Regional Effort on Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Management

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Invasive species and climate change represent two of the five major global change threats to ecosystems.  An emerging initiative of the Northeast Climate Science Center aims to develop management-relevant research to improve invasive species management in the face of climate change.  Through working groups, information sharing and targeted research, this project addresses the information needs of invasive species managers in the context of climate change. RISCC Management is collaboratively led by the Department of Interior Northeast Climate Science Center, the New York Invasive Species Research Institute, and the University of Massachusetts to address the question “How can we manage for upcoming biological invasions in the light of climate change?”  The working group combines climate and invasive species scientists with invasive species managers and policy makers from the northeast to promote a two-way dialogue to 1) share regional knowledge about current management strategies and scientific insights; and 2) identify and address planning and information needs of managers related to invasive species and climate change.

Partners on this project include:  New York Invasive Species Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Maine Natural Areas Program,iMap Invasives/Natural Heritage Program, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Adirondack Park Partnership for Invasive Species Management, USA National Phenology Network, North Atlantic LCC, The Nature Conservancy, NYC Environmental Protection Bureau of Water Supply, Vermont Department of Forests Parks & Recreation, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, NEIWPCC

New Focal Research

Prioritizing range-shifting invasive plants for monitoring and management

    Through discussions with invasive species managers during two working group meetings and one two-day symposium in 2017, it is clear that managers want to develop climate-smart monitoring and management strategies, but lack critical information.  Gaps in information include response of range-shifting invasive plants to changing climate parameters. This project will use an environmental impacts assessment to prioritize the threat of range-shifting invasive plants, which will be used to inform proactive management strategies.

Tools and Products


Regional Effort on Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Management       

A website built to connect climate and invasive species scientists with invasive species managers and policy makers from the northeast to promote a two-way dialogue. 

  • B. Bradley gave a presentation on RISCC goals as well as impacts assessments for range shifting species to the Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG) in December 2018.

  • Valerie Pasqurella presented during a special session on gypsy moth at the Entomological Society of America's 2018 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC (November 2018).

  • Valerie Pasquarella presented "Using Landsat Time Series to Characterize Forest Insect Invasions: Case Studies from Southern New England" during the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program’s Innovations in Invasive Species Prevention and Management Summit 7/9/2018.

  •  Bethany Bradley gave talks on invasive species & climate change to the Florida Exotic Plant Pest Council 4/4/2018 and to the Martha's Vineyard Dukes District 5/8/2018
  •  Bethany Bradley "Using impact assessments to prioritize range shifting invasive plants" at the 2nd annual RISCC symposium 7/12/2018
  • Valerie Pasquarella gave a talk entitled "The return of the gypsy moth: Mapping and monitoring recent defoliation across Southern New England" at the Mass Audubon Staff Natural History Conference Mar. 27, 2018
  • Valerie Pasquarella gave an invited talk on Forest Insect Invasions and Outbreaks at the Harvard Forest Ecology Symposium Feb. 20, 2018 Bethany Bradley gave a talk titled " Identifying future invaders: Predicting range shifts with climate change " at the 20th meeting Mar. 20, 2018
  • Bethany Bradley gave talks on invasive species & climate change to the following groups: National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) webinar Feb. 28th; 2018 Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA) webinar Mar. 28th, 2018
  • RISCC hosted a webinar on January 18 by Dr. Jenica Allen on "How do invasive species interact with other forms of global change?"
  • Bethany Bradley gave a presentation on "The effect of climate change on species invasions" at the 2017 RISCC Management Symposium
  • Bethany Bradley led a workshop on "Brainstorming a review of paper of invasive and climate change in the Northeast" at the 2017 RISCC Management Symposium
  • Toni Lyn led a workshop on "Emerging threats -- managing climate migrants" at the 2017 RISCC Management Symposium
  • Valerie Pasquarella "A comparison of approaches for mapping forest composition using FIA plot data and Landsat spectral-temporal features" at the 2017 FIA Stakeholder's Meeting in Park City, UT
  • Valerie Pasquarella  led a workshop on "Brainstorming multi-scale, multi-species interactions at the 2017 RISCC Management Symposium
  • Valerie Pasquarella gave a talk on "Monitoring forest pest disturbances with remote sensing" at the 2017 RISCC Management Symposium
  • Osgood, M., Bryan, A., Brown-Lima, C., Communicating Climate/Invasion Science, 1st Annual RISCC Management Symposium, 27 July 2017.
  • Association of American Geographers 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston, MA: "Improved mapping of forest composition using spectral-temporal Landsat features" by Valerie Pasquarella, April 5-8, 2017.
  • Valerie Pasquarella "Using Landsat time series for large-scale mapping of invasive species distributions" The 17th Annual National Invasive Species Awareness Week (Feb 27- March 3, 2017).
  • Entomological Society of America Eastern Branch meeting:  "Update on gypsy moth outbreak in New England” by Valerie Pasquarella and Hannah Broadley on behalf of Prof. Joe Elkinton on March 21 in Newport, RI. 
  • Northeast State Wildlife Action Plan Coordinators Meeting in Amherst, MA: "The connections between invasive species and climate change" by Toni Lyn Morelli, March 21, 2017.
  • Valerie Pasquarella presented an update on  the 2016-2017 gypsy moth outbreak at the Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee (WSCAC) monthly meeting (2/14)  
  • Annual meeting of the Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association, Palmer, MA: "Climate Change and the Backyard Gardener" by Toni Lyn Morelli, Jan 21, 2017.
  • Northeast Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Management Workshop Presentation: "Implications of Climate Change for Invasive Species" by Alex Bryan and Bethany Bradley, UMass Amherst,  July 2, 2016.