October 2018 Newsletter

The species, E. wightmanae, melodious coqui, sitting on a leaf.

E. wightmanae, melodious coqui

October 2018 Newsletter

 Welcome to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center’s October 2018 Newsletter.

In this newsletter you will find:

Notable Publications
Tribal News
Regional Partner News
Upcoming Events

For news and upcoming events related to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center,  subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


Photo Credits: Alan Cressler, USGS

Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center News

SE CASC funded project, Protecting Cultural Resources in the Face of Climate Change, which was developed and piloted at Cape Lookout National Seashore, received an Honorable Mention from the selection panel of the 2017 Department of the Interior Environmental Achievement Award. Learn more.

The next Global Change Seminar, organized by our Global Change Fellows, will be on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 3:30 pm in 101 David Clark Labs. Join a panel discussion on the topic of Food and Water Security in the Face of Climate Change. Remote connection available. Details at http://bit.ly/FoodWaterSecurity.

New web post: SE CASC researchers Ana Rivera-Burgas, Jaime Collazo, and Adam Terando describe research to support conservation strategies for at-risk amphibian species, and especially challenges in the face of the devastating 2017 hurricanes, Coping with Extreme Weather Events in Puerto Rico: Amphibian Research and Hurricane Maria. Read the story.

SE CASC Faculty Affiliates, Researchers, Staff, and Global Change Fellows are presenting at the 2018 Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference, Oct 29-31. This event connects professionals across diverse sectors and encourages collaboration to increase climate adaptation and resilience efforts throughout the Carolinas. Check our website for details.

SE CASC Tribal Liaison Casey Thornbrugh and University Assistant Director Aranzazu Lascurain gave presentations about SE CASC engagement with Tribal nations at Oct 10 United South and Eastern Tribes Annual Meeting hosted by Seneca Nation.

SE CASC Tribal Liaison Casey Thornbrugh describes activities that engage Tribal environmental/natural resources staff in the Southeast. There are six federally recognized Tribal nations, and many state-recognized Indigenous communities, in the SE CASC footprint. Workshop trainings, early career development, and needs assessments lay the groundwork for ongoing engagement with Tribal partners. Read the web post.

Several new SE CASC supported publications have recently been published:

SE CASC researcher Michael Osland et al.: Mangrove forests in a rapidly changing world: Global change impacts and conservation opportunities along the Gulf of Mexico coast, derived from the research project, Ecological implications of mangrove forest migration in the southeastern United States. The paper describes interacting effects of multiple global change drivers on mangrove ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico, focusing on mangrove forests in the U.S., Mexico, and Cuba, and strategies for maximizing adaptive capacity of these important forests.

Intergenerational learning: Are children key in spurring climate action? by Danielle F. Lawson (Global Change Fellow), Kathryn T. Stevenson (Faculty Affiliate), M. Nils Peterson (SE CASC Researcher), Sarah J. Carrier, Renee Strnad, and Erin Seekamp (SE CASC Researcher). Researchers argue that child-based climate communication is an understudied but promising pathway to engage children and adults alike in science-based climate actions.

Sea level rise impacts on rural coastal social-ecological systems and the implications for decision making by A. Bhattachan, M.D. Jurjonas, A.C. Moody, P.R. Morris, G.M. Sanchez (Global Change Fellow), L.S. Smart, P.J. Taillie (Global Change Fellow), R.E. Emanuel (Faculty Affiliate), and E.L. Seekamp (SE CASC Researcher). The mulit-disciplinary research team uses a socio-ecological system framework to investigate sea level rise impacts to the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula, a rural, low-lying coastal region in eastern North Carolina.

Latest from Conservation Corridor: Suggestions for turning habitat connectivity on paper into reality.



Global Warming of 1.5 °C
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. Read the report.

CPRA Master Plan Data Viewer. Coastal Louisiana faces one of the highest land loss rates in the world, which puts their homes, businesses, communities, as well as our national energy and transportation infrastructure at risk. If we do nothing, the citizens will become increasingly vulnerable to storm surge based flood events over the next 50 years. Increased risk is faced by nearly all areas of the coast, including areas not currently inundated by a 100-year event. Learn more.

The American Public Health Association and ecoAmerica have collaborated to sponsor a 4-part webinar series that explores the connection between climate change and specific health effects. These webinars can be accessed at anytime through the APHA website.

  • Part 1: Making the Connection: Climate Changes Allergies and Asthma

  • Part 2: Making the Connection: Climate Changes Children’s Health

  • Part 3: Making the Connection: Changing Climate through Healthy Community Design and Transportation

  • Part 4: Making the Connection: Climate Changes Mental Health

2017 State of U.S. High Tide Flooding with a 2018 Outlook.
A team of researchers at NOAA assessed the high-tide flooding that occurred in 2017 and provide a predictive outlook into the flood patterns to be expected in 2018. The authors forecast that 2018 flooding will be most prevalent from December through February along the West Coast and along the Northern Atlantic. In the southeast Atlantic, high tide flooding is most expected throughout September and November. Learn more.

Managing Drought in a Changing Climate: Four Essential Reforms. This report offers a guide to the essential reforms needed to adapt to increasing droughts in California. Read the full report or a summary to learn more.

Estimating the potential impact of climate change on Hurricane Florence. Researchers used CAM 5 atmospheric model to approximate the effect that climate change had on the size and intensity of Hurricane Florence. Read their report here.

PANORAMA: A partnership among professionals to document and share replicable solutions to various conservation and sustainability problems. To learn more or join the partnership, follow this link.

Recent update to case study in Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange: Large-Scale Restoration of Barrier Island Systems and Cultural Resource Protection through Sediment Placement, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Mississippi.

In the Media

Rising Tides: How Near-Daily Flooding of America’s Shorelines Could Become the Norm. Climate Central

Climate change impacts worse than expected, global report warns. National Geographic

October 13 was the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, a day declared by the United Nations in 1989 to celebrate people coming together to reduce their risk of disaster and raise awareness of potential risks that communities may face. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre is an online resource that has compiled multi-sourced data regarding the amount of people that have been displaced or are at risk of becoming displaced in response to conflict, violence, disasters, and development projects around the world. In 2017, in the United States, a total of 1,686,000 people were displaced and 848,000 of those displacements were a consequence of Hurricane Harvey. Click here to learn more.

Notable Publications

Disproportionate magnitude of climate change in United States national parks. Anthropogenic climate change is causing global fluctuations in ecological and human systems. Yet, the magnitude and spatial patterns of climate change effects specifically within U.S. national parks have not been explored until now. This project signifies the first spatial analysis of historical and projected temperature and precipitation across all 417 U.S. national parks. A large portion of national park land is at high elevations in the Arctic or in the vast, arid region of the Southwestern U.S., two landscapes that are vulnerable to climate change. Researchers concluded that climate change exposes the national park areas more than the US as a whole but affirm that greenhouse gas emissions reductions could reduce projected temperature increases in national parks by one-half to two-thirds. Link to article.

The State of the World’s Beaches. Journal Abstract: Coastal zones constitute one of the most heavily populated and developed land zones in the world. Despite the utility and economic benefits that coasts provide, there is no reliable global-scale assessment of historical shoreline change trends. Here, via the use of freely available optical satellite images captured since 1984, in conjunction with sophisticated image interrogation and analysis methods, we present a global-scale assessment of the occurrence of sandy beaches and rates of shoreline change therein. Analysis of the satellite derived shoreline data indicates that 24% of the world’s sandy beaches are eroding at rates exceeding 0.5 m/yr, while 28% are accreting and 48% are stable. The majority of the sandy shorelines in marine protected areas are eroding, raising cause for serious concern. Link to article.

Silvicultural options in forests of the southern United States under changing climatic conditions. Changing climatic conditions, specifically, increasing temperatures and decreasing patterns of precipitation suggest that water stress, drought, and changing patterns of natural disturbance events will create challenges in sustainable forest management throughout the twenty-first century. Forests not currently being managed will transform in unpredictable ways that reflect the absence of management. However, in managed stands, silvicultural treatments are available for forester managers to apply to respond and adapt to maintain productive forests adapted to those changing conditions. Assisted migration is a strategy commonly used in silviculture in which species are established in locations beyond their current range, where predicted climatic conditions are likely to occur at some point in the future within which those species will survive. While this practice is costly, assisted migration is familiarly used within the field and can have a progressive effect on the climate change adaptation efforts of forest managers in the southern U.S. Link to article.

Supporting adaptation decisions through scenario planning: Enabling the effective use of multiple methods. Scenario planning is a technique used to inform decision-making under deep uncertainty, and is increasingly applied in the field of climate change adaptation and policy, as a strategy to enable preparing for future conditions outside currently observed trends. Authors describe approaches that combine previously distinct scenario methods. They commend evolution toward methods that develop stronger connections between researcher-driven and participatory approaches and that incorporate perspectives that are both exploratory – describing a range of diverse, possible futures to develop robust management options,  and normative – working backwards from a preferred future to identify actions required to create that future. The paper calls for greater support for, and collaboration among, practitioners, arguing that mixed methods are most effective for decision making in the context of climate change challenges. Link to article.

Cracking the Code of Biodiversity Responses to Past Climate Change. Authors evaluate paleoecological archives to understand the mechanisms by which biodiversity responds to environmental change, and identify gaps of knowledge on the role of range shifts and tolerance. Past biodiversity dynamics demonstrate a broad array of responses of individual species and ecosystems to past climate change, but the relative roles of evolutionary adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, and dispersal in promoting survival during times of climate change are poorly understood. They outline approaches at the intersection of paleoecology, genomics, experiments, and predictive models to elucidate the processes by which species have survived past climatic changes and enhance predictions of future changes in biological diversity. Link to article.

Large increase in global storm runoff extremes driven by climate and anthropogenic changes. This study developed a global quantitative assessment of the responses of storm runoff extremes to naturally and anthropogenically driven changes in local temperature and atmospheric moisture content. Flash floods attributed to storm runoff extremes, which currently cause more deaths and economic losses than any other severe weather-related hazards, are projected to become more frequent and damaging globally due to a warming climate and anthropogenic changes. Authors show that storm runoff extremes increase in most regions at rates higher than expected. They conclude that current projected response of storm runoff extremes to climate and anthropogenic changes may be underestimated, posing large threats for ecosystem and community resilience under future warming conditions. Link to article.

Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web. Journal Significance: Arthropods, invertebrates including insects that have external skeletons, are declining at an alarming rate. While the tropics harbor the majority of arthropod species, little is known about trends in their abundance. We compared arthropod biomass in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest with data taken during the 1970s and found that biomass had fallen 10 to 60 times. Our analyses revealed synchronous declines in the lizards, frogs, and birds that eat arthropods. Over the past 30 years, forest temperatures have risen 2.0 °C, and our study indicates that climate warming is the driving force behind the collapse of the forest’s food web. If supported by further research, the impact of climate change on tropical ecosystems may be much greater than currently anticipated. Link to article.

Tribal News 

The Indigenous Leaders Conservation Fellowship focuses on supporting indigenous peoples and elevating their voices in the dialogue around climate resilience and conservation. The fellowship offers individualized support to fellows, in an effort to enhance and expand leadership, as well as to provide learning opportunities and connections for personal and professional development. Interested indigenous and traditional peoples organizations are now invited to nominate candidates for the 2019-2020 fellowship cycle. Please find the nominations materials below, and note the individual eligibility requirements for each fellowship track. Nominations are due via email to indigenousfellows@conservation.org by November 2, 2018.

The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) at Northern Arizona University (NAU) is hiring for the following positions, now available at: https://in.nau.edu/human-resources/current-job-openings/

  • Events Coordinator, Sr. to support multiple programs within ITEP that hold events such as conferences and meetings. Apply here.

  • Program Coordinator, Sr. to support the American Indian Air Quality Training Program’s tribal air quality professional training program. Apply here.

  • Details on the Tribal Waste and Response Program Coordinator position will be available online soon.

Undergraduates interested in geoscience are encouraged to apply for the “Landscapes of Deep Time in the Red Earth of France— Research Training in Paleoclimate” program. The program involves four weeks of geological (sedimentological) fieldwork in France from late May through June 2019. It is fully-funded, in addition to a $2500 stipend, and is open to current U.S. undergraduates in geoscience or allied disciplines. Preference will be given to undergraduates from underserved groups (we especially encourage applications from students of Native American heritage, and from those who are first-generation college students), and students interested in geology. Visit their website for more information. Contact Lily Pfeifer at Lspfeifer@ou.edu with any questions.

Regional Partner News

South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative blog post: Identifying ambitious but achievable ecosystem goals for the Southeast. Learn more.

South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative blog post: Updated website for the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy. Learn more.

South Central CASC developed a short course program consisting of online lectures, supplemental reading material, and online discussions. The next short course runs October 22 – November 26, 2018 and focuses on the physical impacts of climate change & adaptation strategies. Follow this link to learn more.

Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies launched a new newsletter, Adaptation in Action, highlighting actions that safeguard fish, wildlife, & plants in a changing climate. The first edition focused on innovative living shoreline research led by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Learn more.

Landscape Conservation Cooperative Network released Recommended Practices for Landscape Conservation Design. The guide contains five sections covering major themes in LCD, each of which describes vetted practices that one or more LCCs used in their LCD work, provides resources for further information, and presents a case study where the practices have been implemented. Learn more.


Find more webinar information in our calendar.

OCT 31 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Are Fieldwork Studies Being Relegated to Second Place in Conservation Science?

NOV 1 | 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM | A Breath of Fresh Air: Managing Air Quality

NOV 7 | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Using Big Data to Inform Land Conservation and Park Development that address Climate Change

NOV 13 | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Understanding Organizations Using Ethnographic Field Methods

NOV 14 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Novel Approaches for Estimating and Visualizing Climate Vulnerability for Aquatic Systems

NOV 15 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Marine Heatwaves Under Global Warming: Discovering Risks for Marine Ecosystems

Upcoming Events

Find more upcoming events in our calendar.

November 7-9 | 2018 National Disaster Resilience Conference | Clearwater Beach, Florida
The 2018 National Disaster Resilience Conference will bring together the nation’s foremost voices in the disaster safety and resilience movement. Keynote presentations, discussion panels, and spotlight topics will focus on the latest in science, policy, and practice to create more resilient buildings and disaster-resilient communities in the face of earthquakes, floods, hail, hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, and wildfires, as well as human-caused disasters.

At NC State:
OCT 29 | Historic and Contemporary Role of Fire in Appalachian Hardwood Forests | 1216 Jordan Hall Addition

NOV 1 | Climate and Conservation Coffee | Mission Valley Cup a Joe

NOV 1 | Food and Water Security in the Face of Climate Change | 101 David Clark Labs

NOV 4 | Sustainability Showcase – Music of the Mountains | Stewart Theatre, Talley Student Union

NOV 7 | Conservation Challenges 2018 Forums | 3214 Jordan Addition

NOV 8 | Barkalow Lecture 2018: 20 Years of Conservation in Los Angeles | Piedmont Ballroom, Talley Student Union

NOV 12 | Forest Communities and Landscapes in a Changing World | 1216 Jordan Hall Addition

NOV 29 | Geospatial Forum with Dr. Natalie Nelson | 5103 Jordan Hall

Other Upcoming Events may be highlighted in previous Newsletters. See our Newsletter Archive.


Student Announcements
The Ecological Society of America Summer Internship for Native American students promotes an understanding of environmental field biology and how field research is conducted. Students will be prepared for advanced studies in environmental biology so they can better manage their lands. Additionally, they will gain an understanding of Native American attitudes towards the environment for non-Native American students, providing valuable skills that can be incorporated into better management. Applications are available on the UNDERC website. Further information can be obtained from the website, or from Dr. Michael Cramer, UNDERC-East Assistant Director (mcramer@nd.edu), or Dr. David Flagel, UNDERC-West Assistant Director (dflagel@nd.edu). Application deadline is Friday, November 9, 2018.

The NC State Sustainability Fund provides grants to student-led projects that have the potential to increase sustainability on campus and within the community. The application period begins on November 19th and proposals are due on February 15. Click here for more information.

Second Century Stewardship: Science for America’s National Parks is requesting proposals for the 2019 Research Fellowship. Fellows will conduct research to help realize the vision of national parks as living laboratories, tellers of science narratives, and exemplars of using science to manage natural and cultural resources and enrich visitor, local community, and employee experiences. The research will help NPS and other organizations adapt and respond to ongoing change and focus on long-term ecological and cultural integrity and viability in a dynamic and challenging future. Proposals must be submitted by midnight on October 26, 2018. Details and application.

Living Breath Indigenous Foods and Ecological Knowledge Symposium invites you to submit your individual or panel presentation abstract for their 2019 symposium that will take place on May 3-4, 2019. Email your abstract to Dr. Charlotte Coté at clotise@uw.edu and check their website for more information.

Hiring Announcements 
The Climate Impacts Group is seeking a full-time Deputy Director to support and advance its innovations in connecting science and practice to increase climate resilience. The Deputy Director will play a leading role in and have oversight responsibilities for the Climate Impacts Group climate research and stakeholder engagement efforts, including internal operations and externally-facing activities. The Deputy Director will lead and participate in applied interdisciplinary climate impacts and adaptation research. Learn more about this position and apply today.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research has opened a call for applications for NOAA’s 2019 Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship (C&GC) program. NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellows focus on observing, understanding, modeling, and predicting climate variability and change on seasonal and longer time scales. This includes the documentation and analysis of past, current, or possible future climate variability and change as well as the study of the underlying physical, chemical, and biological processes. Applications are due on January 4, 2019 and appointments will be announced by April 1, 2019. Apply here.

The Youngsteadt Lab in the department of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University is seeking applications for a graduate student position starting in the fall of 2019. The lab conducts research at the interface of urbanization and climate change. Interested applicants are encouraged to review projects and publications at http://elsakristen.com. Competitive applicants will have a strong interest in urban ecosystems with a background in biology, ecology, entomology, or a related field. Additionally, the applicant should have prior experience in research and data analysis, well-developed communication and organizational skills, enthusiasm for public outreach and extension and independent research goals that align with interests in the lab. To apply, please send a cover letter stating your research interests and qualifications, a CV, and the names and contact information of three references to Elsa Youngsteadt (ekyoungs@ncsu.edu).

Research Grants
NOAA | 2019 Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise Program 
The overall goal of EESLR is to facilitate informed adaptation planning and coastal management decisions through a multidisciplinary research program. This solicitation is to improve adaptation and planning in response to regional and local effects of sea level rise and coastal inundation through targeted research on key technologies, natural and nature-based infrastructure, physical and biological processes, and model evaluation. Applications due on January 16, 2019.