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February 2023 Newsletter

February 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center’s February 2023 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

Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center News

The first Spring Global Change Seminar, organized by the Global Change Fellows, is Inclusivity in the Outdoors, presented by José González, Founder of Latino Outdoors. Feb. 23 at 1PM ET, in person in room 101 David Clark Labs, NC State campus or online via Zoom. Learn more and register.

The next virtual SE CASC Science Seminar is Climate Support for Species Status Assessments, presented by Dr. Catherine (Kasia) Nikiel, an ORISE/USGS Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate Impacts with SE CASC, on Mar. 16, 11AM ET. Learn more and register

In case you missed our virtual SE CASC Science Seminar, Introduction to New SE CASC Projects on Feb. 14, you can view the recording here.

Researcher Spotlight: Learn more about Global Change Fellows Murry Burgess & Julianne Reas

SE CASC Faculty Affiliates, we have opened the nomination period for 2023-24 Global Change Research Fellows. Learn more about the program here.

USGS Climate Adaption Scientists of Tomorrow Hydroclimate Program is accepting mini-grant applications for graduate student research support. Open to currently full-time enrolled graduate students from a SE CASC Consortium University, affiliated with a SE CASC Tribal partner, engaged on a current SE CASC funded project, or currently enrolled at Savannah State University or Jackson State University. Learn more and apply by Mar. 1.

2020-21 Global Change Fellow Ámbar Torres Molinari was awarded the Best Student Presentation for her work, “Population Characteristics and Parasites of American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) in Puerto Rico,” at the 2023 Southern Division American Fisheries Society Meeting. Learn more.

SE CASC consortium university researchers Katie Warnell (Duke) & Lydia Olander (Duke) co-developed a conservation prioritization tool and a conservation benefits calculator for North Carolina. These online tools can help North Carolina organizations set land conservation priorities in the face of climate change. Learn more & read the news release.

Faculty Affiliates Katherine Martin (NCSU) and Zakiya Leggett (NCSU) are co-authors to Call for environmental justice amplification among ecology scholars and practitioners: A Black Ecology perspective.

Conservation Corridor: Coral reefs and their chance to survive climate warming

SE RISCC: The next SE RISCC Webinar, Invasion of the joro spiders in the United States – an overview and summary of recent research, will be presented by Dr. Andy Davis (UGA) on March 16 at 1pm ET. Sign up to receive information here.

Project Spotlight

Impacts of Sea Level Rise and Associated Salinity Changes on At-risk Native Freshwater Mussels and Their Habitats in Atlantic Coastal Rivers

This study aims to assess the vulnerability of the Tidewater Mucket (Leptodea ochracea), an imperiled freshwater mussel species that lives in lower Atlantic Slope coastal drainages, to salinity by conducting standard sensitivity tests with early life stages (e.g., larvae, juveniles) of the mussel under controlled laboratory conditions; to determine potential effects of natural riverine salinity gradients on adult mussels by conducting a reciprocal transplant experiment with salinity adapted and non-salinity adapted mussels; and to develop a risk-based scenario of mussel salinity tolerances in existing occupied habitats incorporating predictions in sea level rise and projected salinity ranges. The outcomes of this research will provide actionable management and conservation information for maintaining these highly imperiled, but valuable molluscan resources.  Link to project page & an article highlighting the project.


Drought Planning in the Southeast United States. The National Integrated Drought Information System, Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments, and NOAA Climate Adaptation Partnerships Program developed this project to understand the drought planning landscape in the Southeast and inform future projects. Learn more.

Strategies and an Action Plan for Protecting and Restoring Wetland and Floodplain Functions. The Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance and the Wetland Mapping Consortium conducted workshops to identify barriers and challenges to developing a national floodplain protection plan. This report summarizes the findings of the workshops and identifies plans to protect and restore wetlands and floodplains. Learn more.

Green Infrastructure Effectiveness Database. NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management developed this online database to allow users to search for information on the effectiveness of green infrastructure to reduce the impacts of flooding and erosion and the economics of green infrastructure. Learn more.

The science needed for robust, scalable, and credible nature-based climate solutions for the United States. This report is the result of a workshop held in Washington D.C. in June 2022. The authors highlight the growing support for terrestrial Nature-based Climate Solutions in the United States, key knowledge gaps, best available tools and techniques, and how to address identified information needs. Learn more.

Connectivity & Climate Change Toolkit. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’  Climate Adaptation Committee  charged a small working group to develop a toolkit focused on climate-informed landscape connectivity. The toolkit provides fish and wildlife agencies with the information necessary to ensure climate considerations are being accounted for and incorporated in the planning and implementation of terrestrial and aquatic connectivity initiatives. Learn more.

In the Media
Climate change means warmer winters — but not the end of snowstorms | Yale Climate Connections
Resilience of rivercane: Efforts underway to restore plant that provides flood buffer | abc13News
Good Neighbors: How the Eastern Band of Cherokee and the Forest Service work together | BPR News
Extreme cold snaps: Why temperatures still plummet to dangerous levels even as the planet warms | CNN

Notable Publications

Studies have shown that the number of invasive species is increasing globally. The total number of known invasive species, however, is not well understood in the scientific literature. To address this challenge, the authors used the Global Plant Invaders database, which documents 3,008 plant taxa reported to be invasive in one or more scientific papers from 1959-2020, to understand how invasive, non-native species are accumulated over time. The authors ran statistical analyses on the information collected from the database to answer their research questions. The authors found that the current literature only accounts for 64% of the likely number of invasive plants globally with North America being the most studied continent. The authors further found that study design heavily influenced the estimated total of invasive taxa. The authors conclude that knowing the identity of invasive plants is critical to being able to stop them from being introduced and preventing invasion. They also argue that a universal sampling protocol should be used and that floristic surveys and censuses of invasive plants can help in understanding the geography of invasions. Link to article.

Over time, anthropogenic disturbances such as agriculture and timber harvesting have negatively impacted peatlands across the southeastern United States. These impacts include a release of soil carbon, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and an increased risk of wildfires. To understand the impact of hydrologic restoration of drained peatlands on soil respiration and carbon dioxide emissions, the authors measured total soil respiration, water table level, and soil temperature from drained and restored peatlands at three locations in eastern NC, and one location in southeastern VA. They used field observations and statistical analyses to answer their research questions. The authors found that raising water table levels reduced total soil respiration rates and that drained peatlands are more vulnerable to warming temperatures, among other findings. This research can be used by managers to estimate total soil respiration based on parameters that can be easily measured in the field to analyze potential climate mitigation benefits of peatlands hydrologic restoration. Link to article.

Climate change and biodiversity loss pose key challenges to conservation and adaptation efforts, especially on a landscape level where multiple state, city, and local jurisdictions overlap. Traditionally, transboundary organizations that attempt to address this challenge are settler-led and do not recognize Indigenous Rights or Indigenous land and wildlife stewardship. The authors examine how these challenges are being addressed by looking at the Cascadia Partner Forum’s Blueprint for a Resilient Cascadia which defines how conservation governance can be centered around Indigenous Knowledge and Leadership. Through workshops, discussions, and a partnership with the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, the forum designed a co-production process to develop a climate adaptation strategy. Key outcomes of the Blueprints co-development was identification of the need to center Indigenous leadership, sovereignty, and values in Cascadia resilience efforts. The authors hope that this study of the Blueprints process, outcomes, and implementation can help inform similar efforts. Link to article.

In 2015 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was petitioned to list the western bumble bee as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The western bumble bee was once a very common species but has become increasingly rare which has had ecological and economic implications because of the many ecosystem services pollinators provide. The authors wanted to qualitatively investigate the cumulative effects of changing climate, land cover, and pesticide use as well as project future occupancy to demonstrate the need for broad conservation actions. Researchers found that mean predicted occupancy declined 57% from 1998 to 2020, that temperature had the highest impact on occupancy, that strong relationships exist between occupancy and shrub area, and that neonicotinoid pesticide usage led to declines in occupancy as the rate of application increased, among other findings. These results varied spatially and temporally but future projections showed continued range-wide declines. This study shows how multiple stressors can lead to species decline and highlights the need for conservation efforts that address a wide range of impacts. Link to article.

The scientific community identified climate change as a global issue in the 1970s. Even with the scientific consensus, climate change is often a misunderstood and contentious topic. The authors wanted to address this issue by examining climate change coverage in college biology textbooks from 1970-2019 to inform educational policy and reform. Researchers focused on four aspects for the content analysis (1) the amount of coverage, (2) the start location of the passages in the books, (3) the categorization of sentences as addressing a description of the greenhouse effect, impacts on global warming, or actions to ameliorate climate change, and (4) presentation of data in figures. The authors analyzed 57 books using an intentional sample of the most widely used textbooks in the U.S. undergraduate education. Results indicate that overall coverage of climate change increased over time, with the greatest increase in the 1990s. They found that climate change was often addressed at the end of textbooks, that actions focused on national/international responsibility, and that the number of data figures remained small despite increases since the 1970s, among other findings. Overall the breadth and amount of content has not kept pace with the severity or scope of the problem. The authors propose that U.S. educators and curriculum developers consider the implicit messages sent by this level of coverage and organization of climate change content. 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.

Native American Fish and Wildlife Society is hosting a new webinar series, National Coastal Resilience Fund, in collaboration with Throwe Environmental, American Society of Adaptation Professionals, and National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. The first webinar covered Introductory Information and Eligibility. Learn more.

Rising Voices Center for Indigenous and Earth Sciences is hosting their 11th Annual Rising Voices Workshop. Rising Voices facilitates opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous scientific experts and community leaders from around the world to address how extreme weather and climate events impact communities and to develop action plans. Learn more and apply by Feb. 28. 

Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals and the Seminole Tribe of Florida and their Climate Resiliency staff are collaborating on a course: Southeast Indigenous Climate Adaptation Planning. The course will provide an overview to planning for climate change impacts, highlighting the work of tribes that have completed an adaptation plan or vulnerability assessment. The training will be March 9-11 in Ocala, Florida. Learn more.

American Indian Higher Education Consortium is recruiting Tribal College and University students for the Climate Resilience Summer Research Program, a 12-week summer opportunity in which undergraduate students participate in identifying and addressing climate change and energy issues in their respective American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Learn more and apply by Feb. 24.

Haskell Environmental Research Studies (HERS) program is accepting applications for the HERS Summer Internship Program. The 8-week paid internship is held during June and July and provides Native American undergraduate students with an introduction to graduate study in STEM disciplines through mentorship, advocacy, and research training. Learn more and apply by Mar. 3.

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians is calling for Tribal delegates for the 2023 Southwest Tribal Climate Camp, designed to support teams of tribal leaders, climate change coordinators, planners, and program managers to build skills, gather information, and develop tribal plans and policies needed to address climate change impacts. Learn more.

The 1st Annual Rivercane Gathering, co-hosted by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma and the US Forest Service is taking place April 4-7 in Tahlequah, OK. The goal of the gathering is to bring together tribes, native artisans, traditional knowledge holders, scientists, land managers, and other stakeholders to share in two-way learning about the current state of knowledge for rivercane in the southern United States. Learn more.

Regional Partner News

US Army Corps of Engineers: South Atlantic Coastal Study Final Report and Products.

U.S. Global Change Research Program: The U.S. Global Change Research Program 2022–2031 Strategic Plan.

National Park Service: Revised Climate change vulnerability assessments in the National Park Service: An integrated review for infrastructure, natural resources, and cultural resources.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: 2022 Severe Weather Year-In-Review.

Southeast Conservation Adaptation StrategyNFWF Coral Reef Conservation Fund 2023 RFP now available.


Feb. 16 | 10am-11am | South Atlantic Third Thursday Web Forum
Feb. 16 | 1pm-2pm | Southeast RISCC Management Network Monthly Webinar
Feb. 21 | 1pm-2pm | Climate Adaptation for Forest-Dependent Wildlife Webinar Series
Feb. 23 | 1pm-2:30pm | SE CASC Global Change Seminar – Inclusivity in the Outdoors
Feb. 28 | 10am-11am | NOAA NIDIS Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar
March 2 | 9am-10am | Climate and Conservation Coffee
March 14 | 10am-11am | Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar
March 16 | 11am-12pm | SE CASC Science Seminar: Climate Support for Species Status Assessments

Upcoming Events

Feb. 15-16 | Mississippi River Science Forum | Virtual
Feb. 23 | Explore USGS Careers in Florida and the Caribbean | Virtual
March 3-4 | Creating Solutions for the Global Blue Economy 2023 | Morehead City, NC
Mar, 31-Apr. 1 | AISES Region 7 Conference | Lumberton, NC
Mar. 28-29 | Introduction to Using Climate Modeling for Forest Management workshop | Virtual
April 4-72023 Rivercane Gathering | Tahlequah, OK
May 15-17 | 2023 Georgia Climate Conference | Athens, GA
May 16-17 | 2023 Local Solutions: Climate Migration | Keene, NH
June 26-29 | Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands Meeting 2023 | Austin, TX


Student Announcements 
University of Georgia is looking for a Graduate Research Assistant. The student will compare and develop predictive modeling frameworks to support species status assessment efforts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. More information.

The interagency Earth to Sky partnership between NASA, NPS, and FWS is recruiting paid interns for summer 2023. Among the available positions are (1) Climate Interpretation Training Intern, (2) Climate Communication and Interpretation Intern, and (3) Eclipse Outreach Intern. Click the links to learn more about eligibility and apply by Mar. 1.

NW Climate Adaptation Science Center
is accepting proposals for the 2023-24 Research Fellowship Program. The fellowship supports research related to climate adaptation for Northwest natural and cultural resource management and provides training in developing decision-relevant science. Learn more and apply by Mar. 13.

Mississippi State University’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture has a four-year PhD research assistantship available focusing on invasion ecology and riverine fish conservation. This project aims to compare the timing of migratory movements of three large-river species to evaluate whether water infrastructures can be operated to allow native fish passage while inhibiting movements of invasive carps. Learn more and apply by Mar. 15.

Hiring Announcements 
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis is seeking a post-doctoral researcher to join an interdisciplinary team researching the vulnerability of species to climate and land use change and how consideration of these factors should inform conservation strategies. Review of applications starts Feb. 27. Learn more

U.S. Geological Survey Climate Adaptation Science Centers is hiring Regional Administrators (5 openings) and Assistant Regional Administrators (3 openings) around the country (duty station negotiable upon selection). They are seeking a diverse pool of qualified applicants. Learn more and apply by Mar. 6.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has announced the release of the 2023 Request for Proposals under the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley Restoration Fund. In pursuit of habitat and species restoration goals, applicants are encouraged to prioritize projects that also address co-benefits and engage local communities and historically underserved landowners. Learn more and submit proposals by Apr. 6. 

Tampa Bay Environmental Restoration Fund is accepting applications for cost-effective projects that will protect, restore, or enhance the natural resources of Tampa Bay and its contributing watershed. This fund is a strategic partnership between the Tampa Bay Estuary Program and Restore America’s Estuaries. Learn more and submit proposals by Mar. 15.

NASA Earth Science Division is calling for proposals that will improve or develop decision-making activities to combat the spread of invasive species, advance the use of ecosystem service assessment for decision making, and inform management, protection, and establishment of protected areas. Learn more and submit proposals by Mar. 14.

NASEM Gulf Research Program is accepting applications for the Science Policy Fellowship. Fellows gain first-hand experience as they spend one year on the staff of federal, state, local, or non-governmental environmental, natural resource, oil and gas, and public health agencies in the Gulf of Mexico region. Learn more and apply by Mar. 1.

Resilient Nation Partnership Network has announced this year’s “Next Generation of Resilience” Student Showcase. Four student panelists will be asked to share their perspectives focused on this year’s theme: Voices of the Future on April 26. Students interested in submitting a personal resilience story for consideration will need to submit by Feb. 28 here. Register for the event here.

National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine is accepting participant nominations for a study on Co-Production of Environmental Knowledge, Methods, and Approaches. Researchers will conduct a study on co-production approaches to knowledge-building and decision-making in environmental change contexts to optimize societal benefits. Learn more and submit nominations by Feb. 24.

Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability and Sea Grant are sponsoring a Coastal Resilience Workshop: Advancing Coastal Resilience in Mississippi Defense Communities, on Feb. 23 in Biloxi, MS. The workshop is being hosted by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium to foster and support military-community partnerships focused on building coastal resilience. Email Michelle Covi at for more information.