September 2019 Newsletter

Leaves changing colors along the Wakulla River, Florida

September 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center’s September 2019 Newsletter

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

Meet our 2019-2020 Global Change Fellows. These exceptional NC State graduate students will work together with the SE CASC over the next year, furthering their research and gaining professional capabilities.

We are only two months away from the SE CASC Regional Science Symposium! Have you registered? There is a great field trip on the schedule to learn about wetland ecosystems and climate impacts in Barataria Preserve; the deadline to register is October 8. Learn more.

The SE CASC’s NCA4 Webinar series begins September 25. The first session, led by Paul Schramm, will take an intensive look at urban health risks in the Southeast. You can explore this Guide to Understanding Urban Health Risks in the Southeast prior to the webinar.

The first Global Change Seminar, Hurricanes: Extreme Weather in a Changing Climate of the semester will be held on September 26 at 3:30pm in David Clark Labs.

The next Global Change and Resilience Reading Group discussion is on Wednesday, September 25th. If you weren’t able to attend the last meeting, enjoy this recap of our discussion.

SE CASC researchers and staff are presenting at the combined American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society meeting Sept 29-Oct 1. Learn more.

2015-16 Global Change Fellow, Laura Villegas, published Integrating Econometric Models of Land Use Change with Models of Ecosystem Services and Landscape Simulations to Guide Coastal Management and Planning for Flood Control, which summarizes work on the SE CASC project, Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges.

SE CASC Researcher and USGS Ecologist, Michael Osland, is lead author on publication, Temperature thresholds for black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) freeze damage, mortality, and recovery in eastern North America: refining tipping points for range expansion in a warming climate in Journal of Ecology, which used temperature and vegetation data from before and after an extreme freeze event to quantify temperature thresholds for leaf damage, mortality, and biomass recovery of the black mangrove. The publication is the product of SE CASC supported research, Identifying the Ecological and Management Implications of Mangrove Migration in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

The deadline to submit abstracts for the UF Water Institute Symposium is Friday, October 4. More information.

2015-16 Global Change Fellow, Rene Valdez, and Faculty Affiliate, Nils Peterson, have a new publication, titled “Perceptions of Resilience in Fishery-Dependent Bahamian Communities Following a Category 4 Hurricane in the journal Fisheries.

Faculty Affiliate, Chris Moorman and 2012-14 Global Change Fellow, Steven Grodsky, edited a recently released book, Renewable Energy and Wildlife Conservation, a collection of the current state of knowledge for renewable energy and wildlife conservation.

Faculty Affiliates, Ryan Emanuel and Louis Rivers are leading the way in improving environmental justice analyses. Learn more.



NCA4: Our Changing Climate – Severe Storms

Chapter Two of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II, provides an overview of widespread impacts from climate change. Key Message 8, Changes in Severe Storms, details the impact that climate change is bearing on storm events, specifically stating that “as the world warms, the frequency and severity of these events are likely to increase due to increasing evaporation and higher atmospheric water vapor levels in the atmosphere”. Figure 2.8 displays the tropical cyclone tracks from the 2017 hurricane season, including the storm type, wind speed, and pressure of each event. Learn more.

Disaster Preparedness – Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are extremely vulnerable to hurricanes, tropical storms, and drought, all of which have the potential to bring catastrophic damage to the region. The Caribbean Climate Hub created a webpage with the most recent and relevant resources to prepare for disasters and guide the recovery process. Learn more.

Hurricane Dorian Damage Assessment Imagery. The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) collected U.S. aerial damage assessment images for Hurricane Dorian. The 12,516 images covering 3,682 square miles were taken from September 4 – 7, 2019 and are now available to view online. Learn more.

Global Warming and Hurricanes: An Overview of Current Research Results. NOAA has provided a synthesis of current research to guide the understanding of the following questions: 1)What changes in hurricane activity are expected for the late 21st century, given the pronounced global warming scenarios from IPCC models? 2) Have humans already caused a detectable increase in Atlantic hurricane activity or global tropical cyclone activity? Learn more.

Neighborhood Disaster Recovery: Count Your Assets. The North Carolina Sea Grant has guide to helping your neighborhood and community identify needs and coordinate resources after a disaster. These resources have been adapted from areas that have experienced past natural disasters such as Harris County, T.X. and Hatteras Island, N.C. Learn more. You can also view their Hurricane Preparation and Recovery Information.

Hurricane Hugo 30th Anniversary: A Look Back. SC Department of Natural Resources developed this story map that recalls the events and impacts of Hurricane Hugo, South Carolina’s most devastating hurricane of the 20th century, as well as changes in the ways we predict and prepare for storms. Learn more.

Protecting coral reefs in a deteriorating environment. A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines novel approaches for saving coral reefs imperiled by climate change, and how local decision-makers can assess the risks and benefits of intervention. Link to article.

How We Respond. Developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, this report and the accompanying community spotlights offer scientific and community based solutions for adapting to climate change and building more resilient communities. Learn more.

Global warming is contributing to extreme weather events. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Based On Science activity answers common, everyday questions that people have about science and human health. Is global warming is contributing to extreme weather events? Find out here.

In the Media

Florida lagoon at risk of ecosystem collapse. Science Magazine

Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world. The Washington Post

Hurricane Dorian was a Climate Injustice. The New Yorker

Widening The Lens On A More Inclusive Science. Science Friday

The Great Deluge: A Chronicle of the Aftermath of Hurricane Floyd. Coastwatch Magazine.

Notable Publications

Decline of the North American avifauna. Birds serve as an indicator of overall environmental health and ecosystem integrity and fortunately, our ability to monitor a variety of birds across a wide spatial scale far exceed that of any other species. This study utilized multiple standardized bird-monitoring datasets to evaluate population change for 529 species of birds in the continental United States and Canada. Researchers identified substantial population loss of much of the North American avifauna over the last 48 years. Wide-range population estimates indicate a net loss of 2.9 billion (29%) birds across almost all biomes since 1970. Grassland birds exhibited the most substantial population loss while wetland birds were the only biome to experience population gain. Link to article.

Matches and Mismatches Between Global Conservation Efforts and Global Conservation Priorities. Conserving biodiversity is crucial to protecting ecosystem services which are estimated to be worth over $127 trillion USD per year. Thus, there is an urgent global need to understand whether conservation resources and efforts are being appropriately allocated to the habitats and species at risk. In this study, three measures of global conservation efforts were assessed: 1) staff time spent by the largest cluster of conservation organizations in the world, 2) efforts by international NGOs through social media, and 3) global conservation research publications since the year 2000. Researchers determined that in general, global conservation efforts are aligned with global conservation priorities, however there are some overlooked areas. While marine and climate change efforts receive more attention than expected, shrublands and rocky habitats receive disproportionately little investment in relation to the number of high extinction risk species. Authors suggest that the global conservation community reconsider and improve the allocation of resources based on the number of threats faced and number of species at risk of extinction for each habitat type. Link to article.

Simulation of Eocene extreme warmth and high climate sensitivity through cloud feedbacks. Journal Abstract: The Early Eocene, a period of elevated atmospheric CO2 (>1000 ppmv), is considered an analog for future climate. Previous modeling attempts have been unable to reproduce major features of Eocene climate indicated by proxy data without substantial modification to the model physics. Here, we present simulations using a state-of-the-art climate model forced by proxy-estimated CO2 levels that capture the extreme surface warmth and reduced latitudinal temperature gradient of the Early Eocene and the warming of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Our simulations exhibit increasing equilibrium climate sensitivity with warming and suggest an Eocene sensitivity of more than 6.6°C, much greater than the present-day value (4.2°C). This higher climate sensitivity is mainly attributable to the shortwave cloud feedback, which is linked primarily to cloud microphysical processes. Our findings highlight the role of small-scale cloud processes in determining large-scale climate changes and suggest a potential increase in climate sensitivity with future warming. Link to article.

Tribal News 

NC CASC Announces Tribal Climate Leaders Graduate Degree Program. The North Central CASC is seeking applications from students affiliated with the 31 federally recognized tribes in the North Central region who are interested in completing a Master’s degree at the University of Colorado Boulder on a topic related to climate adaptation science. Full funding is available for a two-year Master’s program for up to 5 eligible students between fall 2020 and 2022. Learn more.

Park, Tribe sign sochan agreement. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the National Park Service have signed an agreement allowing the traditional gathering of sochan (Rudbeckia laciniata) by Tribal members. An environmental impact assessment was performed in 2017 and the results showed a FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact) ruling. This has been a long process, but as of March 25, 2019, the historic agreement authorizes 36 permits to be issued to ECBI Tribal members for the traditional gathering of the Sochan plant. Learn more.

Regional Partner News

Wildlife Management Institute: Draft Agency Relevancy Roadmap Available for Comment.

Southeast Regional Climate Center: Summer 2019 Southeast Region Quarterly Climate Impacts & Outlook.

South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative: New partnership focused on Piedmont prairies.

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies: New State of the Birds Report Shows Species Declines and Key Role of States in Recovering America’s Wildlife.

North Carolina Climate Office: Stormy Summer 2019: Series Overview.


View our events calendar.

Sept 25 | 12pm – 1pm | National Climate Assessment 4 Key Message 1: Urban Health Risks

Sept 26 | 12pm – 1pm | Serving Coral Connections in the US Virgin Islands

Sept 26 | 4pm – 5pm | Coastal Thinking: A Conversation

Oct 1 | 2pm – 3pm | Communication as an Essential Ingredient for Actionable Science: Key Concepts, Practical Strategies and Innovative Examples from the Northwest

Oct 8 | 6pm – 7pm | OceanReports: The first intelligent web application for marine spatial analysis of the entire U.S. EEZ

Upcoming Events

Find more upcoming events in our calendar.

Oct 27-30 | Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies | Hilton Head, SC

Nov 3-8 | 10th US Symposium on Harmful Algae | Orange Beach, AL

Nov 4-7 | USET and USET Sovereignty Protection Fund Annual Meeting | Choctaw, MS

Nov 13-15 | SE CASC Regional Science Symposium | New Orleans, LA

At NC State and Our Consortium Universities:

Sept 25 | Global Change and Resilience Reading Group | 123 David Clark Labs

Sept 26 | Hurricanes: Extreme Weather in a Changing Climate | 101 David Clark Labs

Oct 15 | The Last Butterflies – An Evening with the Author, Dr. Nick Haddad | 101 David Clark Labs

View the NC State Forestry and Environmental Resources Department Seminar Series schedule


Student Announcements

The North Carolina Space Grant is accepting applications for their STEM Pre-Service Teacher Education Scholarship. Students enrolled in STEM-related teacher education degree programs at the undergraduate level (pre-service teachers) are eligible to apply by October 7. More information.

The USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center is seeking a postdoctoral research associate with interest in survey design and analysis and waterfowl biology. The selected candidate will conduct statistical analyses of waterfowl survey data in support of a review and re-design of the Waterfowl Breeding Population & Habitat Survey. Applications are due by October 15. More information.

The University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation (WEC) is seeking a PhD student to conduct ecological modeling and decision analysis to inform decision making for coastal marine ecosystem restoration projects. The application deadline has been extended through October 30. More information.

Hiring Announcements

The Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management (NREM) at Oklahoma State University is seeking to hire a Postdoctoral Fellow to study climate change effects on habitats and species distributions. Applications are due by October 2. Apply here.

The North Carolina Sea Grant is hiring a Coastal Resilience Specialist to develop extension programming that helps North Carolina coastal communities identify actionable steps that can be taken to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards. Applications are due by October 21. Apply here.

The Department of Applied Ecology at NC State is hiring an Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist in Environmental Health and Risk Assessment. This faculty position will integrate with the Extension Toxicology focal area, and provide expertise and collaboration that will benefit the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and other stakeholders. The application will remain open until the position is filled. Apply here.

The North Carolina Sea Grant is hiring a Coastal Aquaculture Specialist to support the development, expansion, and diversification of the North Carolina aquaculture industry, including shellfish, finfish, and algal species through education and outreach, technology transfer, and applied research activities. The proposed hire date is October 28. Apply here.

Research Grants

The NOAA International Coral Reef Conservation Cooperative Agreements grant application is now open. This agreement seeks to fund projects that will build local coral reef management capacity and support coral reef monitoring in priority international geographies. Applications are due by October 1st. More information.

The North Carolina Sea Grant is requesting applications to fund research proposals designed to meet key needs identified by state agencies that manage natural resources. Researchers can request up to $60,000 for one-year projects. Applications are due by 5pm on October 7. More information.

The Karl Havens Memorial South Atlantic Regional Research on Coastal Community Resilience application period is now open. Projects must be related to the resilience of coastal communities to natural hazards, including both contemporary disasters such as hurricanes, storm surge and coastal flooding, and future hazards associated with sea-level rise and climate change. Applications are due by 5pm on October 25. More information.

The partners of Second Century Stewardship: Science for America’s National Parks are now accepting applications for their fellowship program to support research in Acadia National Park. Applications are due by October 30. More information.

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is accepting proposals for specific projects in the Atchafalaya River Basin. CPRA will accept proposals from various sources including academia, parish governments, elected officials, agencies, non-governmental organizations, landowners, businesses, industry, and the general public. Applications are due by November 1. More information.