November 2018 Newsletter

Cascading river in woods.

November 2018 Newsletter

 Welcome to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center’s November 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

New report from SE CASC project, Climate Change and Conservation in the Southeast: A Review of State Wildlife Action Plans Final Report by Kirsten Lackstrom, Patty Glick, Kirstin Dow, Bruce A. Stein, M. Nils Peterson, Erika Chin, and Kaly Clark 1) identifies the various approaches used to address climate change in 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan updates for 15 southeastern states and Puerto Rico; 2) highlights key commonalities and differences among the states; and 3) improves understanding of the challenges and opportunities that state fish and wildlife agencies face as they deal with climate-related risks. The 4-page Report Summary highlights the key observations and recommendations from the full report. Learn more about the project.

In her new role as Acting USGS Director for SE CASC, Emily Fort met with partners at the Annual Conference of the Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Oct. 27-30. SE CASC Staff page.

Tribal Climate Science Liaison Casey Thornbrugh described current initiatives in tribal climate science and adaptation in Southeast and Northeast regions in a Oct. 24 webinar. View the NE CASC webinar recording.

USGS Deputy Director Ryan Boyles and Research Ecologist Adam Terando gave a presentation, Incorporating Climate Science into Species Assessments, at a recent meeting of USFWS Species Status Assessment Framework Implementation Team. This is part of a broader effort to meet demand for climate science research and technical support for species biologists and assessments teams working in USFWS as part of requirements under Endangered Species Act.

Program Manager Cari Furiness participated in 2018 Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference, a gathering of local experts and stakeholders sharing their stories, resources, and opportunities, in an effort to provide real-world solutions to climate change adaptation throughout the Carolinas. SE CASC and other presentations are posted to the CCRC 2018 speakers webpage.

SE CASC researcher Steve Frank received Honorable Mention for Adaptation Integration Carolinas Regional Adaptation Leadership Award. Steve is an associate professor of Entomology at NC State University, internationally recognized for his research in how urban heat islands affect tree health and pest populations. Read more.

Auburn Consortium PI Karen McNeal is co-author on recent publication, A new, valid measure of climate change understanding: associations with risk perception. Her research developed a validated set of climate change questions to be used in assessing the public’s understanding of climate change and investigated the role that this understanding may play in overall risk perception.

Many SE CASC affiliated researchers. students, and staff will be presenting at the Dec. 10-14 American Geophysical Union meeting in Washington, DC. Check SE CASC News for upcoming details.

Latest from Conservation Corridor: Connectivity and the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming



The Impacts of Climate Change at 1.5C, 2C and Beyond

This interactive tool developed by Carbon Brief, a UK-based website that covers developments in climate science, climate policy and energy policy, combines data from over 70 peer-reviewed sources to visually display the global impacts of climate change at 1.5°C, 2°C, and above 3°C of global warming. Users can choose to search data about sea level rise, arctic sea ice, maximum daily temperature, average rainfall, and drought, among others. Altogether, there are 10 categories and seven regions of the earth that can be specified to explore the varying impacts of climate change across the globe. Learn more.

NOAA Updates Global Temperature Dataset. NOAA has released a new version of the Global Historical Climatology Network dataset (GHCNm) – an internationally recognized public resource for the study of observed changes and variability in land surface temperature. This version serves an enhanced tool for studying and monitoring Earth’s climate. Learn more.

Resilient Design Education in the United States. Resilient design is an emerging curricula in colleges and universities nationwide. Increasing costs of natural disasters and the human suffering associated with the aftermath has compelled the design community to build communities more resiliently. This field combines damage mitigation and proactive efforts to achieve their goal of preparing communities to adapt and overcome post-disaster. This study examines the emergence of this field across many disciplines. Read the report here.

El Niño likely to boost high-tide flood days along U.S. coasts in 2018. NOAA scientists created an interactive map that predicts the high tide flooding that will occur between May 2018-April 2019 in the United States. This outlook forecasts flood frequencies to be 60% higher this year compared to the year 2000. Learn More.

The Climate Ready Estuaries Program (CRE) was created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide technical assistance and funding to National Estuary Programs (NEPs) for new start-up projects or for ones building upon pre-existing work. In total, twelve NEPs received grants or technical assistance since the CRE program was established. CRE website.

Climate Interpreter is an effort of the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation to establish a community of professionals that work in a field that addresses climate change. The website and associated resources allow peers and institutions to collaborate and communicate relevant resources. Learn more.

In the Media

Securing rights of indigenous peoples and local communities may curb global warming. Forests News

Economic losses, poverty, and disasters: 1998 – 2017. UNISDR

Great Barrier Reef forecast warns entire system at risk of bleaching and coral death this summer. The Guardian

NC State Named to Princeton Review’s Top 50 Green Colleges List. Princeton Review

Notable Publications

Exacerbation of the 2013–2016 Pan‐Caribbean Drought by Anthropogenic Warming. The Caribbean Islands have experienced a gradual drying trend since 1950. The years 2013-2016, formally known as the Pan-Caribbean Drought, were particularly dry, causing widespread crop failure and food insecurity throughout the region. This study used climate data and model simulations to investigate the contribution of anthropogenic greenhouse gases to the Pan-Caribbean Drought, in order to better estimate the area’s future drought risk. The models consistently predicted decreased precipitation levels in the region as anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations increase. They conclude that human‐caused warming contributed to ~15–17% of drought severity by increasing evapotranspiration rates and accounted for ~7% of land area under drought across the Caribbean. Link to article.

The unequal vulnerability of communities of color to wildfire. The impacts of environmental disasters are often felt more intensely by minority and low-income communities, especially in the U.S. wildfire region. The authors created a social-ecological framework that considers a landscape’s wildfire vulnerability and the socioeconomic status of the surrounding communities to determine the underlying risk of these communities. This method was applied across 70,000 census tracts throughout the U.S., revealing that a staggering 12 million American people are at risk of a potentially devastating wildfire event and that wildfire vulnerability is unequally distributed across race and ethnicity. It can be concluded that emergency planning strategies need to be altered to accommodate a diverse population of needs. Link to article.

Future Projections of Global Pluvial and Drought Event Characteristics. Journal Plain Language Summary: The variability of precipitation is projected to increase globally in the future, which has a multitude of impacts including on water resources, agriculture, public health, and fire outbreaks. This study uses future projections from global climate models to evaluate how the number, duration, and severity of extended wet periods (pluvials) and dry periods (drought) will change in the future for the first time. More frequent, longer lasting, and stronger pluvials are projected in wet regions of the world, and the same for droughts in dry regions. The Americas, including Central America, the Caribbean, and the Amazon, are a hot spot for worsening droughts, and northern North America and Europe are hot spots for worsening pluvials. Uniquely, this study investigates pluvials and droughts in locations where the precipitation trend is of the opposite sign. For the most severe pluvial events, almost half of locations with a drying trend showed an increase in number of pluvials and 65% of locations showed an increase in duration. Projections for severe drought events in wetting regions show similar projections. As mean precipitation trends alone do not provide information about pluvial and drought characteristics this study has important implications for planning and resilience. Link to article.

Large Shifts in Commercial Landings of Estuarine and Bay Bivalve Mollusks in Northeastern United States after 1980 with Assessment of Causes. Researchers investigated causes of the sharp decline between 1980 and 2010 in documented landings of the four most commercially-important bivalve mollusks – eastern oysters, northern quahogs, soft shell clams, and northern bay scallops. They conclude that climatic change resulting from the shift in North Atlantic Oscillation from positive to negative, which caused warmer winter temperatures, affected body weights of the bivalves, their nutrition, timing of spawning, and perhaps mortalities from predation, sufficient to cause decline of these four species in estuaries and bays from Maine to North Carolina. Link to article.

Integrating diverse social and ecological motivations to achieve landscape restoration. Authors describe case studies from agricultural, urban, and mined landscapes to highlight mechanisms by which social motivations could be better integrated into ecological restoration and incentivize participation in restoration activities. They argue that integration of social and ecological motivations can provide: (a) greater shared ecological and social benefits; (b) greater involvement of, and collaboration among stakeholder groups; and (c) better governance of restoration projects. They conclude that when setting restoration goals, it is important to recognize the diverse motivations that influence them. In doing so, and by evaluating both social and ecological benefits, we can better achieve desired restoration outcomes. Customizing incentives to cater for diverse stakeholder motivations could therefore encourage restoration projects. Link to article.

Protect the Last of the Wild. Authors produced the first comprehensive fine-scale map of the world’s remaining marine and terrestrial wild places, calculated to be just 23 percent of the world’s landmass. The remaining 77% of land (excluding Antarctica), and 87% of oceans have been directly affected by human activities, with more than 3.3 million square kilometers of terrestrial wilderness lost between 1993 to 2009. Citing the importance of these intact ecosystems as species refuges, carbon sinks, areas of abundant biodiversity, and climate resilience, they recommend making wilderness areas an explicit target in international conservation policies, such as the United Nations’ Strategic Plan for Biodiversity or the Paris climate agreement.  Link to Article.

Tribal News 

The Climate Ready Tribes (CRT) Initiative has announced a call for applications for two new funding opportunities – the CRT Initiative Award and CRT Initiative Mini-Award for Climate and Health Communication. The goals of this initiative are to reduce climate-related morbidity and mortality in Tribal Nations and communities, build capacity to identify and assess climate-related health threats to Tribes and build climate and health adaptation capacity within Tribal governments. This program will increase collaboration and data sharing among the Tribes, the federal government, state/local governments, and other partners on issues of climate and health, and increase communication and information sharing about the health effects of climate change. Applications are due on November 28th. For more details please see the web announcement at the NIHB Climate Ready Tribes Funding Opportunities

The 43rd Annual National Indian Timber Symposium is designed to facilitate communication from the perspective of tribes, the BIA, private industry, legislative bodies, and academia on issues and concerns of current forestry management practices. Symposium participants produce workshop summaries, which are submitted to the Assistant Secretary of the Interior and other federal agencies for follow‐up. This procedure gives the Intertribal Timber Council and the BIA a foundation to analyze the progress occurring to resolve the issues being confronted.  Published final proceedings of the symposium serve as comprehensive documentation and are mailed to each participant and Bureau official. Hosted by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the symposium will be held from June 10-13, 2019 in Hollywood, Florida. Learn more.

Regional Partner News

South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative: SECAS at the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) annual meeting.

South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative: Goal for Southeastern ecosystems approved by state wildlife agency directors

Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy: Summary for SEAFWA Directors – October 2018

Southeast Regional Climate Center: October 2018 Southeast Region Monthly Climate Report

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies:  Share your story
The Adaptation in Action Newsletter seeks to bring attention to untold success stories of climate adaptation from across North America. The hope is that in sharing these stories we can foster innovation, advance climate adaptation strategies, and develop a thriving peer-to-peer network for the adaptation community.


Find more webinar information in our calendar.

NOV 20 | 12:00PM – 1:00PM | Population Consequences of Disturbance by Offshore Oil and Gas Activity for Endangered Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus)

NOV 29 | 12:00PM – 1:00PM | Warming Seas, Falling Fortunes – Stories of Fishermen on the Front Lines of Climate Change

NOV 29 | 1:00PM – 2:00PM | Introduction to the Seedlot Selection Tool

NOV 29 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM | Assessing the Impact of Future Climate and Introduced Species on Hawaiʻi’s Aquatic Ecosystems

DEC 5 | 3:00PM – 4:00PM | A Practitioner’s Menu of Climate Adaptation Strategies and Approaches for Forest Carbon Management

DEC 11 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM | Qualitative Data: Understanding and Using Interview, Survey Observational Data

DEC 11 | 4:00PM – 5:00PM | How to solve the climate crisis?

Upcoming Events

Find more upcoming events in our calendar.

NOV 28-29 | Alabama-Mississippi Bays and Bayous Symposium | Mobile, Alabama
The purpose of the Bays and Bayous Symposium is to bring together a broad array of scientists, resource managers, policy makers, and business and industry interests from throughout the southeast region of the U.S. to promote information exchange and networking related to coastal issues that impact long-term sustainability.

DEC 6-7 | International Symposium on Indigenous Communities and Climate Change | Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton University invites the campus and community to participate in a discussion of climate change and its impact on Indigenous communities throughout the Americas and Russia. Also at issue is the need to bring together the humanities and scientists to better address the crisis, and how to make that happen in this reactionary time.

DEC 20Florida Water and Climate Alliance Workshop | Orlando, Florida
This workshop provides a venue for information exchange and informal discussions of interest to water resources managers, utilities, scientists and regulators throughout Florida regarding climate science, tools and models, and communication to enhance water supply operations and resources. To register or with questions contact Lisette Staal, UF Water Institute (

February 4-7 | Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference | New Orleans, Louisiana
The 2019 GoMOSES Conference seeks to bridge basic and applied research in the Gulf of Mexico to highlight new discoveries and inform and update decisions and strategies, emphasizing the identification of remaining information gaps. The conference program also aims to look beyond the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to consider how various stressors contribute to ecological and social resilience in the Gulf of Mexico, and inform response, restoration, and resource management strategies.

At NC State
NOV 29 | Geospatial Forum with Dr. Natalie Nelson | 5103 Jordan Hall
DEC 6 | Geospatial Forum with Dr. Nicholas Clinton | 5103 Jordan Hall
JAN 17 | The State in Nature: The Political Economy of Public Lands | D.H. Hill Fishbowl Forum

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


Student Announcements

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has opened a call for applications for the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program. This organization awards outstanding graduate students the opportunity to pursue independent research in the fields of oceanography, maritime archaeology and marine biology. Applications are due on December 17, 2018. Learn more.

The Nature Conservancy has opened the application period for their Global Leaders on Behalf of the Environment (GLOBE) Internship Program. This program invites individuals from a variety of backgrounds, including business management, communications, conservation, economics, environmental studies, government relations, information technology, legal, marketing, philanthropy, policy, and more. Interns will be paired with a mentor and complete a Nature Conservancy orientation before embarking on their relevant internship project. Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program or be a recent graduate. Apply by January 11, 2019. Learn more.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is hiring an intern for their Summer 2019 Aquatic Invasive Species Communication & Outreach program. The intern will work with members of the multiagency Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plan committee to obtain field work experience managing aquatic invasive species and assess existing outreach, communications, and education efforts addressing aquatic invasive species in the state. The intern will then utilize that experience to create a strategic plan for coordinated citizen science and public-private partnership initiatives to assist in early detection and prevention of aquatic invasive species in the Albemarle-Pamlico region. Applications are due on January 14, 2019. Learn more about this position.

The Science to Action Fellowship is provided through a partnership between the USGS National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC) and Michigan State University (MSU). The program supports graduate students in developing a product that puts science into action, directly applying scientific research related to climate change impacts on fish, wildlife, or ecosystems to decision making about natural resources. During the fellowship year and beyond, Fellows benefit from collaborations with university and USGS mentors, from interactions with other colleagues and partners of USGS, and from exposure to high priority, real-world challenges in the natural resources policy arena. The program is open to Master’s and Doctoral students at Michigan State University or any Climate Adaptation Science Center consortium institution. Statements of Interest are due by January 25, 2019. Information and application.

Hiring Announcements 

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium is seeking a Coastal Economics Program Specialist to be based in its administrative office in Charleston, South Carolina. The Coastal Economics Program Specialist will conduct and coordinate the Consortium’s efforts in developing and implementing rigorous applied economic methods to document the (1) market and non-market value of the state’s coastal and marine resources, including their management and use, (2) economic value associated with Consortium supported programs and activities, and (3) economic benefits which accrue from the Consortium’s science-based coastal engagement programs. For more information on the position and how to apply, please review the position description.

The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium is seeking a part-time Graduate Executive Intern to be based at its office in Charleston, South Carolina. The Intern will work directly with the leadership of the Charleston Resilience Network (CRN) and the Consortium to support operations of the CRN and conduct tasks as assigned by the Consortium’s Executive Director. For more information, please review the position description.

Research Grants

Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership | FY2019 Request for Projects
SARP is now accepting aquatic habitat restoration project ideas for FY 2019 funding. Funded by SARP and the US Fish and Wildlife Service/National Fish Habitat Partnership, this program provides an opportunity for state, federal, and local governments, NGOs, and universities to participate in the ongoing process of conservation, management and restoration in the SARP geography. Applicants are encouraged to consult with the SARP program director to discuss ideas and questions before submitting a proposal. Applications are due on Monday, December 3rd, 2018.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency |16th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – as part of its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Award Program – is seeking applications proposing to research, develop, design, and demonstrate solutions to real world challenges. The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative technology-based projects that achieve the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity, and protection of the planet – people, prosperity, and the planet. The EPA offers the P3 competition to respond to the needs of people in the United States, specifically those in small, rural, tribal, and disadvantaged communities. Applications are due on December 11, 2018.

Department of Defense | Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program
The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) addresses high-priority environmental needs of the Department of Defense , Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. SERDP invests across the broad spectrum of basic and applied research, as well as advanced development. Through a competitive process, SERDP funds both Federal and private sector organizations to perform environmental research and development. There are two solicitations annually – the “Core” solicitation application is due on January 8, 2019 and the SERDP Exploratory Development (SEED) application is due on March 5, 2019.