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Meeting stakeholder needs through the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives

The North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC) is committed to bringing the best possible climate science to bear in order to inform decisions made by Department of the Interior (DOI) planners and other land and resource managers across the country.   To help accomplish this mission, key partnerships have been established between the NC CSC and the DOI Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) in the North Central region of the U.S.  Whereas the eight Climate Science Centers have a greater emphasis on climate science delivery, the LCCs focus more generally on defining research needs for conservation, and on science and tool delivery to support conservation outcomes. 

In order to help connect the landscape-scale conservation activities of the LCC network with its climate science capacity, the NC CSC has worked with four regional LCCs and our University Consortium to establish liaison teams.  These liaison teams will focus communication efforts between LCC and NC CSC leadership to enhance development of collaborative work, integrating climate science with management needs to result in cogenerated information.

These liaisons will help leverage the existing efforts and expertise of the USGS, staff at the NC CSC, and the NC CSC University Consortium to more directly contribute climate science collaboration and support to priority LCC activities and topics.

The objective of this collaboration is to focus on increased engagement and communication, as called for in the National Academy of Science review of the LCCs, to 1) take advantage of the LCCs’ existing and ongoing distillation of partner needs and 2) bring existing NC CSC and USGS climate-related science to bear on those needs.

The North Central CSC – LCC liaison teams:

Plains and Prairie Potholes LCC and the Great Plains LCC Liaison Team

-       Max Post van der Burg, Research Ecologist, USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC)

-       Aaron Pearse, Research Ecologist, NPWRC

-       Dave Mushet, Chief of the Climate and Land Use branch of NPWRC

-       Michael Anteau, Chief of the Wildlife and Ecosystems branch of NPWRC

-       Mark Wiltermuth, Chief of the Integrated Sciences branch of NPWRC

-       Todd Preston, Ecologist, USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

-       Dan Manier, Ecologist, Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) 

Great Northern LCC Liaison Team

-       Geneva Chong, Capacity Building Lead, North Central Climate Science Center

-       Kathi Irvine, Research Statistician, USGS NOROCK

-       Greg Pederson, Research Ecologist, NOROCK

-       Todd Preston, Geologist, NOROCK

-       David Wood, Ecologist, NOROCK

Southern Rockies LCC Liaison

-       John Bradford, Research Scientist, USGS Southwest Biological Science Center

NC CSC University Consortium LCC Liaison:

-       Jill Lackett, University Program Manager, NC CSC


More info on the NCCWSC project page

Early considerations

At the initiation of both the Climate Science Centers and the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, the following six overarching questions were brought to the North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC) from the four Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) falling within the North Central footprint. These questions describe the main climate science needs for land management agencies in the region.

We have posted these questions here as a community forum. This will allow updates to be posted as activities are conducted. There is also the opportunity for stakeholders and the wider community to comment on each issue.

Six overarching questions:

  1. Extension Climatologist-Biologist concept: What innovative methods and research can the NC CSC develop to communicate climate-related science to land and water managers so they both understand it AND know how to use it?
  2. Climate Model Output: How can the NC CSC help us know which climate models (General Circulation Models, GCMs, and downscaling) and climate data to use?
  3. Tracking ecological implications and results: Who, what, and how have NC CSC products been used in ecological response modeling efforts?
  4. Human Dimensions research: Can the NC CSC provide research and guidance on the intersection of coupled human-ecological systems and climate-related science?
  5. Host/Facilitate Regular “Connections” workshop: Can the NC CSC bring researchers together with LCC researchers and land and water managers to create linkages among and between research projects and management decision-making?
  6. Enhanced operating procedures, principles, and structures: Can the NC CSC and LCCs work together to discern the collective needs shared by the LCCs, CSCs, and key stakeholders?