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

Co-Production of Science and Planning to Support Climate-Informed Decisions About Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region (Phase 2)
Principal Investigator
Molly Cross


Start Date
End Date
Release Date


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 to identify how [...]

Child Items (3)


Principal Investigator :
Molly Cross
Co-Investigator :
Shelley Crausbay, Lauren Oakes
Funding Agency :
North Central CASC
Cooperator/Partner :
Sarah Reed, Heidi Krester
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program

Attached Files

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“Yellowstone River Valley, Neal Herbert, NPS - Credit”
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Climate changes 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 populations and their habitats. Given that time and money for conservation are limited, there is a need for responsible investments that embrace the realities of a changing climate. In some cases, managers may decide to make strategic adjustments in how their actions are designed, where those actions are located, and when actions are needed most, in order to achieve management goals as the climate changes. A key part of making these forward-looking decisions requires having access to climate information that can be easily integrated into an agency’s decision-making process. When climate science is conducted without an understanding of how that science can (or cannot) be incorporated into a management decision, the information may not be useful to decision makers. The proposed project addresses this concern by creating an opportunity for managers and scientists to work hand-in-hand to discuss how climate change might affect management decisions, identify available science that can inform those decisions, and identify gaps in available knowledge that could be filled in order to make more climate-informed decisions. Our multi-year project has three parts: 1) Ask state wildlife managers in the North Central region what species are of the highest priority for their agencies and constituencies, 2) Convene managers and scientists to co-develop a workplan for science and planning that will help incorporate climate change into decisions for one of those high priority species, and 3) Work with those managers and scientists to produce, synthesize, and apply climate science that is of greatest use to managers’ decisions about the target species. This project will offer a model for making climate science more actionable, and management decisions more climate-informed.

Project Extension

typeTechnical Summary
valueTo answer widespread calls for actionable climate science, we propose to co-produce science and planning with state managers and other actors to support climate-informed decisions for a species of conservation concern in the North Central Region. This proposal builds off of work we are conducting in Phase 1 (underway this year), to identify a short-list of species that are a high priority for multiple state wildlife management agencies, the subject of pending or planned decisions or actions, and for which the decisions/actions could be improved by information on climate-related stressors or adaptation options. In Phase 2 (proposed here) we will design and pilot a co-production process for one of the species identified in Phase 1. Our co-production process will involve convening a Co-Production Working Group of relevant managers and scientists to discuss the decision context for the pilot species and how climate change may affect those decisions, what climate information is available to support climate-informed decision-making for the pilot species, and what information is lacking, but may be useful to inform those decisions. Our approach will be informed by guiding principles for the co-production of actionable science, and recent frameworks for climate adaptation planning. We will share project results and lessons learned with key audiences such as participating managers and scientists, the NCCSC community, others interested in the pilot species, and others interested in the process of co-producing actionable climate science through the following products: 1) Summary of the Working Group’s discussions on the pilot species; 2) Draft workplan for implementing science synthesis/new research/planning of greatest value to near-term management decisions for the pilot species; 3) Powerpoint presentations; and 4) Manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. Ultimately, we aim to support climate-informed conservation decisions by advancing actionable climate science and planning for a pilot species. We will also test and refine a model process for co-production of climate-informed management decisions that could be adopted broadly within the NCCSC, other regional CSCs, and organizations interested in actionable science.

Budget Extension

typeAward Type
valueCooperative Agreement
typeAward Number

Yellowstone River Valley, Neal Herbert, NPS - Credit
Yellowstone River Valley, Neal Herbert, NPS - Credit


Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS


  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers
  • North Central CASC



Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC ff8f9492-06b1-4c96-a489-abd530a2370c
StampID NCCWSC NC18-CM1348

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