map of tribal lands in SE US

Tribal Partners

The Southeast is home to several federally recognized Tribal Nations as well as many state-recognized Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities.

Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities steward natural resources to sustain environmental and human health, traditional ways of life, and cultural identities. This important relationship with both land and water ecosystems makes Tribal Nation governments, agencies, and communities particularly concerned with the impacts of climate change, which can include drought, increased wildfires and extreme weather, sea-level rise and melting glaciers.

The National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC) and the DOI Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) are working with Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities to identify specific current and potential climate change impacts to Tribal natural and cultural resources and to produce information that can be utilized in Tribal-led climate change adaptation planning. This work is conducted through research projects, outreach events, training workshops, stakeholder meetings, youth internships, and other coordination activities.

Tribal Resources WebApp

Click here to view our Tribal Resources WebApp and other climate change adaptation resources for Tribes.

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Input & Engagement

The Tribal Climate Science Liaison for the Southeast and Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Centers is Casey Thornbrugh. View Casey’s staff profile here.

Direct input from and engagement with Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities is crucial for the NCASC and CASCs to provide the appropriate science needed by these partners. Input is also important so that, when appropriate and acceptable, researchers can understand and consider Traditional Knowledges. Input is, in part, gathered through participation from these communities in the regional CASC Stakeholder Advisory Committees and the national Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science. CASCs have also engaged with Native communities through efforts such as inter-Tribal workshops and climate related training classes in the South Central U.S., education and networking meetings in the Northeast, and interviews with Tribal elders in the Northwest.

Tribal Climate Science Liaisons at the CASCs help identify climate information and research priorities of Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities and work with federal partners to address these priorities. The Tribal Climate Science Liaisons serve as a technical experts on climate change issues, resource vulnerability, and climate adaptation actions to Tribal Nations across the Department of Interior’s Climate Adaptation Science Center regions.

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