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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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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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Climate change is poised to alter natural systems, the frequency of extreme weather, and human health and livelihoods. In order to effectively prepare for and respond to these challenges in the north-central region of the U.S., people must have the knowledge and tools to develop plans and adaptation strategies. The objective of this project was to build stakeholders’ capacity to respond to climate change in the north-central U.S., filling in gaps not covered by other projects in the region. During the course of this project, researchers focused on three major activities: Tribal Capacity Building: Researchers provided tribal colleges and universities with mini-grants to develop student projects to document climate-related...
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Within the Yurok Tribe’s territory in northwest California, tribal, public, and private land managers share the overlapping goal of promoting forests that are more resilient to climate-related disturbances through the implementation of forest treatments that are based on traditional tribal knowledge. Managers seek to understand how restoration strategies such as prescribed burning, tree harvesting, and fuel reduction can promote more resilient forests and increase the capacity of forests and human communities to adapt to extreme weather events, drought, fire, and pests and diseases. Very few existing studies of forest vulnerability and resilience have incorporated indigenous or tribal knowledge. In order to promote...
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Fruit-producing shrubs such as huckleberries, salal, and hazelnut are an important component of social history and traditional tribal diets in the Pacific Northwest. The fruits of these shrubs are also an important food source for foraging wildlife and pollinators, and serve as the basis for both non-tribal harvesting and small-scale commercial operations. Among land managers and tribes, there is a strong interest in preserving and restoring these culturally important plant species across the Pacific Northwest. However, limited knowledge is available on the current ranges of shrub species, or how climate change will impact future ranges or the timing of flowering and fruiting for key Northwest shrub species. ...
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The loss or decline of culturally significant plants is a major concern for many tribal managers. Culturally significant plants are essential to many aspects of life for tribal members, including medicine, ceremonial practices, and traditional food dishes. In many parts of the U.S., droughts, floods, and changes in the timing of frost events are stressing these plants and in some cases have led to decreases in their areas of suitable habitat or a reduction in their resistance to disease. The goal of this project is to hold a research symposium that will bring together tribal resource managers and scientists from a range of disciplines in the South Central region to identify which culturally significant species...
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Healthy forests in the western United States provide multiple benefits to society, including harvestable timber, soil stabilization, and habitat for wildlife. On the Navajo Nation, over 5 million acres of forest provide wood that heats 50% of homes, building materials, summer forage for livestock, and drinking water. However, warming temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns can increase forests’ vulnerability to insect outbreaks and catastrophic wildfire. Forest managers, particularly those associated with tribal communities that depend on forests to maintain a subsistence lifestyle, need knowledge-based tools in order to reduce the impacts of climate change on forests. This project aims to study approximately...
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The Nisqually River Delta represents the largest wetland restoration in the Pacific Northwest. The restoration resulted in a 50% increase in potential salt marsh habitat. The Delta supports threatened salmon fisheries, large populations of migratory birds, and provides unique opportunities for recreation. The Delta also provides multiple ecosystem services, which are the benefits that wildlife or ecosystems provide to people. Development and changing climate patterns threaten to alter the Delta and the ecosystem services it provides. This study aims to quantify the value of existing and potential future ecosystem services from the Delta and provide insight into the vulnerability of the mosaic of habitats that support...
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The Schitsu'umsh people (Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Idaho) have an intimate relationship with their landscape and a rich knowledge of how to interact with the environment in a way that benefits human, plant, and animal communities alike. Such knowledge and practices can provide valuable insight as to how tribal and non-tribal resource managers, communities, and governments can best respond to the effects of a changing climate. This project was a pilot effort to collect and translate indigenous knowledge and practices into shareable formats. Researchers developed documents, images, lesson plans, and innovative, interactive 3-D virtual reality simulations that effectively convey Schitsu’umsh knowledge and practices and...
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The overarching project goal was to develop overlapping conceptual models of environmental and community health indicators in reference to climate forecasts. The sensitivity of species and habitats to climate was cross-walked with recently developed Coast Salish community health indicators (e.g., ceremonial use, knowledge exchange, and physiological well-being) in order to demonstrate how Indigenous Knowledge can be used in conjunction with established landscape-level conservation indicators (e.g., shellfish and water-quality) and employed to identify resource management priorities. Project products included: (1) maps and models that highlight potential impacts in regard to Swinomish first foods and cultural sites;...
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For thousands of years, Pacific lamprey and Pacific eulachon have been important traditional foods for Native American tribes of the Columbia River Basin and coastal areas of Oregon and Washington. These fish have large ranges – spending part of their lives in the ocean and part in freshwater streams – and they require specific environmental conditions to survive, migrate, and reproduce. For these reasons, Pacific lamprey and Pacific eulachon are likely threatened by a variety of climate change impacts to both their ocean and freshwater habitats. However, to date, little research has explored these impacts, despite the importance of these species to tribal communities. This project will evaluate the effects of...
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Tribal nations are one of the most vulnerable populations to climate change in the United States, because of their reliance upon the natural environment to sustain traditional ways of life and current lack of training and resources to respond to climate change impacts. This project sought to increase south-central U.S. tribes’ basic knowledge of climate science, connect them with tools to assess their communities’ vulnerabilities, and build their skills to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies. Researchers conducted multiple two-day climate training sessions for Native American tribes in Louisiana and New Mexico. The trainings emphasized regionally specific scientific and social scientific aspects of climate...
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Several times during the severe drought of 2010-2015, communities within the jurisdictional territories of the Chickasaw Nation and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma were precariously close to running out of water. According to previous studies, temperatures are expected to continue to rise throughout the southern states, and droughts are predicted to be longer and more severe. Even small changes to a river’s water flow regime may have unanticipated consequences on the water resources, especially for communities that rely on direct river diversions to supply their needs. A suitable water availability model is a key tool needed to help communities investigate where vulnerabilities in water resources may occur and the...
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Tribal nations in the Pacific Northwest have distinctive, long-standing relationships with their aboriginal lands and associated resources. These relationships are being disrupted by changing climate conditions. Most scientific information about changes in forests and other ecosystems have not been directed toward addressing the concerns of tribal communities. For example, they lack culturally-specific information pertaining to tribal knowledge systems, cultural practices, livelihoods, food and water security, and economies. Furthermore, ensuring that research is conducted in ways that are relevant to tribes is difficult when those who produce these studies lack experience in working with tribes, and are unfamiliar...
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Native Nations face unique challenges related to climate change. Native Americans have a deep connection to the natural environment within which their livelihoods, cultural identity, and spiritual practices are rooted. Changes to water flow and hydrology, landscapes, and ecosystems, in combination with socio-economic and other factors, amplify tribal vulnerabilities to climate change. In the Southwest, tribes are already experiencing a range of impacts that are at least partially related to climate change. They include serious water quality and supply issues in the context of prolonged drought; reduced ability to grow or collect important traditional crops and raw materials; loss of forest resources from large and...
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The Red River Basin is a vital source of water in the South Central U.S., supporting ecosystems, drinking water, agriculture, tourism and recreation, and cultural ceremonies. Stretching from the High Plains of New Mexico eastward to the Mississippi River, the Red River Basin encompasses parts of five states – New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Further, 74% of the jurisdictional boundaries of the Chickasaw and Choctaw Tribes are located within the basin. Water resources in the basin have been stressed in recent years due to a multi-year drought and increasing demands for consumptive use by metropolitan areas in Oklahoma and Texas. Unfortunately, currently available projections of future precipitation...
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The Climate Adaptation Science Centers have conducted numerous training and skills development activities to support tribal and indigenous partners as they seek to use scientific information and techniques to understand and respond to climate change impacts. Because these activities were generated in different CASC regions, with different tribal / indigenous stakeholders, climate change contexts, and training needs, and because the CASC network encourages innovation, these activities were not developed or implemented in a nationally consistent format. This project seeks to identify relevant activities, gather related materials and links that might benefit others seeking to implement similar activities, provide a...
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Native Americans are one of the most vulnerable populations to climate change in the United States because of their reliance upon the natural environment for food, livelihood, and cultural traditions. In the Southwest, where the temperature and precipitation changes from climate change are expected to be particularly severe, tribal communities may be especially vulnerable. Through this project, researchers sought to better understand the climate change threats facing the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of northwestern Nevada. Researchers found that the Tribe’s vulnerability to climate change stems from its dependence on Pyramid Lake, which may experience reduced water supply in the future. This will potentially have negative...
Categories: Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: 2012, CASC, Completed, Completed, Completed, All tags...
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Tribal communities are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change because of their reliance on the natural environment to sustain traditional activities and their limited resources to respond to climate change impacts. At the same time, tribes have valuable traditional knowledge that can aid regional efforts to address climate change. There were two overarching goals of this project: The first was to build partnerships between South Central Climate Science Center (SC CSC) researchers and tribal communities, linking tribes with climate change tools and resources and developing a model that could be replicated in other regions. The second goal was to document tribal viewpoints on climate change impacts...
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Pinyon-juniper woodlands are important ecosystems in the western U.S. that provide numerous critical environmental, economic, and cultural benefits. For example, pinyon pines are a significant cultural resource for multiple Native American Tribes and provide necessary habitat for plants and wildlife (including at risk species, such as the pinyon-jay). Despite their importance, stress put on pinyon-juniper woodlands by wildfires and other interacting effects of climate change are causing major population declines of these woodland trees. Such changes to pinyon-juniper woodlands lead to uncertainty for land managers on best practices for protecting these ecosystems from stand replacing fire (where most or all of...


map background search result map search result map Understanding the Interactions Between Human Health, Environment, and Climate in Salish Sea Communities Climate Change Vulnerability of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in the Southwest Inter-Tribal Workshops on Climate Change in the Central U.S. Impacts of Climate Change on Water Flows in the Red River Basin Capacity Building in the North-Central U.S.: Tribal Engagement, Climate Training, and PhenoCam Deployment Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Pacific Lamprey and Pacific Eulachon Collecting and Applying Schitsu’umsh Indigenous Knowledge and Practices to Climate Change Decision Making Climate Training for Native Tribes of Louisiana and New Mexico Building Partnerships to Assess Tribal Adaptation to Climate Change and Science Needs in the Southwest Climate Impacts on the Locations and Availability of Traditional Food Sources from Native Northwestern Shrubs Examining the Effects of Climate on American Indian Uses of Forests in Pacific Northwest and Northern California Synthesis of Climate Impacts and Adaptation on Grassland Ecosystems in the Northern Great Plains Research Symposium: Culturally Significant Plants and Climate Change Forest Monitoring and Tree Ring Data to Inform Forest Management on the Navajo Nation Promoting Resilience and Adaptive Capacity of Forests and Tribal Communities in Northern California Synthesis of CASC-Led Climate Training Activities for Tribes and Indigenous Communities Exploring the Past to Plan for the Future: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Paleoperspectives to Inform Climate Change Adaptation Determining Successful Management and Restoration Strategies for Pinyon-Juniper Communities in the Face of Changing Climate and Wildfire Assessing the Benefits and Vulnerability of Current and Future Potential Ecosystem Services of the Nisqually River Delta and other Puget Sound Estuaries Building Tools to Assess Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of the Canadian River Basin Promoting Resilience and Adaptive Capacity of Forests and Tribal Communities in Northern California Forest Monitoring and Tree Ring Data to Inform Forest Management on the Navajo Nation Understanding the Interactions Between Human Health, Environment, and Climate in Salish Sea Communities Assessing the Benefits and Vulnerability of Current and Future Potential Ecosystem Services of the Nisqually River Delta and other Puget Sound Estuaries Determining Successful Management and Restoration Strategies for Pinyon-Juniper Communities in the Face of Changing Climate and Wildfire Collecting and Applying Schitsu’umsh Indigenous Knowledge and Practices to Climate Change Decision Making Impacts of Climate Change on Water Flows in the Red River Basin Examining the Effects of Climate on American Indian Uses of Forests in Pacific Northwest and Northern California Climate Impacts on the Locations and Availability of Traditional Food Sources from Native Northwestern Shrubs Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Pacific Lamprey and Pacific Eulachon Exploring the Past to Plan for the Future: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Paleoperspectives to Inform Climate Change Adaptation Climate Training for Native Tribes of Louisiana and New Mexico Research Symposium: Culturally Significant Plants and Climate Change Inter-Tribal Workshops on Climate Change in the Central U.S. Building Tools to Assess Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources of the Canadian River Basin Building Partnerships to Assess Tribal Adaptation to Climate Change and Science Needs in the Southwest Capacity Building in the North-Central U.S.: Tribal Engagement, Climate Training, and PhenoCam Deployment Synthesis of Climate Impacts and Adaptation on Grassland Ecosystems in the Northern Great Plains Synthesis of CASC-Led Climate Training Activities for Tribes and Indigenous Communities