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August-September 2022 Newsletter

August-September 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center’s August-September 2022 Newsletter.

For news and upcoming events related to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, subscribe to our monthly newsletter

SE CASC News | Resources | Publications | Tribal News | Partner News | Webinars | Events | Opportunities

Photo Credits: Alan Cressler, USGS

Science Climate Adaptation Science Center News

We’re busy working on the 2022 SE CASC Southeast Climate Adaptation Science SymposiumSept. 19-21, 2022 in Gulf Shores, AL. Look for our next newsletter in October. Learn more.

A recording of our SE CASC Science Seminar on July 21 by Wesley Boone (NCSU), Brooding Over Climate Change: Implications for Eastern Wild Turkey Reproduction, co-sponsored with SECAS as part of their Third Thursday Web Forum, is availableLearn more.

We are excited to welcome our incoming cohort of 2022-23 Global Change FellowsLearn more about them.

Global Change Fellow Murry Burgess was interviewed by Spectrum 1 News for the article, Moving inland: Painted bunting spotted in Raleigh.

2020-21 Global Change Fellow Megan Johnson is investigating prescribed fire users’ needs, options, and concerns if faced with a reduction in opportunities to conduct burns under acceptable weather conditions. If you use or oversee the use of prescribed fire on land in the southeastern US, take this 10-minute survey.

Our Climate Adaptation Science Field Intensive for incoming Global Change Fellows and Consortium university students was held at Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC. Learn more about the week.

Assistant University Director Aranzazu Lascurain will provide environmental conservation and resource planning support to the new NSF Indigenous Science Hub project at Haskell Indian Nations University. Learn more.

USGS Director Katherine Smith presented at a recent Southeast Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change Management Network (SE RISCC) webinar. Learn more.

Science Communication Fellow Kristen Fontana wrote a case study on an important SE CASC-funded project, Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges, regarding adaptation planning in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Read it here.

SE CASC is co-sponsoring an NCSU event exploring the investigative story, “Land-grab universities.” Learn more.

Morgan Chavis (NC A&T Univ.) completed a Science Communication summer internship supported by the National and Southeast CASCs. Learn more about her experience.

Southeast Tribal Climate Science Liaison Casey Thornbrugh and Tribal Climate Strategies Research Scholar Marie Shaefer organized USET’s in-person Tribal Climate Resilience Camp, July 10-15. Learn more.

University Consortium PI Erin Seekamp (NCSU) has been named Director of the Coastal Resilience and Sustainability Initiative.

SE CASC Working Group lead Deah Lieurance (University of Florida) is co-author to Scanning the horizon for invasive plant threats using a data-driven approach.

SE CASC Researchers Katie Warnell and Lydia Olander (Duke Consortium PI) are co-authors to Tracking the Benefits of Natural and Working Lands in the United States: Dataset Evaluation and Readiness Assessment.

Faculty Affiliate Skylar Hopkins (NCSU) is co-author to Environmental Persistence of the World’s Most Burdensome Infectious and Parasitic Diseases

Conservation Corridor: Predicting human-wildlife conflict near towns along key corridors.

Project Spotlight

Facilitating Accurate and Effective Application of Coastal Marsh Models

Salt marshes are integral to coastal communities, providing habitat for important species, such as shrimp and fish, and reducing the frequency and intensity of flood impacts on our homes and Businesses. Models are an important way researchers can understand how marshes change over time in terms of health and extent. Researchers convened leading marsh modelers from around the U.S. to devise a scientifically robust method for conducting a retrospective analysis in order to see if current model predictions reflect what we observe. A workshop was conducted with a team of modelers, representing six different models, to devise an approach for the analysis. The workshop resulted in a plan that worked for all models and allowed researchers to build buy-in to the process among the modeling community. Researchers are now able to perform the essential step of conducting the retrospective analysis so that we can understand which models work best in which coastal systems to better inform management decisions. The project was led by PI Sarah Spiegler. Learn more.


Understanding the health risks of extreme heat. The Biden Administration through the interagency National Integrated Heat Health Information System launched The website provides information about health risks associated with extreme heat including current conditions, at-risk groups, urban heat islands, planning & preparing, among other topics. Learn more.

Natural Hazards & Shoreline Changes in Puerto Rico. USGS has compiled science and resources on natural hazards for Puerto Rico to provide better access to scientists, residents, and stakeholders so that they can understand and respond to natural disasters. Another project allows stakeholders to explore shoreline changes in Puerto Rico from 1901 to 2018 so that they can begin to develop solutions to mitigate coastal hazards. Explore natural hazards and shoreline changes in Puerto Rico.

Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Eighth Biennial Review – 2020. The National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine produced this report on the progress of Everglades restoration in South Florida based on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, a joint effort launched by the state and the federal government in 2000 that seeks to reverse the decline of the ecosystem. Learn more.

Tribal Climate Adaptation Guidebook. Adaptation International and the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute developed an online version of the nationally-focused Tribal Climate Adaptation Guidebook. This Guidebook focuses on Traditional Knowledges, resources for adaptation planning, and examples from Tribal climate initiatives. Learn more.

In the Media
Why so many climate adaptation schemes fail | Popular Science
Extreme heat’s health consequences | Axios
‘Only a tribe can speak for a tribe’: Q&A with Native conservationists on Biden’s 30 by 30 project | Mongabay
At the Greater & Greener Conference, Urban Parks Officials and Advocates Talk Equity and Climate Change | Inside Climate News

Notable Publications

This article wanted to answer the question of whether species can continue to move to higher elevations with rising temperatures. Researchers specifically looked at how Anna’s hummingbirds physiologically respond to high-elevation conditions. This species of hummingbird was chosen because they are naturally moving to higher elevations as temperatures rise. Colder temperatures require increased metabolic rates to maintain performance so the researchers measured hovering metabolic rate and torpor to test the hummingbirds response to novel oxygen and thermal conditions. They took measurements at their current elevation range and then transported the birds to a location 1200 m above their current elevation. Results show that lower oxygen and thermal conditions present difficult challenges for Anna’s hummingbirds shifting to higher elevations, especially with limited acclimation time. They also found, however, that hummingbirds in higher elevations have developed larger hearts, possibly increasing performance in higher elevations. Link to article.

Fire is an important component of many ecosystems and is dependent on interactions between fire, vegetation, and climatic conditions. This relationship creates a fire-vegetation-atmosphere cycle or feedback loop which this study analyzes to get a better understanding of the factors that influence microclimate and dynamics of fire. The authors look beyond vegetation as a fuel source and instead consider combustion and flammability, vegetation’s physical influence on fire behavior, and the ecosystem dynamics that occur between fires. Researchers found that vegetation structure can influence how biological organisms heat up, cool down, lose moisture, combust, or obstruct or redirect winds during a fire. They also found that vegetation dynamics between fires can influence the next fire, for example if there is a greater abundance of dead vegetative material versus alive material with a high moisture content. This research can be used to advance understandings of fire ecology, prescribed fire initiatives, and ecosystem resilience. Link to article

The biological carbon pump (BCP) is an important process that occurs in the ocean to sequester atmospheric carbon. According to the authors, the total amount of carbon sequestered by the BCP is dependent on three things, (1) the flux of carbon leaving the surface ocean, (2) the average depth at which organic carbon is respired, and (3) how long respired dissolved inorganic carbon takes to return to the surface ocean and atmosphere. All three of these factors are impacted by climate change, among other things, making the BCP hard to measure into the future. To address this issue, researchers quantified trends and uncertainties in the BCP within the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 [CMIP6] ensemble using the historical period and two future scenarios (mitigated carbon emissions and continued emissions). Results of the models show that carbon storage by the BCP increases over the 21st century but there are key uncertainties related to future fluxes of organic carbon. This research shows how carbon fluxes can be good determinants of long-term carbon sequestration. Link to article.

Global food production is threatened by climate change, making food security a major issue. The objective of this study was to understand the impact of climate factors (temperature, growing degree days, precipitation) and soil properties on the yield of four major crops using long-term data and machine learning algorithms. To do this the researchers analyzed four different machine learning regression models coupled with the Local Interpretable Model-Agnostic Explanations Framework and multi-decadal Agro-Climate Data by County for the years 1981-2015. They found that crop yields for the CONUS can be better explained and understood when production input is compared to changing climatic/environmental conditions. More specifically, researchers found that the most important climate factor influencing crop yield was increases in growing degree days which develops more soil moisture stress and can decrease crop yield, especially in the Southern U.S. These results can be used by growers, crop production scientists, land management specialists, stakeholders, and policy makers to make more informed management decisions. Link to article

There are key uncertainties around the impact of climate change on carbon fluxes and storage across tidal freshwater forested wetlands (TFFW). To address this issue, the study developed a tidal freshwater wetlands DeNitrification-DeComposition Model that takes into account soil salinity and plant productivity as well as soil organic matter decomposition. This allowed researchers to understand carbon dynamics in TFFW in response to drought-induced saltwater intrusion. Eight sites along the floodplains of the Waccamaw River and the Savannah River were selected for the model. Results show that plant productivity and soil carbon sequestration in TFFW change substantially in response to increased salinity and reduced soil water table due to drought with the impacts varying by location (highly salt-impacted forests did worse). This simulation tool can help properly evaluate ecosystems and dynamic processes like climate change and sea level rise to aid future decision makers and adaptation initiatives. 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.

National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recently published an Equitable and Resilient Infrastructure Investments report with SE CASC staff, including Assistant University Director Aranzazu Lascurain, contributing towards “Tribal Infrastructure.” Learn more.

Tribal Exchange Network Conference (Oct. 18-20, 2022) is accepting Session or Exhibitor Proposal until  Sept. 2. Learn more.

Advancing Indigenous People in STEM (AISES) has opened a call for proposals for the 2022 AISES National Conference happening Oct. 6-8. More information.

NOAA has opened applications for FY22 Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities. The grant provides support for underserved communities, tribes, and/or tribal entities engaging in coastal habitat restoration. Learn more and apply by Sept. 30 here.

The United South and Eastern Tribes Environmental Program has announced a Forest and Wetland Webinar Training Series starting Aug. 15. The series will cover climate change impacts to USET region forest and wetland ecosystems. Learn more.

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians is hiring a full-time Assistant Tribal Climate Resilience Liaison who will be assigned to the Northwest Adaptation Climate Science Center (NW CASC). Review of applications will begin Sept 16. Open until filled. Learn more.

Regional Partner News

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: NFWF Announces $7.5 Million in Conservation Grants to Restore Iconic Longleaf Pine Ecosystem

Southeast Conservation Adaptation StrategyHow the Blueprint is helping support conservation and the military mission

Southeast Plant Conservation Alliance: SE PCA Releases Ex Situ Gap Analysis for High Priority Species of Conservation Concern

National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationNOAA Fisheries Invites Public Comment on New Draft Equity and Environmental Justice Strategy


Find more upcoming events in our calendar.

Sep. 1 | 9am-10am | Climate and Conservation Coffee 
Sep. 6 | 2pm-4pm | USET Forest and Wetland Webinar Training Series
Sep. 13 | 10am-11am | Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar
Sep. 15 | 10am-11am | SECAS Third Thursday Web Forum
Sep. 15 | 1pm-2pm | SE RISCC Webinar Series 
Sep. 20 | 1pm-2pm | Climate Adaptation for Forest-Dependent Wildlife Webinar Series
Sep. 28 | 3pm-4pm | North Carolina’s Shellfish Aquaculture Industry: Climate Resilience and Engagement Best Practices 
Sep. 29 | 12pm-1pm | U.S. East coast climate change scenario planning

Upcoming Events

Sep. 7 | Understanding Harmful Algal Blooms: State of the Science Conference | Toledo, OH
Sep. 14-16 | 10th Annual Rising Voices Workshop: Emergent Knowledge through Indigenous & Earth Science Collaborations | Virtual
Sep. 18-21 | 112th Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting | Fort Worth, TX
Sep. 18-22 | ATNI Annual Conference 2022 | Tulalip, WA
Sep. 19-21 | SE CASC Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Symposium | Gulf Shores, AL
Sep. 19 & 29-30 | Integrating Public and Ecosystem Health Systems to Foster Resilience | Virtual & Washington, DC
Oct. 10-11 | Climate Leaders Program Fall Symposium | Raleigh, NC
Oct. 18-20 | 2022 Tribal Exchange Network Conference | Flagstaff, AZ
Oct. 25-27 | National Adaptation Forum | Baltimore, MD


Hiring Announcements
NOAA Carolinas Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment program, the Carolinas Collaborative on Climate, Health, and Equity at NCSU, in partnership with SE CASC, is recruiting for a temporary Climate Adaptation Research Coordinator to coordinate and perform community-based research and programmatic activities for tribal communities which support local tribal action and policy advancement to address tribal climate impacts. More information.

Southeastern Grasslands Initiative (SGI) is accepting applications for the SGI Seed Program Manager position. The manager will be responsible for planning, coordinating, and leading the field work aspect of SGI Seed Program. Open until filled. More information

World Wildlife Fund is hiring a Global Oceans Lead Scientist who will provide expertise and support for WWF’s Oceans Practice. Open until filled. More information.

Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs at North Carolina State University is looking for a Director of Science Engagement. Open until filled. More information.

Global Research Institute at William & Mary is accepting applications for a 2-year Post-Doctoral Fellow in Food System Analytics. Review of applications begins Sept 1. More information.

The Nature Conservancy is looking for a Deputy Chief Scientist and Lead Global Scientist as an ambassador for global work. More information.

Funding Opportunities
NOAA Climate Program Office announces its Fiscal Year 2023 Notice of Funding Opportunity focused on climate and atmospheric research. More information & list of competitions.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is accepting applications for the Southern Plains Grassland Program to address the health and resilience of the grasslands of the Southern Great Plains. Applications are due by Oct. 26. More information.

NOAA is accepting applications for the FY2022 Transformational Habitat Restoration and Coastal Resilience Grants, to support $85 million of transformational projects restoring marine, estuarine, coastal, or Great Lakes ecosystems while enhancing community and ecosystem resilience to climate hazards. Apply by Sept. 6 here

FY22 Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities through NOAA, is accepting applications. The grant will support $10 million of opportunities for underserved communities, tribes, and/or tribal entities to meaningfully engage in coastal habitat restoration activities. Apply by Oct. 5 here.

Society for Conservation Biology is accepting applications for the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program. The fellowship provides opportunities for post-doctoral researchers in conservation science to grow their experience and knowledge in the field. Apply by Sept. 16 here.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently accepting applications for the FY22 National Fish Passage Program. It is a voluntary program aimed at maintaining and increasing fish populations in order to improve ecosystem resiliency. Applications are due by Dec. 30 here.

U.S. Dept of Agriculture is investing up to $20 million in fiscal 2023 to help conservation partners protect and restore critical wetlands through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership. Proposals from partners are due Sept. 23. More information.

The Hurricane Ecosystem Response Synthesis – Research Coordination Network is looking for applicants for its working group. The focus of the second working group will be data synthesis and conceptual research investigations that align within the theme ‘Understanding the roles of biodiversity and ecological evolutionary traits on ecosystem responses to extreme storm events.’ Applications due Sept 2. More information.