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December 2021 Newsletter

December 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center’s December 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

We at the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center extend warm wishes for a safe, joyful holiday season and healthy, prosperous New Year!

Plan to join us March 29-31, 2022 in Gulf Shores, AL for the second SE CASC Regional Science Symposium. Registration will open next week!

If you missed presentations in our Fall/Winter Seminar Series, you can view recordings on our YouTube channel:

On Jan. 19, 2022, 11 am ET, Dr. Ken Krauss, USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, will present Science to Inform the Management of Mangrove Ecosystems Undergoing Sea Level Rise at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida. Learn more and register.

SE CASC is now accepting nominations from Faculty Affiliates for the 2022-2023 cohort of Global Change Fellows. Learn more.

We are pleased to welcome Marie Schaefer (Tribal Climate Strategies Research Scholar), Kristen Fontana (Student Intern), and Jennifer Cartwright (Science Coordinator) to our team. Learn more about them.

CASC Network is hiring Regional Tribal Climate Resilience Liaisons. Learn more.

SE CASC Tribal Resilience Liaison Casey Thornbrugh testified before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Learn more.

Researcher Spotlights: Learn about Global Change Fellows Ben Makhlouf and Regina Ayala Chavez  (en español).

SE CASC Staff, current and former Global Change Fellows, and Faculty Affiliates are presenting at this year’s American Geophysical Union Fall meeting. Learn more.

NCSU student Brent Jackson and Faculty Affiliates Lincoln Larson, Nils Peterson, Erin Seekamp, and Kathryn Stevenson published Connection to Nature Boosts Adolescents’ Mental Well-Being during the COVID-19 Pandemic, which highlights the importance of outdoor activity and connection to nature. Learn more.

Global Change Fellow Lauren Pharr authored How Sea Level Rise Impacts Marsh Sparrows.
NCA5 is hosting engagement workshops to solicit feedback from the public that will inform the content of the upcoming report. Learn more.

2012-13 Global Change Fellow Adrienne Wootten is guest editor: Special Issue “Responses of the Water Cycle to Changing Climate.”

Faculty Affiliate Andy Fox: In Ida’s wake, America’s rural communities need better protection—cities can’t hog climate adaptation.

Faculty Affiliate Kathie Dello: Climate in Context.

Faculty Affiliate Ryan Emanuel featured in Water Wisdom: The Indigenous Scientists Walking In Two Worlds.

Conservation Corridor: What tools are available for mapping and computing landscape connectivity?

Project Spotlight

Developing Future Habitat Condition Scenarios for Wildlife in the Imperiled Pine Rockland Ecosystem of South Florida
This project evaluated habitat conditions for the Rim Rock Crowned Snake and the Key Ring-Necked Snake, two species found in the pine rockland ecosystem that are being considered for listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in order to forecast future changes to the species. Researchers compiled current and historical records for both species and estimated the loss and degradation of habitat based on different management actions and on future changes in the frequency and intensity of tropical storms and rates of sea level rise. The work is directly informing conservation and management decisions for these and other threatened species that are endemic to this imperiled ecosystem. The project was led by SE CASC Principal Investigator Susan Walls. Learn more.


Explaining Extreme Events in 2020 from a Climate Perspective. This special report by the Bulletin of American Meteorological Society provides assessments of how human-caused climate change may have affected the strength and likelihood of individual extreme events during 2020. Learn more.

Pest or Pathogen Spread (PoPS) forecast.
Developed by USDA, PoPS is a probabilistic simulation of invasive pest and pathogen spread. The online computer model incorporates spatial data on pest distribution from survey data, locations of plant hosts, as well as temperature and precipitation information on a web map display. Former Global Change Fellow Devon Gaydos contributed to the tool. Learn more.

Southeast Prescribed Burn Permit Geodatabase. Developed by Tall Timbers, this geodatabase interactively displays the date, acreage, burn type, and location of fire events throughout the southeastern U.S. Learn more.

Learn to Identify Cyanobacteria Blooms. Developed by ITRC’s Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms (HCB) team with support from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, Learn to Identify Cyanobacteria Blooms identifies and describes different types of cyanobacteria and offers guidance on best management and safety practices involving harmful blooms. Learn more.

Building Community Resilience with Nature-Based Solutions: A Guide for Local Officials. FEMA and other federal partners created the National Mitigation Investment Strategy to coordinate the use of resources in assisting communities through the wake of natural disasters.  This report aims to guide officials in integrating local resilience and adaptation measures into a local community’s built environment. Learn more.

In the Media
2021 Atlantic hurricane season sees 21 named storms. Coastal Review Online
Dictionary update shows how changing climate changes language, and much more. Yale Climate Connections
Hurricane Ida may have caused severe wetlands loss in La. Greenwire
One surprising winner in Biden’s infrastructure bill: Biodiversity. Grist

Notable Publications

Decision-Support Framework for Linking Regional-Scale Management Actions to Continental-Scale Conservation of Wide-Ranging Species. The Northern pintail (Anas acuta) was selected as a model species from which to develop a decision-support framework that aims to connect regional and global-scale conservation goals. While data on population density and resource scarcity are limited, researchers utilized an integrated population model that uses data from bird-band recoveries, breeding population counts, and harvest surveys to estimate values of parameters of an annual population projection to indicate population size, survival rates, and reproductive rates. This model was used to engage management partners within the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives’ and provide them with habitat areas of importance for pintail species. Link to article.

Flexible and comprehensive criteria for evaluating climate change adaptation success for biodiversity and natural resource conservation. Evaluating the success of conservation adaptation projects is a complex and sometimes controversial endeavor. In some cases, the definitions, goals, strategies, and evaluation criteria for adaptation is unclear, further complicating the task. Researchers developed a set of 16 criteria that fall into four categories – use of information, project management, outcomes and advancing the field of adaptation – in an effort to fill this gap in conservation adaptation science. Their framework highlights a disconnect in what is perceived as important to experts and practitioners when evaluating adaptation success. Link to article.

Global decline in capacity of coral reefs to provide ecosystem services. Journal Summary: “Coral reefs worldwide are facing impacts from climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution. The cumulative effect of these impacts on global capacity of coral reefs to provide ecosystem services is unknown. Here, we evaluate global changes in extent of coral reef habitat, coral reef fishery catches and effort, Indigenous consumption of coral reef fishes, and coral-reef-associated biodiversity. Global coverage of living coral has declined by half since the 1950s. Catches of coral-reef-associated fishes peaked in 2002 and are in decline despite increasing fishing effort, and catch-per-unit effort has decreased by 60% since 1950. At least 63% of coral-reef-associated biodiversity has declined with loss of coral extent. With projected continued degradation of coral reefs and associated loss of biodiversity and fisheries catches, the well-being and sustainable coastal development of human communities that depend on coral reef ecosystem services are threatened.” Link to article.

Present and future sea level rise at the intersection of race and poverty in the Carolinas: A geospatial analysis. Sea-level rise poses a dangerous risk to low-lying coastal communities, though there is little research investigating the disproportionate risk that minority or economically disadvantaged communities face. Researchers aim to fill this gap by identifying the low-income and communities of color that will experience the most severe sea-level rise impacts along the North and South Carolina coasts. Geospatial mapping indicated that over 2.2 million people in this study region will be impacted by sea-level rise by the end of the century and the most disadvantaged communities are already experiencing these effects, specifically tidal inundation and inland flooding. These results highlight an extreme need for adaptation actions and resources that serve disadvantaged communities. Link to article.

Recent Increases in Exposure to Extreme Humid-Heat Events Disproportionately Affect Populated Regions. Prior research into extreme heat has primarily focused on high temperature alone, also referred to as dry-heat. However, humid-heat, which takes into account both high temperature and humidity, poses a greater risk to human health. In this study, researchers provide a global summary of the magnitude, seasonal timing, and frequency of dry- and humid-heat extremes and their historical trends. These results indicate that over the past 40 years, these dry- and humid-heat extremes have become more frequent over most land masses, specifically in the Arctic and in the tropics. When just considering humid-heat extremes, the results highlight a concentration over densely populated regions in the tropics and sub-tropics, emphasizing the increased heat stress risk that humans are facing. 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.

The ITEP National Tribal Forum on Air Quality will be held May 2-5, 2022 in Tulsa, OK. This forum supports Tribal programs by fostering information-sharing and networking opportunities that are focused on building Tribal capacity in air quality management. Abstracts for presentations and trainings can be submitted here until Jan. 15. More information.

The 2021 Shifting Seasons Summit was held virtually from April 19-21, 2021 with a theme of Sharing Adaptation and Resilience Knowledge ​Across Indigenous Communities. The event webpage and presentation recordings have now been made available to the public here.

Regional Partner News


Find more upcoming events in our calendar.
Dec. 17 | 2pm- 3pm | Friday’s Findings: USGS Land Carbon: A Review of Accomplishments
Jan. 6 | 9am – 10am | Climate and Conservation Coffee
Jan. 11 | 10am – 11am | Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar
Jan. 11 | 1pm – 2pm | Using Visualization Science to Improve Expert and Public Understanding of Probabilistic Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks
Jan. 13 | 2pm – 3pm | After the spill: Findings from a decade of GoMRI science
Jan. 18 | 1pm – 3pm | Perspectives on Saltwater Intrusion
Jan. 19 | 11am – 12pm | Science to Inform the Management of Mangrove Ecosystems Undergoing Sea Level Rise at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

Upcoming Events

Jan. 19-20 | 6th Annual RISCC Management Symposium | Virtual
March 1-2 | Southeast Drought Early Warning System Partners Dialogue | Atlanta, GA
March 29-31 | SE CASC Regional Science Symposium | Gulf Shores, AL


Hiring Announcements
University of Tennessee, Knoxville is seeking two post-doctoral associates to join an interdisciplinary team including SE CASC Co-PI Paul Armsworth researching potential impacts of climate and land use change on species and conservation strategies. Apply here.

NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments program is accepting applications for a Program Specialist position in USVI. Apply here.

USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center is hiring a Biologist. Apply here by Dec. 17.
US FWS Science Applications Program is accepting applications for 10 positions to support landscape-scale conservation efforts in multiple locations including the Southeast. Apply here (Federal) or here (public) by Dec. 29.

Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Institute of Arctic Biology are hiring a Post-Doctoral Researcher in Freshwater Ecology and Habitat Modeling. Apply here.

American University’s School of Communication is hiring a Professor of Climate, Environmental Justice, Media and Communication. Apply here.

Funding Opportunities
The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program is accepting pre-proposals for FY 2023 funding to support innovative approaches to resolving sea-level related data and datum gaps worldwide and advanced understanding and methods of invasive species control. Submit a pre-proposal here until Jan. 6.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Wildlife Habitat Council are accepting proposals for 2022 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program funding. Submit a proposal here until Jan. 25.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have announced the 2021 Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund to support projects that increase the resilience of coastal communities impacted by hurricanes and wildfires in 2020 and 2021. Full proposals can be submitted here until Feb. 3.

NSF Division of Earth Sciences invites research proposals that aim to improve our understanding of the ways in which climate change impacts Earth processes and how Earth processes drive changes in climate. Proposals can be submitted here until Mar. 15.

U.S. Global Change Research Program requests public comments on the draft prospectus of its upcoming decadal Strategic Plan, accepted here until Jan. 11.