Five-year external reviews of the eight Department of Interior Climate Science Centers: Northeast Climate Science Center.

TitleFive-year external reviews of the eight Department of Interior Climate Science Centers: Northeast Climate Science Center.
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2018
Date Published01-Jun-2018
InstitutionAmerican Fisheries Society.
CityBethesda, Maryland
Keywords5-year Report, NE CASC, USGS

In 2008, the U.S. Congress authorized the establishment of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC; now the Climate Adaptation Science Center) within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with further direction set forth in Secretarial Order 3289 (Salazar 2009). The mission of NCCWSC is to provide natural resource managers with the tools and information they need to develop and execute management strategies that address the impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, and their habitats. Eight regional Climate Science Centers (CSCs), each a collaborative arrangement between the USGS and a regional host university, carry out this mission.

The Northeast CSC (NE CSC; as of April 2018, renamed the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center), established in 2012, is based in Amherst, Massachusetts, with the University of Massachusetts serving as host university, coordinating a consortium of six other academic/research entities (including one tribal college and one private research institution) spread throughout the region.

The NE CSC has completed its initial 5-year project cycle and is in its sixth year through a 1-year funding extension. The geographic footprint of the NE CSC is the largest of any of the eight CSCs while the proportion of federal land in this area is the smallest among the CSCs, presenting many challenges associated with climate-related issues across a vast, ecologically diverse landscape. More than 41% of the U.S. population lives within the boundaries of this region, heightening the potential impact that funded adaptation research might have on a large portion of the nation’s population. Overall, the NE CSC demonstrates a strong and deep partnership between the federal and university sides of the enterprise. Consortium partners provide an extensive bench depth of research capabilities that allow the NE CSC to address the wide diversity of climate adaptation research in the region. Much of the success of the first 5 years is directly attributable to the substantial commitment of federal leadership to integrate the federal and university operations of the CSC, as well as the host-university leadership’s extraordinary investment of personal and professional resources into developing the partnership.