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Changes in stream temperature can have significant impacts on water quality and the health and survival of aquatic fish and wildlife. Water managers, planners, and decision makers are in need of scientific data to help them prepare for and adapt to changes and conserve important resources. Scientists are tasked with ensuring that this data is produced in useful formats and is accessible to these stakeholders. In October 2015, project researchers hosted and facilitated a 1.5 day workshop, “Data Storage, Dissemination and Harvesting”, that brought together over 50 stakeholders from state and federal agencies, tribal governments, universities, and non-profit organizations interested in monitoring stream temperature...
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In Alaska, recent research has identified particular areas of the state where both a lack of soil moisture and warming temperatures increase the likelihood of wildfire. While this is an important finding, this previous research did not take into account the important role that melting snow, ice, and frozen ground (permafrost) play in replenshing soil moisture in the spring and summer months. This project will address this gap in the characterization of fire risk using the newly developed monthly water balance model (MWBM). The MWBM takes into account rain, snow, snowmelt, glacier ice melt, and the permafrost layer to better calculate soil moisture replenishment and the amount of moisture that is lost to the atmosphere...
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As a low-lying coastal nation, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is at the forefront of exposure to climate change impacts. The Republic of the Marshall Islands has a strong dependence on natural resources and biodiversity not only for food and income but also for culture and livelihood. However, these resources are threatened by rising sea levels and associated coastal hazards (storm surges, saltwater intrusion, erosion, etc.). High-quality data for atoll ‘ridge to reef’ (land and ocean) areas are needed to provide remote communities with the tools and strategies to make adaptation efforts before disasters occur. Although the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ National Strategic Plans recognize the need to...
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Throughout Alaska, land managers and rural communities are faced with developing climate adaptation strategies to prepare for changes in landscapes, ecosystems and terrestrial habitats and their associated resources and services. One of the greatest challenges for land use managers and stakeholders in Alaska is the discovery and accessibility of relevant scientific information and data. The effective dissemination and communication of science relies on improving access for stakeholders to discover research, management plans, and data within their geographic area of interest. To respond to this need, the Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NWBLCC) has launched the Northwest Boreal Science and Management...
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Climate change is causing an increase in the amount of forested area burned by wildfires in the western U.S. The warm, dry post-fire conditions of the region may limit tree regeneration in some areas, potentially causing a shift to non-forest vegetation. Managers are increasingly challenged by the combined impacts of greater wildfire activity, the significant uncertainty about whether forests will recover, and limited resources for reforestation efforts. Simultaneously, there has been an increased focus on post-fire reforestation efforts as tree planting has become a popular climate change mitigation strategy across the nation. Therefore, with increased interest and need, it is crucial to identify where varying...
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The NC CASC works to communicate the science conducted at the center out to the North Central region through a variety of communication resources such as state specific fact sheets, newsletters, social media and webinars. These communication products aim to connect researchers, managers, and practitioners to usable science, success stories, and solutions for natural and cultural resource management and adaptation under a changing climate. More specifically, the webinar series focuses on ongoing research and practices from the NC CASC network, and feature topics of critical importance to natural resource managers and other stakeholders within the region. To learn more about NC CASC communications, please visit the...
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Climate change influences apex predators in complex ways, due to their important trophic position, capacity for resource plasticity, and sensitivity to numerous anthropogenic stressors. Bald eagles, an ecologically and culturally significant apex predator, congregate seasonally in high densities on salmon spawning rivers across the Pacific Northwest. One of the largest eagle concentrations is in the Skagit River watershed, which connects the montane wilderness of North Cascades National Park to the Puget Sound. Using multiple long-term datasets, we evaluated the relationship between local bald eagle abundance, chum and coho salmon availability and phenology, and the number and timing of flood events in the Skagit...
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Natural and cultural resource managers across the country have begun to use a tool known as "scenario planning" to help prepare for climate change effects that may unfold in the future. In this process, scientific projections are used to identify different plausible, relevant, and divergent climate conditions for a particular area, and then through a participatory process, scientists and resource managers develop "scenarios" which describe the implications of these different conditions for resources and management. The North Central CASC has been working with the National Park Service (NPS) Climate Change Response Program (CCRP) to encourage and support national parks in incorporating climate science and scenario...
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Landscape-scale conservation of threatened and endangered species is often challenged by multiple, sometimes conflicting, land uses. In Hawaiʻi, efforts to conserve native forests have come into conflict with objectives to sustain non-native game mammals, such as feral pigs, goats, and deer, for subsistence and sport hunting. Maintaining stable or increasing game populations represents one of the greatest obstacles to the recovery of Hawaii’s 425 threatened and endangered plant species. Many endemic Hawaiian species have declined and become endangered as a result of herbivorous non-native game mammals. Meanwhile, other environmental changes, including the spread of invasive grasses and changing precipitation patterns...
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The Pacific Ocean is home to a number of low-lying, coastal national parks and wildlife refuges. These public lands are situated on coral reef-lined islands that are susceptible to inundation from sea-level rise and flooding during storms. Because of their low-lying nature and limited availability of space, ecosystems, cultural resources, and infrastructure on these islands are particularly vulnerable to flooding. Sea-level rise will further exacerbate the impact of storms on island parks and refuges by increasing wave-driven coastal flooding, with consequences for ecological and human communities alike. However, most assessments of future conditions at coastal national parks and refuges consider only permanent...
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Tribal resource managers in the southwest U.S. are facing a host of challenges related to environmental change, including increasing temperatures, longer periods of drought, and invasive species. These threats are exacerbating the existing challenges of managing complex ecosystems. In a rapidly changing environment, resource managers need powerful tools and the most complete information to make the most effective decisions possible. Traditional Ecological Knowledge has enabled Indigenous peoples to adaptively manage and thrive in diverse environments for thousands of years, yet it is generally underutilized and undervalued, particularly in the context of western scientific approaches. Traditional Ecological...
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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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Inland fishes provide important ecosystem services to communities worldwide and are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Fish respond to climate change in diverse and nuanced ways, which creates challenges for practitioners of fish conservation, climate change adaptation, and management. Although climate change is known to affect fish globally, a comprehensive online, public database of how climate change has impacted inland fishes worldwide and adaptation or management practices that may address these impacts does not exist. We conducted an extensive, systematic primary literature review to identify peer-reviewed journal publications describing projected and documented examples of climate change...
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Grasslands in the northern Great Plains are important ecosystems that support local economies, tribal communities, livestock grazing, diverse plant and animal communities, and large-scale migrations of big game ungulates, grassland birds, and waterfowl. Climate change and variability impact how people and animals live on and interact with grasslands, and can bring more frequent droughts, fires, or new plant species that make managing these landscapes challenging. Understanding how climate change and variability will impact grassland ecosystems and their management in the 21st century first requires a synthesis of what is known across all of these scales and a gap analysis to identify key areas of focus for future...
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The distribution and abundance of cheatgrass, an invasive annual grass native to Eurasia, has increased substantially across the Intermountain West, including the Great Basin. Cheatgrass is highly flammable, and as it has expanded, the extent and frequency of fire in the Great Basin has increased by as much as 200%. These changes in fire regimes are associated with loss of the native sagebrush, grasses, and herbaceous flowering plants that provide habitat for many native animals, including Greater Sage-Grouse. Changes in vegetation and fire management have been suggested with the intent of conserving Greater Sage-Grouse. However, the potential responses of other sensitive-status birds to these changes in management...
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Road crossings at rivers and streams can create barriers to the movement of migratory fish when they are improperly designed or constructed. Washington State is home to several threatened species of salmon and trout, including bull trout, and recovery plans for these fish include repairing or replacing culverts that currently block their passage. The state is currently looking to replace approximately 1,000 culverts at an estimated cost of $2.45 billion. As engineers re-design these culverts, which typically have a service life of 50-100 years, it will be important to consider how changing climate conditions will impact streams in the region. Climate change is projected to increase peak streamflows, and therefore...
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In the Western U.S., approximately 65% of the water supply comes from forested regions with most of the water that feeds local rivers coming from snowmelt that originates in mountain forests. The Rio Grande headwaters (I.e. the primary water generating region of the Rio Grande river) is experiencing large changes to the landscape primarily from forest fires and bark beetle infestations. Already, 85% of the coniferous forests in this region have been affected by the bark beetle, and projections indicate greater changes will occur as temperatures increase. In this area, most of the precipitation falls as snow in the winter, reaches a maximum depth in the late spring, and melts away due to warmer temperatures by early...
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The 2017 fire season in California was highly unusual with its late seasonal timing, the areal extent it burned, and its devastation to communities. These fires were associated with extreme winds and were potentially also influenced by unusually dry conditions during several years leading up to the 2017 events. This fire season brought additional attention and emphasized the vital need for managers in the western U.S. to have access to scientific information on when and where to expect dangerous fire events. Understanding the multiple factors that cause extreme wildfire events is critical to short and long-term forecasting and planning. Seasonal climate measures such as temperature and precipitation are commonly...
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Drought and wildfire pose enormous threats to the integrity of natural resources that land managers are charged with protecting. Recent observations and modeling forecasts indicate that these stressors will likely produce catastrophic ecosystem transformations, or abrupt changes in the condition of plants, wildlife, and their habitats, in regions across the country in coming decades. In this project, researchers will bring together land managers who have experienced various degrees of ecosystem transformation (from not yet experiencing any changes to seeing large changes across the lands they manage) to share their perspectives on how to mitigate large-scale changes in land condition. The team will conduct surveys...
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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...


map background search result map search result map Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes Relations Among Cheatgrass, Fire, Climate, and Sensitive-Status Birds across the Great Basin Fish and Climate Change (FiCli) Database: Informing climate change adaptation and management actions for freshwater fishes Improving Characterizations of Future Wildfire Risk in Alaska Prioritizing Stream Temperature Data Collection to Meet Stakeholder Needs and Inform Regional Analyses Northwest Boreal Science and Management Research Tool Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Supporting Climate-Resilient Design for In-Stream Restoration and Fish Passage Projects Preventing Extreme Fire Events by Learning from History: The Effects of Wind, Temperature, and Drought Extremes on Fire Activity Managing Non-native Game Mammals to Reduce Future Conflicts with Native Plant Conservation in Hawai‘i Synthesis of Climate Impacts and Adaptation on Grassland Ecosystems in the Northern Great Plains The Impact of Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise on Future Flooding of Coastal Parks and Refuges in Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands Exploring the Past to Plan for the Future: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Paleoperspectives to Inform Climate Change Adaptation Science to Inform Post-fire Conifer Regeneration and Reforestation Strategies Under Changing Climate Conditions Learning From the Past and Planning for the Future: Experience-Driven Insight Into Managing for Ecosystem Transformations Induced by Drought and Wildfire Enhancing Stakeholder Capacity for Coastal Inundation Assessments in the Marshall Islands Supporting the National Park Service in Climate Adaptation Planning Estimating the Future Effects of Forest Disturbance on Snow Water Resources in a Changing Environment Developing Products to Increase Climate Science Communication Supporting Climate-Resilient Design for In-Stream Restoration and Fish Passage Projects Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes Enhancing Stakeholder Capacity for Coastal Inundation Assessments in the Marshall Islands Preventing Extreme Fire Events by Learning from History: The Effects of Wind, Temperature, and Drought Extremes on Fire Activity Relations Among Cheatgrass, Fire, Climate, and Sensitive-Status Birds across the Great Basin Exploring the Past to Plan for the Future: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Paleoperspectives to Inform Climate Change Adaptation Learning From the Past and Planning for the Future: Experience-Driven Insight Into Managing for Ecosystem Transformations Induced by Drought and Wildfire Science to Inform Post-fire Conifer Regeneration and Reforestation Strategies Under Changing Climate Conditions Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Synthesis of Climate Impacts and Adaptation on Grassland Ecosystems in the Northern Great Plains Supporting the National Park Service in Climate Adaptation Planning Developing Products to Increase Climate Science Communication Northwest Boreal Science and Management Research Tool Improving Characterizations of Future Wildfire Risk in Alaska Prioritizing Stream Temperature Data Collection to Meet Stakeholder Needs and Inform Regional Analyses The Impact of Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise on Future Flooding of Coastal Parks and Refuges in Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands Fish and Climate Change (FiCli) Database: Informing climate change adaptation and management actions for freshwater fishes