-Cokeville office’s habitat treatment plan.

Synthesizing Climate Change Impacts on Wildlife Health and Identifying Adaptation Strategies

(project jointly funded by the CASC network)

PIs: Erik Hofmeister, Jonathan Sleeman (USGS National Wildlife Health Center)

This project will review and synthesize existing information on the impacts of climate change on fish and wildlife health across North America. Researchers will develop a searchable database containing this information and will use that database to identify gaps in knowledge and unique areas of concern.


Supporting Tribal Climate Adaptation in the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains Region
(project co-funded with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA))

PIs: Shannon McNeeley (Colorado State University), Michael Durgo (Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes)

This project will build on past climate training (at the “climate 101” level) to develop a richer, more effective “2.0” version to assist tribes in using scientific principles and data in climate adaptation planning and implementation.

Climate-Driven Shifts in Prairie Pothole Wetlands: Assessing Future Impacts to Critical Waterfowl Habitats

PIs: David Mushet, Owen McKenna (USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center)

This project will examine the potential of climatic changes to impact wetland habitats important for waterfowl production in the North American Prairie Pothole Region. Specifically, the project will focus on changes in salt regimes, which can affect habitat quality.

Big Sagebrush Response to Wildfire and Invasive Grasses in the 21st Century

(project jointly funded by the Northwest, North Central and Southwest CASCs)

PI: Kyle Palmquist (University of Wyoming), John Bradford (USGS Southwest Biological Science Center)

This project will assess long-term, range-wide vulnerability of big sagebrush ecosystems to climate variability, grazing pressure, and wildfire-driven conversion to invasive annual grasslands.

Characterizing Historic Streamflow to Support Drought Planning in the Upper Missouri River Basin

(project co-funded with the Bureau of Reclamation)

PI: Greg Pederson (USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center)

This project will use tree-ring analysis to provide information on how river flows are affected by drought and other extremes, in order to inform water management decisions by the Bureau of Reclamation and other managers in the Upper Missouri River Basin.


Understanding Historical and Predicting Future Lake Temperatures in North and South Dakota
(this project is a geographic expansion of a project funded by the NE CASC)

PI: Jordan Read (USGS Center for Integrated Data Analytics)

This project will expand the area in which high quality lake temperature measurements are available and useful, primarily for fisheries management. It will generate lake water temperature predictions by combining existing monitoring data with innovative Process-Guided Data Driven temperature modeling to reconstruct daily contemporary lake temperatures from 1979 to 2018.


Refining Guidance for Incorporating Climate Science and Scenario Planning into National Park Service Resource Stewardship Strategies

PIs: Brian Miller (USGS North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center), Morgan Elmer (National Park Service)

This goal of this project is to expand testing and refine guidance for incorporating climate science and scenario planning into the National Park Service (NPS) Resource Stewardship Strategy (RSS) planning process. This additional work is important to ensure that the guidance is relevant to multiple contexts, because RSS are a cornerstone of NPS planning and are being completed for all NPS units.

Supporting the National Park Service Midwest Region Bison Management Plan

PIs: Amy Symstad (USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center), Brian Miller (USGS North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center), Nicole Athearn (National Park Service)

This project will evaluate the feasibility of attaining desired bison population and ecosystem conditions under a range of management and climate scenarios. These results will be used to inform annual decision making by assessing how short-term decisions may affect the ability to achieve long-term desired conditions.

Identifying Characteristics of Actionable Science for Drought Planning and Adaptation

PIs: Adam Wilke, Amanda Cravens (USGS Fort Collins Science Center)

This project will analyze two unique cases of water management to better understand how science can be translated into resource management actions and decision-making. In particular, this project seeks to understand 1) the characteristics that make science actionable and useful for water resource management and drought preparedness and 2) the ideal types of scientific knowledge or science products that facilitate the use of science in management and decision-making.