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May 2022 Newsletter

May 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center’s May 2022 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

Please join us for the 2022 SE CASC Regional Science Symposium, scheduled for Sept. 19-21, 2022 in Gulf Shores, AL. Registration and call for abstracts for the Poster/Tools Networking session are now open. Get details and register to participate.

Next in our Spring Seminar Series will be Forecasting the Influence of Conservation Strategies on Landscape Connectivity, presented by Tina Mozelewski, Northeast CASC and 2018-19 Global Change Fellow, on May 24, 11AM ET. Learn more and register for the event.

A recording of our virtual Science Seminar on May 10 by Erin Seekamp (NC State University) and James Flocks (USGS) on Prioritizing and Implementing Research for Adaptation Planning at Gulf Islands National Seashore is available here. Visit the series page.

Researcher Spotlight: Learn more about Global Change Fellows Olakunle Sodiya and Courtney Hotchkiss.

We are excited to welcome Brittany Salmons, our new SE CASC Science Communications Intern. Read more.

USET is hiring an Assistant Tribal Climate Resilience Liaison to serve as a technical expert on climate change issues, resource vulnerability, and climate adaptation actions in the SE CASC region. Learn more.

The National CASC developed an interactive 2021 Annual CASC Summary, featuring accomplishments over the past year. Check out Southeast CASC highlights in the summary here.

Program Manager Cari Furiness participated in the eighth annual HBCU Climate Change Conference hosted by the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice’s HBCU Climate Change Consortium in April. Learn more.

University Assistant Director Aranzazu Lascurain, Tribal Climate Strategies Research Scholar Marie Schaefer, and Tribal Climate Science Liaison Casey Thornbrugh organized a workshop on Tribal Climate Resilience at the 39th Annual Native American Fish & Wildlife Society National Conference.

Science Coordinator Jen Cartwright is co-author to A forested wetland at a climate-induced tipping-point: 17-year demographic evidence of widespread tree recruitment failure.

Univ. of TN Consortium PI Paul Armsworth is co-author to Spatiotemporal variation in costs of managing protected areas.

Univ. of TN Consortium PI Paul Armsworth and SE CASC researcher Xingli Giam are co-authors to Climate change vulnerability of terrestrial vertebrates in a major refuge and dispersal corridor in North America.

Faculty Affiliates Fred Cubbage and Ted Shear are co-authors to Determining the costs, revenues, and cost-share payments for the “floodwise” program: Nature-based solutions to mitigate flooding in eastern, rural North Carolina.

Faculty Affiliate Marcelo Ardon was quoted in The Washington Post in a discussion about climate change and the expansion of ‘ghost forests’.

Conservation Corridor: Large-scale climate connectivity models and maps.

Project Spotlight

Turning the Science of Connectivity into Action: Finding Model Consistency and Identifying Priority Habitats for Conservation

This project investigated the most common recommended strategy to protect wildlife as climate changes – to connect their habitats in order to provide species safe passage as their ranges shift. The research broadened previous connectivity research, using four approaches to develop a more detailed understanding of connectivity in the region, generating additional connectivity maps and identifying key core habitats for conservation such as the longleaf pine habitat. They also analyzed linkages important for management of three focal species identified in their previous research under changing climatic and land cover conditions. Results show that climate change is likely to decrease connectivity overall in a species-specific manner and may vary by geographic region. The work emphasizes the importance of maintaining connectivity between habitats and wildlife populations and informs more comprehensive and effective conservation strategies for key areas of connectivity. The project was led by SE CASC Principal Investigator Nick Haddad. Learn more.


An Approach for Assessing U.S. Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration was developed by the NASEM Gulf research program and promotes the evaluation of long-term environmental stressors and trends such as sea-level rise, extreme weather events, and increasing sea-surface temperatures to assess and improve restoration efforts. The report recommends adaptive management strategies to help standardize the research, analysis, and reporting of restoration strategies. Learn more.

Ready-to-Fund Resilience Toolkit. This toolkit was developed through a partnership between the American Society of Adaptation Professionals and Climate Resilience Consulting and aims to help local government leads and partners utilize existing networks and policy systems to design more fundable climate resilience-building projects. Learn more.

Tracking the Benefits of Natural and Working Lands in the United States: Dataset Evaluation and Readiness Assessment. This report, published by SE CASC Consortium PI Lydia Olander and Katie Warnell at Duke University, identifies datasets that can be used to understand natural and working lands and their benefits and evaluates their readiness to use in the near future. It can be used in other ecosystem service analysis projects to improve conservation initiatives and activities including food production, climate mitigation, and recreation. Learn more.

NASA’s Global Climate Change Vital Signs of the Planet is an interactive tool that shows current carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, changes in global temperature, arctic sea ice extent, ice sheets, sea level, and ocean temperature. It answers questions about the causes and consequences of climate change as well as what can be done to address it and provides interactive apps, galleries, and other resources to explore and understand the complex nature of climate change. Learn more.

In the Media
Fish Passage Inspired by Nature on the Cape Fear River, North Carolina. NOAA Fisheries
Satellite images reveal global losses of tidal wetlands over past two decades. CarbonBrief
New Research Shows Aerosol Emissions May Have Masked Global Warming’s Supercharging of Tropical Storms. Inside Climate News

Notable Publications

The redistribution of anthropogenic excess heat is a key driver of warming in the North Atlantic. As climate change continues to alter the earth’s climate, the rise in global mean temperatures has caused an uptake in excess heat by the oceans. The goal of this study was to understand how that excess heat is redistributed to the ocean interior, to better determine the spatial distribution of earth’s energy imbalance and sea-level rise predictions. To do this, the authors analyzed sea surface temperature variability of the world ocean compared to full depth subsurface temperature in the Subtropical Atlantic since 1850. They specifically use the North Atlantic Oscillation as the key to analyze differences between the variability of deep and intermediate layer heat contents at 25 degrees North (North Atlantic). They conclude that overall warming will continue into the future in the deep subtropical North Atlantic as a delayed result of warming of the Nordic Seas since 1970. Link to article.

Pyrodiversity and biodiversity: A history, synthesis, and outlook. Pyrodiversity is the spatial or temporal variability in fire effects across a land-scape. According to the “pyrodiversity-biodiversity” hypothesis, high biodiversity will lead to high pyrodiversity though this hypothesis has come into question in recent years. This study aimed to analyze the existing literature around pyrodiversity to understand the overarching ideas behind the hypothesis and identify any future research needs. The authors found varied results for the pyrodiversity-biodiversity hypothesis with some studies supporting the hypothesis and others not. The results show that future research needs to focus on the mechanisms underlying pyrodiversity-biodiversity relationships, among other research needs. Link to article.

Surface water and groundwater interactions in salt marshes and their impact on plant ecology and coastal biogeochemistry. Salt marshes are an extremely important part of coastal ecosystems and provide important ecosystem services along with immense biodiversity including their ability to buffer the coast against oceanic storms and their ability to serve as carbon sinks. However, these wetlands are decreasing in number due to climate change and human activities. In order to effectively conserve and restore these areas, the authors argue that scientists must first review the current state of knowledge behind the complex interactions happening within these ecosystems. The authors specifically look at current approaches to quantifying marsh surface water and groundwater interactions focusing on pore water flow, soil conditions, and plant zonation as well as carbon, nutrients, and greenhouse gas fluxes. The authors conclude that further research into dynamic surface water and groundwater interactions along with their biogeochemical processes must be conducted to better enhance scientists ability to protect and restore salt marshes around the world. Link to article.

Observed influence of anthropogenic climate change on tropical cyclone heavy rainfall. Tropical cyclones (TC) have been changing in intensity, especially when it comes to rainfall amounts, since the late twentieth century. The goal of this study was to see if anthropogenic forcings have contributed to these changes in TC heavy rainfall, looking specifically at the Western North Pacific (WNP) region. Using ensemble simulation and observation datasets for 1961-2010, the researchers were able to show that anthropogenic impacts can be linked to the observed spatial pattern of TC heavy rainfall. The authors conclude that observations of TC heavy rainfall in the WNP region from 1961-2010 could not be explained by natural variability alone, providing evidence that human-induced climate change has contributed to changing patterns of TC heavy rainfall. This research can be used to better understand the anthropogenic impact on TC heavy rainfall patterns and improve TC adaptation efforts going forward. Link to article.

Indigenous oyster fisheries persisted for millennia and should inform future management. The use of historical data for the evaluation of past and present ecosystems has grown in importance over the past century. Indigenous relationships to the land, however, have not been as closely investigated in the context of understanding the evolution of coastal ecosystems over time. The historical legacies of Indigenous oyster fisheries specifically, serve as important foundations for understanding the effectiveness of current management practices because of the long-term resilience and sustainability of Indigenous harvests. This study seeks to develop new insight into the practices of Indigenous oyster fisheries through time in North America and Australia using historical sea level data and catch records. Although management techniques varied across geographic regions, this research has provided knowledge of past sea level, salinity, climatic changes, among other findings. The authors conclude that the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge in management techniques will only have positive impacts on ecosystem health. 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 USET Office of Environmental Resource Management is hiring an Assistant Tribal Climate Resilience Liaison. Learn more about the position here.

Resilient Nation Partnership Network and The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) are holding a conversation on Tribal Perspectives on Resilience, on Wed., May 25 at 1:00 pm ET. Register for the event here.

University of Arizona’s Native Nation Institute is offering Indigenous graduate students research and travel funding for Indigenous nation building related research projects. Apply by June 3. More information.

Regional Partner News

NASEM: National Academies’ Gulf Research Program Awards $8.6 Million to Promote Equity in Health and Community Resilience for At-Risk Communities.

USGS: Laying the Groundwork: How the USGS is Deploying the Infrastructure Law’s Investments in Science.

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service: Community Climate Change Vulnerability in the South Atlantic, Florida Keys and Gulf of Mexico.

S.C. Sea Grant: Water Chats technical training program for new water quality research and management practices in South Carolina.

USACE: The Savannah District of The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is preparing for hurricane season, expecting up to eight storms.


Find more upcoming events in our calendar.

May 24 | 11am-12pm | SE CASC Science Seminar: Forecasting the Influence of Conservation Strategies on Landscape Connectivity
May 25 | 2pm-3pm | Rivercane Storytelling
May 25 | 3pm-4pm | Northern Gulf Sediment Tool Demonstration
May 26 | 9:30am-10:30am | Heat, Health and Drought
May 26 | 12pm-1pm | Charting a RAD-ical future for salmon ecosystems with RAD (Resist, Accept, Direct) frameworks
May 26 | 12pm-1pm | Blue Carbon Toolbox: Federal Resources For States To Develop Coastal Wetland Greenhouse Gas Inventories
May 26 | 1pm-2pm | Transferable Strategies for Coastal Resilience Projects: Best Practices and Lessons Learned
June 2 | 9am-10am | Climate and Conservation Coffee
June 2 | 3pm-4pm | National CASC Webinar: The RAD (Resist-Accept-Direct) Climate Adaptation Framework
June 9 | 1pm-2pm | The ONo Index: Detecting novel ocean conditions for MPA management
June 14 | 10am-11am | Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar
June 15 | 1pm-2pm | Evidence for Small-scale Living Shoreline Viability in Galveston Bay, Texas
June 16 | 10am-11am | South Atlantic Third Thursday Web Forum

Upcoming Events

Aug. 8-11 | Tribal Lands And Environment Forum | Milwaukee. WI & online
Sep. 19-21 | Southeast CASC Regional Science Symposium | Gulf Shores, AL
Nov. 7-8 | The North Carolina Coastal Conference | Raleigh, NC


Student Announcements
SEAFWA Minorities in Natural Resources Conservation subcommittee is offering stipends for minority students who want to participate in the 76th Annual Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) Conference. Apply here by Sept. 5.

Hiring Announcements 
National Estuaries Partnership has announced the 2022 funding cycle for the National Estuary Program, Coastal Watershed Grants in partnership with the EPA. Letters of Intent are due May 27. More information.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
is requesting proposals for the 2022 America the Beautiful Challenge, which coordinates funding from multiple Federal agencies and private philanthropy for voluntary conservation and restoration projects. This application process should enable larger, cross-boundary projects, and make it easier for states, Tribes, territories, local groups, non-governmental organizations, and others to apply for multiple funds with one application. Proposals are due July 21. More information.

AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange is looking for community applications for its Thriving Earth Exchange Project in July 2022. More information. AGU is also accepting applications for the July 2022 Community Science Fellowship Cohort. Learn more. They also have current opportunities for volunteer community scientists.