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April 2023 Newsletter

April 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center’s April 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

Join us TODAY at 11 AM ET for a virtual SE CASC Science Seminar, Sea Level Rise and Salinity Impacts on At-risk Native Freshwater Mussels, presented by Joseph McIver (NCSU). Learn more and register.

The next virtual SE CASC Science Seminar, Insights from a National Scale and Holistic Approach to Map Estuarine Vulnerability to Projected Change in Water Quality, will be presented by 2019-20 Global Change Fellow Lise Montefiore (NCSU & Natrx). May 23, 11AM ET. Learn more and register here

In case you missed the last Global Change Seminar, Communicating Risk in a Changing Climate, with Joseph Trujillo Falcon (NOAA/OU), Dr. Kenzie Krocak (OU), and Max Cawley (Museum of Life and Science) on April 12, you can view a summary and recording here.

Watch the recording of the SE CASC Science Seminar, Climate Support for Species Status Assessments, presented by Dr. Catherine (Kasia) Nikiel on March 16 here. Learn more.

Learn about our new SE CASC logo!

Researcher Spotlight: Learn more about Global Change Fellows Christina Perella & Austin Lamica.

Global Change Fellow Murry Burgess and 2022-23 Fellow Lauren Pharr were highlighted in an NC State News article, Inclusivity Outdoors: Making Field Research Safer.

Data generated from the SE CASC project, Impacts of Sea Level Rise and Associated Salinity Changes on At-risk Native Freshwater Mussels and Their Habitats in Atlantic Coastal Rivers, is now publicly available. View it here.

Recent data releases for the SE CASC project, Science to Inform the Management of Mangrove Ecosystems Undergoing Sea Level Rise at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida, can be found here.

2021-22 Global Change Fellow Madeline Anderson is lead author to Co-occurrence of freshwater and marine phycotoxins: A record of microcystins and domoic acid in Bogue Sound, North Carolina (2015 to 2020).

University Director Becky Irwin was featured in the article, Nature is out of sync—and that’s reshaping everything, everywhere, by National Geographic.

Irwin is also co-author to three new publications: Sunflower spines and beyond: mechanisms and breadth of pollen that reduce gut pathogen infection in the common eastern bumble bee, Comparative analysis of 3 pollen sterilization methods for feeding bumble bees, & Sunflower plantings reduce a common gut pathogen and increase queen production in common eastern bumblebee colonies.

Research Ecologist Mitch Eaton is co-author to Decision science as a framework for combining geomorphological and ecological modeling for the management of coastal systems.

A National Audubon Society article highlights the role of SE CASC and USGS scientists in incorporating decision science techniques to understand American kestrel losses.

Faculty Affiliate Pubs and Publicity:
PIs Paul Armsworth, Xingli Giam, and Monica Papes (UTK), co-authors to Biodiversity conservation adaptation to climate change: Protecting the actors or the stage

PI Greg Cope (NCSU), co-author to Histological evaluations of organ tissues reveal sublethal effects in a freshwater mussel (Villosa iris) exposed to chloride and potassium concentrations below benchmark estimates.

Faculty Affiliate Jordan Kern, co-author to U.S. West Coast droughts and heat waves exacerbate pollution inequality and can evade emission control policies

Faculty Affiliate Nathan Hostetter, lead author to A Review of Factors Affecting the Susceptibility of Juvenile Salmonids to Avian Predation.

Conservation Corridor: Mangroves need dynamic strategies to cope with rising sea levels.

SE RISCC: The next SE RISCC Webinar, Plant Invasions in the tropics: lessons from the Caribbean, will be presented by Julissa Rojas-Sandoval on April 20 at 1pm ET. Register here.

Project Spotlight

Ecosystem Services Mapping Datasets

Jekyll Island Marsh in Georgia. Image by Alan Cressler

Ecosystem services, or the benefits that natural ecosystems provide to people, are inherently spatial, tied to the specific ecosystems that create them. Mapping where ecosystem services are abundant or in short supply and identifying what lands provide certain services is useful for a variety of purposes, including land-use planning, assessment of conservation and restoration priorities, and identification of environmental justice issues. This project maps current ecosystem services, potential for future changes, and opportunity areas for management actions to enhance or protect ecosystem services for the southeastern United States. Learn more about the three subprojects with associated publications and data here. Project PIs Lydia Olander and Katie Warnell have also released an updated version of Testing ecosystem accounting in the United States: A case study for the Southeast. This data release provides updates to the pollinator habitat, recreational birding, and water purification datasets. Learn more.


AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the Synthesis Report for the Sixth Assessment Report during the Panel’s 58th Session held in Interlaken, Switzerland from 13 – 19 March 2023. Learn more

Video: Global Warming Broken Down by Latitude Zone (1880-2022). NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio created this visualization showing global temperature changes per latitude zone from 1880 to 2022. The video illustrates the concept of anomalies — how much warmer or cooler something is compared to the average temperature — by showing how fast the arctic is warming compared to other regions. Learn more.

North American Land Change Monitoring System. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation developed a data tool representing land cover in 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2020 across all of North America. The products can be used for carbon sequestration analysis, wildlife habitat mapping, and ecosystem monitoring among other applications. Learn more.

Building Community Resilience with Nature-Based Solutions. FEMA and its partners released its second nature-based solutions guide which provides five strategies for implementing successful nature-based solution projects to advance natural hazard mitigation and climate adaptation. Learn more.

An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and the Capacity for Their Supply. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine developed this report which examines the needs for native plant restoration and other activities, provides recommendations for improving the reliability, predictability, and performance of the native seed supply, and presents an ambitious agenda for action. Learn more.

Resources to Advance Climate Science and Support Decision Making. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced new resources, including Selecting Climate Information to Use in Climate Risk and Impact Assessments: Guide for Federal Agency Climate Adaptation Planners, Federal Framework and Action Plan for Climate Services. Learn more.

In the Media
A Natural Experiment Hints at an ‘Elegant Approach’ to Climate Adaptation | Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
A Sargassum Bloom Is Heading Toward Florida: What to Know About the Seaweed Mass | The Wall Street Journal
New Plan Aims to Protect the Gulf of Mexico’s Largest Seagrass Bed | Pew
FSU researchers find sea urchin die-offs threaten Caribbean coral reefs | Florida State University News
A New Report Is Out on Hurricane Ian’s Destructive Path. The Numbers Are Horrific | Inside Climate News

Notable Publications

Climate adaptation is a growing field of research with large support from the government and community members. Because of this broad support, practitioners need to be able to know if adaptation actions are achieving desired outcomes. Conservation practitioners have been focusing on monitoring and evaluation since the 1990s and the authors argue that climate adaptation professionals may benefit from learning from the conservation field. The authors looked at 76 adaptation projects across the United States from 2011-2017 and conducted a document analysis, online survey, and semi-structured interviews of those involved in the projects. They wanted to understand what practitioners are doing to evaluate conservation interventions that aim to foster climate change adaptation and identify opportunities for improvement. A key insight from the study was that only 21% of projects connect monitoring metrics to a theory of change linking actions to expected outcomes. This is important to help practitioners determine whether actions are achieving desired results and what needs to be adjusted if not. The study provides insight into how to enhance monitoring efforts and increase the effectiveness of climate-informed conservation. Link to article.

The impact of climate change on biodiversity has revealed key questions essential to successful conservation initiatives. These questions include the extent to which individual species will either shift their range or adapt in place to rapid environmental changes, to what extent species are influenced by anthropogenic landscape changes, and the degree of diversity necessary to maintain ecosystem functions. The authors argue that to answer these questions we need to understand past responses to large-scale changes. This feature includes studies and results that highlight how to translate historical findings into actionable conservation practices. These include studies on identifying resilient and connected landscapes, exploring ecological movement dynamics, and evaluating extinctions and range shift patterns. Link to article

The economic costs of mitigation and adaptation actions have been well documented while the carbon emissions associated with these actions have not. This will be an important consideration for countries that are attempting to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and transition to a clean economy. The authors looked at three potential mitigation and adaptation interventions: (1) deployment of renewable energy, (2) growth of adaptive space cooling, and (3) coastal adaptation. They then used a suite of models to estimate the carbon dioxide emissions embedded in these interventions. Results showed that under a gradual decarbonization pathway, cumulative emissions totaled about 96 GtCO2 as a result of mitigation and adaptation actions through 2100. This is mainly because a slower approach relies more on fossil fuels. This study shows how important it is to consider the emissions embedded in climate transition strategies and how these emissions can be minimized. Link to article.

Biodiversity conservation is increasingly made more difficult with climate change and associated landscape changes. Species that depend on specific regions and resources may not be able to keep up with the pace of change. Florida’s Everglades is one region which contains species that may have a difficult time adapting to climate change. An example is the endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow which occurs in marl prairie habitat at the southern end of the everglades. The authors wanted to show how incorporating sea level rise impacts into restoration planning and predictive models could help decision makers understand how this species is likely to respond to changes and adjust management actions to align with future conditions. Because the everglades have been a hotspot of restoration actions over the decades, there is a lot of available data that can be leveraged by predictive models to create outputs for management questions. The authors used the EverSparrow, a spatially explicit predictive model, to estimate the probability of sparrow presence considering both hydrologic change from restoration and sea level rise. Results show that sparrow presence is likely to decline as well as their available habitat due to sea level rise. It also highlights geographic restrictions for habitat expansion and the importance of conserving the habitat they already occupy. Link to article

 The health of coastal wetlands is dependent on interactions between sea level, plant primary production, sediment supply, and wetland vertical accretion or growth. As climate change and land-use change alter these biogeomorphic feedbacks, declines in sediment supply, increases in temperature, and additional sea level rise could threaten the ability of coastal wetlands to adapt to environmental changes. This study measured vertical accretion and carbon accumulation at nine sites along the U.S. east coast from Maine to Georgia. The authors show that rates of vertical accretion and carbon accumulation can be explained by differences in the rate of relative sea level rise, sediment supply, and temperature. The study also shows that rates of vertical accretion and carbon sequestration have increased at roughly the same pace as global sea level rise and that these processes are seen in areas with greater relative sea level rise, higher sediment availability, and lower temperatures. Ultimately the study finds that wetlands are responding to environmental changes but that impacts on key biogeomorphic feedbacks could interrupt this response. 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.

NCASC is hosting a virtual webinar series on how to integrate Indigenous Knowledges into Federal ecological research and resource management programs. Running bi-weekly from April 6 to June 1, 2023 (3 PM ET), this series centers Indigenous perspectives to explore ethical, legal, and scientific considerations inherent in working within different knowledge systems and provides guidance and case studies reflecting best practices for collaborating with Tribes and Indigenous communities. Learn more.

USDA is accepting applications for FY 2023 Equity in Conservation Outreach Cooperative Agreements. The goal of the agreement is to develop locally led conservation projects that help overcome barriers and offer opportunities for underserved producers and communities. Federally recognized Tribal Nations, State recognized Tribal Nations, and Tribal organizations are all eligible entities. Learn more and apply by April 27.

Native American Fish and Wildlife Society is accepting applications from a Native American or Alaska Native, junior or senior level undergraduate or graduate student majoring in Conservation Law Enforcement, Wildlife, Natural Resources or a related field to complete their 2023 Internship Program. Learn more and apply by May 5.

Regional Partner News

Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy: Register for a virtual workshop to review draft Southeast Conservation Blueprint 2023.

 The Native American Fish & Wildlife Society Named Field Liaisons For America The Beautiful Challenge NFWF Funding Program.

NASA: Thriving With Fires.

US Fish and Wildlife Service: A warmer, wetter world impacts Arkansas too.

National Wildlife Federation: Recent Eastern Monarch Numbers Show Grim Outlook for Imperiled Species.


Find more upcoming events in our calendar.

Apr. 20 | 10am-11am | Third Thursday Web Forum: The Southeast Conservation Blueprint Explorer and SECAS Atlas – New ways to access the Blueprint data
Apr. 20 | 11am-12pm | Southeast CASC Science Seminar – Sea Level Rise and Salinity Impacts on At-risk Native Freshwater Mussels
Apr. 20 | 1pm-2pm | Southeast RISCC Management Network: Plant Invasions in the tropics: lessons from the Caribbean
Apr. 20 | 3pm-4:30pm | NCASC Webinar Series: Incorporating Indigenous Knowledges into Federal Research and Management
Apr. 20 | 7pm-8:45pm | PBS NC’s State of Change: Natural Solutions Screening and Discussion Event
Apr. 25 | 10am-11am | NOAA NIDIS Southeast Climate Monthly Webinar
May 4 | 9am-10am | Climate and Conservation Coffee
May 23 | 11am-12pm | SE CASC Science Seminar – Insights from a National Scale and Holistic Approach to Map Estuarine Vulnerability to Projected Change in Water Quality

Upcoming Events

May 1-4 | NTFAQ 2023 National Tribal Forum on Air Quality | Chandler, AZ
June 21-22 | SE RISCC Management Network Summer Workshop 2023 | Virtual 
Aug. 14-17 | Tribal Lands and Environment Forum | Syracuse, NY


Student Announcements
Global One Health Academy at NC State University announced a call for applications for the 2023 Global One Health Fellows Program. Successful candidates will join an interdisciplinary cohort of graduate students interested in global dimensions of health across humans, animals, plants, and the environment. Learn more and apply by Apr. 28.

Hiring Announcements
Western Water Assessment, within the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at CU Boulder, is seeking applications for an engaged social science Post-Doctoral Associate to focus on climate adaptation and justice in frontline communities in the region. Learn more and apply by May 3.

Arizona State University is accepting applications for the Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship in Indigenous Knowledge Systems for the Anthropocene. Fellows will conduct research in an area of Earth systems science through an Indigenous Knowledge Systems lens. Learn more and apply by May 27. 

Deep South Center for Environmental Justice has six open positions: Water Justice Project Manager, Energy Justice Project Manager, Policy Research Coordinator, Project Manager of Community and Student Engagement, Communications Coordinator, and Law and Public Policy Associate. Learn more & apply here.

University of Washington Climate Impacts Group (host of the NW CASC) is hiring a Climate Justice Research Scientist, to support and expand their social science, policy, governance and project management capabilities across various climate change adaptation projects, with an emphasis on projects in collaboration with frontline communities. Learn more, apply by Apr. 21.

U.S. Geological Survey, working with the U.S. Global Change Research Program, is seeking an up to four-year term position, Chief of Staff to the Director of the National Nature Assessment. Learn more about this and other openings here.

Tampa Bay Estuary Program is hiring a full-time Science Communication Coordinator who can distill complex science for non-technical audiences; apply the principles of storytelling using a variety of media formats; and build authentic, long-lasting relationships within the greater Tampa Bay community. Learn more and apply by Apr. 28.

Funding Opportunities
Network for Landscape Conservation announced the 2023 funding round of the Catalyst Fund, to make strategic investments in strengthening the collaborative capacity of place-based, community-grounded Landscape Conservation Partnerships. Proposals are due Apr. 21. Learn more.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has announced a request for proposals for the Acres for America program. The program prioritizes the conservation of critical habitats for birds, fish, plants and wildlife, connecting existing protected lands to unify wild places and protect migration routes, providing access for people to enjoy the outdoors, and ensuring the future of local economies that depend on forestry, ranching and recreation. Pre-proposals due May 3. Learn more.

Check out this webpage for a list of NFWF Grant Funding Opportunities

National Wild Turkey Federation is accepting applications for its Wild Turkey Research Request for Proposals for projects that investigate the dynamics and drivers of the “post-restoration era” as well as those that address one or more research priorities. Learn more and apply by May 1.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are launching Climate Crossroads, a major new initiative to help the nation meet the challenges of climate change. They are establishing a new advisory committee to steer its work and seek a broad range of experts to participate. Learn more and submit suggestions by May 1.

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has announced a call for nominations for the 2023 Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards. The awards celebrate outstanding efforts to increase the resilience of America’s valuable living natural resources and help sustain the many people, communities, and businesses that depend on them. Learn more and submit nominations by May 31.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is seeking experts to provide external technical reviews of proposals seeking funding from the National Coastal Resilience Fund, the goals of which are to support planning, design and implementation of projects that advance nature-based solutions that both enhance the resilience of communities to coastal hazards and improve habitats for fish and wildlife. Learn more and apply by May 31.