February 2021 Newsletter

picture of gopher tortoise burrow

February 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center’s February 2021 Newsletter.

For news and upcoming events related to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center,
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SE CASC News | Resources | Publications | Tribal News | Partner News | Webinars | Events | Opportunities

Photo Credits: Alan Cressler, USGS

Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center News

picture of gopher tortoise burrow

Join us Tuesday, Feb. 16, 11 am ET for our first Spring Science Seminar: Structured Decision Making: A Strategy for Collaboration and Conservation of Imperiled Herpetofauna by Dr. Brian Crawford, Georgia Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit. Learn more and register.
Plan to join our next seminar on Mar. 16, given by SE CASC’s Adam Terando.

The first Global Change Seminar of the semester will be held on Mar. 2, 3pm ET. Organized and hosted by our Global Change Fellows, it features an impressive panel discussing Environmental Justice in North Carolina: Then, Now, and Later. Learn more and register.

SE CASC is now soliciting Statements of Interest for our FY 2022 Funding Opportunity, in conjunction with the CASC national network. Details on eligibility, timeline, science priorities, and important links can be found here. Join an informational webinar on Feb. 18, 11 am, here.

Get a great overview of SE CASC happenings in our newly-released, 2019-20 Annual Report.

USET Virtual Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment/Adaptation Plan Writing Retreat, organized by SE and NE CASC Tribal Climate Science Liaison, Casey Thornbrugh on January 25-27, 2021 was a great success. Learn more.

Researcher Spotlight: Global Change Fellow Justine Neville.

Dig a little deeper into a new publication by a team led by USGS Research Ecologist, Simeon Yurek and SE CASC Research Ecologist, Mitch Eaton, Modeling structural mechanics of oyster reef self-organization including environmental constraints and community interactions.

SE CASC Assistant University Director, Aranzazu Lascurain will be presenting at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting.

SE CASC Research Ecologist, Mitch Eaton is lead author on a new article, Integrated hierarchical models to inform management of transitional habitat and the recovery of a habitat specialist. More information.

SE CASC supported researchers Jennifer Cartwright (Feb. 17) and Michael Osland (Mar. 17) will present in the National CASC and NIDIS Ecological Drought webinar series. Learn more.

Consortium PI, Paul Armsworth, is co-author on Where and When Carbon Storage can be Bought Cost Effectively from Private Forest Owners and, along with SE CASC Researcher, Xingli Giam, Are protected areas well-sited to support species in the future in a major climate refuge and corridor in the United States?

Building on SE CASC project, Ecosystem Services Mapping Datasets, new mapping products on coastal protection, coastal habitat changes due to sea level rise, and blue carbon have been developed by Consortium PI, Lydia Olander. Learn more and get products.

Faculty Affiliate, Rob Scheller authored “Managing Landscapes for Change.” Learn more.

Conservation Corridor: Forest network resilience under climate change and natural disturbance.



Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US) 2.1.

field with trees and mountains in distanceThis USGS geospatial database includes an extensive inventory of America’s public and privately owned protected natural areas. This includes terrestrial and marine areas that have been dedicated to the preservation of biological diversity and other natural, recreation and cultural uses.This information is openly available and is extremely useful for natural resources decision-makers, planners, researchers, and private interests working towards planning for and mitigating the impacts of climate change.
Data summary and background information.

Case studies in inclusive and equitable landscape conservation. This report provides insight into the integration of culture and community efforts in land conservation practices. The featured case studies exhibit how fundamentals of environmental justice and community involvement can improve home landscapes. Learn more.

En-ROADS Climate Solutions Simulator. This free online simulation tool allows users to create a scenario and view potential future impacts due to climate change. Simulation results are developed through previous research to generate extensive climate change impact scenarios. Learn more.

EJSCREEN. The EPA has released an update to EJSCREEN – an environmental justice mapping and screening tool. Users can now combine 11 environmental indicators and 6 demographic indicators into 11 EJ indexes for a selected area. Learn more.

Resilient Land Mapping Tool. Developed by The Nature Conservancy, this interactive map indicates resilient lands, defined as areas that have high microclimatic diversity and low levels of human modification, providing opportunities to conserve these spaces and prevent climate change impacts. Elements of connectivity and biodiversity are incorporated. Data about lands of sovereign Indigenous Nations are being reviewed and not yet publicly available. Learn more.

US EPA EnviroAtlas Eco-Health Relationship Browser. The EPA has developed a public health diagram to educate about the environment and physical health needs. This tool provides relevant examples of how to improve your physical and mental health by interacting with your environment. Learn more.

In the Media

Climate-Fueled Disasters Killed 475,000 People over 20 Years. Scientific American
Covering Your Climate: The South. Society of Environmental Journalists
One of the most biodiverse regions in the US is also its least protected. Southerly
Resilience in action: Highlights from a virtual eco film festival. Yale Climate Connections
New U.S. Strategy Would Quickly Free Billions in Climate Funds. New York Times

Notable Publications

Awareness of climate change’s impacts and motivation to adapt are not enough to drive action: A look of Puerto Rican farmers after Hurricane Maria. Researchers surveyed farmers in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to explore the extent to which their practices were altered by their perceived vulnerability of climate change. While most farmers perceived themselves as capable and motivated to adapt to the impacts of extreme events, about half did not adopt any adaptive practices. These results suggest that extreme events may not be a driver for climate change belief and action. Increased perception of capacity and motivation are not indicative of the adoption of adaptive behaviors. Researchers suggest that a broader approach that extends beyond individual capacity as a driver of adaptation behavior may provide a better understanding of elements that may strengthen farmers’ adaptive capacity. Link to article

Effects of management outweigh effects of plant diversity on restored animal communities in tallgrass prairies. This study classified effects of ecological restoration for animal biodiversity separate from plant biodiversity, to test the commonly accepted principle, “If you build it, they will come” (the Field of Dreams hypothesis), which focuses restoration on increasing plant biodiversity assuming animal biodiversity will follow. Using four years of data from 17 restored tallgrass prairie research sites, authors separated taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic responses of four animal communities into plant-driven effects – those facilitated by changes in diversity of plant communities – and management-driven effects – those facilitated by the restoration disturbance regime. Results showed that restoration shaped animal biodiversity primarily through pathways that were independent of changes in plant community biodiversity and that multiple dimensions of biodiversity may be needed to fully capture responses to restoration. Link to article.

Maladaptation, migration and extirpation fuel climate change risk in a forest tree species. Rapidly changing climate poses challenges for species adapted to current environmental conditions, especially conditions that may not be maintained in the future, forcing species to migrate to stay in suitable habitat or to adapt to novel climates to avoid local extinction. This study integrates concepts of novel and disappearing climates with adaptive genetic variation to map where populations may be most preadapted or maladapted to future climates. They derived three offset metrics of potential maladaptation for balsam poplar using phenology-associated genes and their variation associated with climate variables. Analyses pointed to higher vulnerability to climate change on eastern and northern edges of the range, rather than at southern trailing edge, likely because effects of winter precipitation changes were greater than temperature. Authors conclude that the work can inform conservation and restoration efforts by identifying populations most preadapted to future climates and how far they will need to move to survive. Link to article

Staying Afloat: Planning and Managing Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Risk in Florida’s Coastal Counties. Journal Abstract: Climate change and sea level rise present significant risks to coastal governments’ fiscal and service solvency. Current lack of focus on climate change by the U.S. federal and some state governments pressures coastal governments to develop tractable solutions to manage localized risks. This research integrates adaptive governance and capital planning literatures to develop an adaptive risk management framework. Heeding the call for research of coastal county actions to plan for and respond to climate change, we conduct content analysis of planning documents, financial reports, meeting minutes, media reports, and other documentation of all coastal counties in Florida to quantify government efforts to address climate change. Risk management practices are hierarchically categorized by focus area, risk type, and tactic and placed within the adaptive risk management process framework. A well-functioning adaptive risk management process can redefine vague climate change risks into knowable, tractable problems to address. Link to article.

WAMPUM Adaptation framework: eastern coastal Tribal Nations and sea level rise impacts on water security. Current frameworks to guide sea level rise (SLR) adaptation fail to include Indigenous Peoples or knowledge and the corresponding policies that prioritize economic and property rights are misaligned with Indigenous coastal protection priorities. SLR poses a significant threat to northeastern and mid-Atlantic Tribal Nations climate and water justice. To properly address and combat the threat of flooding, saltwater intrusion, storm surge, and erosion, the adaptation frameworks that guide best practices need to be designed by and for Indigenous peoples. Researchers propose the WAMPUM adaptation framework which is centered around Indigenous knowledge systems to sea level rise adaptation guidance. Link to article

Tribal News

Visit USET Climate Change Headlines for updates on information regarding climate science events, funding opportunities, best practices, and highlights from across the USET region.

Introduction to the Rivercane Gathering Webinar Series. The Rivercane Gathering will be starting its webinar series this month. Opening the series, they will discuss their goals with the Tribal-USDA Forest Service Rivercane Gathering initiative. Following, they will go on to the subject of river cane’s cultural ties and their differences among the bamboo family. Apply here by Feb. 25.

The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals is now offering two internships, one for Native college students and another for Non-Natives. Students will develop new skills and gain professional work experience to help EPA/Tribal agencies. Students will also be assigned a work project to create first-hand experience. Apply here by Feb. 26.

The second session in the ATNI National Tribal Leadership Climate Change Summit, Empowering Youth, will take place on March 9, 2021. This virtual session aims to encourage Tribal youth to engage in climate awareness among their communities. Learn more.

EPA is now welcoming nominations for the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. This council will engage with relevant stakeholders and provide recommendations about environmental justice to the EPA administrator. Apply here by March 24, 2021.

The 2021 Shifting Seasons Summit will offer climate adaptation training sessions benefiting Tribal needs, focusing on Northeast tribes from April 19-21, 2021. The summit will also discuss the importance of Tribal climate change and what steps to prevent it. Learn more.

Regional Partner News

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies:Advancing the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy into a New Decade
National Integrated Drought Information System:
Southeast Climate Update and Webinar Recap
National Park Service: 
Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD)—A Decision Framework for the 21st-century Natural Resource Manager
NOAA Fisheries:
NOAA Celebrates 10 years of Integrated Ecosystem Assessments
Restore America’s Estuaries:
National Estuary Program 2020 Coastal Watersheds Grant awardees announced
Southeast Regional Climate Center:
January 2021 Southeast Region Monthly Climate Report
USDA Forest Service:
Invasive Species in Forests and Rangelands of the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis for the United States Forest Sector


Find more upcoming events in our calendar.

Feb. 16 | 11am – 12pm | SE CASC Science Seminar: Structured Decision Making: A Strategy for Collaboration and Conservation of Imperiled Herpetofauna
Feb. 17 | 1pm – 2:15pm | Ecological Drought: Planning for Resilience
Feb. 18 | 10am – 11am | South Atlantic Third Thursday Web Forum: Next steps for the Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy
Feb. 18 | 1pm – 2pm | Conservation Connect Series: USFWS 150th Anniversary
Feb. 18 | 2pm – 3pm | AFWA 2020 Climate Adaptation Survey Briefing
Feb 18 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm | BEESS Seminar: Healthy Cities: What Insects Tell Us About Urban Living
Feb. 22 | 3pm – 5pm | Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board Meeting
Feb. 23 | 4pm – 5pm | Understanding the Interconnectedness of Climate Change, Salt Marsh Resilience, and Nuisance Mosquitoes
Feb. 25 | 9:30am – 10:0am | NOAA Eastern Region Climate Services: US Drought Monitor Author Perspectives
Feb. 25 | 2pm – 3pm | Introduction to the Rivercane Gathering Webinar Series
Feb. 25 | 2pm – 3pm | NAF Heat Stress Series – Community-based Solutions to Heat in Urban Settings
Feb. 25 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm | Geospatial Forum with Dr. Pankaj Agarwal
Mar. 2 | 3pm – 4pm | Global Change Seminar: Environmental Justice in North Carolina – Current Trends and Future Impacts
Mar. 3 | 4pm – 5pm | Ecological Drought: Drought, Wildfire, and Recovery
Mar. 4 | 9am – 10am | Climate and Conservation Coffee
Mar. 4 | 2pm – 3pm | NAF Heat Stress Series – Rural Heat Challenges and Interventions
Mar. 9 | 10am – 11am | Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar
Mar. 11 | 2pm – pm | NAF Heat Stress Series – Heat Stress on Species & Ecosystems
Mar. 16 | 11am – 12pm | SE CASC Science Seminar: Using Information From Global Climate Models to Inform Policymaking and Natural Resource Decision Making


Student Announcements
NOAA is accepting applications for the Explorer-in-Training Program. Apply here by Feb. 15.

Northwest CASC is accepting applications for their Research Fellowship Program. Apply here by March 15.

Hiring Announcements
North Carolina’s State Climate Office is hiring an Applied Climatologist. Apply here. The position announcement will remain open until filled.

NOAA is hiring a Physical Scientist. Apply here by Feb. 16.

The Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Oklahoma State University is seeking an Assistant Professor in Ecological Modeling. Apply here by March 15.

Research Grants
NOAA has announced a request for proposals for the National Ocean Service Office of Coast Survey’s Hydrographic Surveying Matching Fund funding opportunity. Apply here by Feb. 26.

Statements of Interest are being accepted for FY 2022 funding for the Alaska, Midwest, North Central, Northeast, Northwest, Pacific Islands, South Central, Southeast, and Southwest regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers. Eligible individuals may submit a SOI until March 19. More information.