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Vision, Mission, and Goals

Vision

USGS created regional science centers across the country to provide fish and wildlife managers with tools to help them respond to a variety of climate change scenarios. Since the program’s inception, that mandate has been extended to include land, energy, and cultural heritage resources. In addition to creating data sets and models, climate science centers work directly with resource managers on developing skills, software, and knowledge needed to help maintain resilient and sustainable ecosystems in a changing climate.

The North Central CSC extends this vision to the specific regional needs of land and resource managers in the North Central domain. Our collaborative center strives to provide users with data, technology, and training that incorporates the best possible understanding of past, present, and future climate into the decision process.

Mission

The North Central Climate Science Center is one of eight regional centers created by the US Department of Interior to help meet the changing needs of land and resource managers across the United States. The Center brings together the latest data, tools, and knowledge on the impacts of climate change and works directly with resource managers to promote climate-informed conservation and provide university and USGS researchers the opportunity to work with an engaged and proactive applied management community. The NC CSC is a collaborative effort between USGS personnel, the North Central University Consortium, and a stakeholder advisory committee made up of federal resource managers and tribal leaders. 

Goals

These four goals will be met through cross-sector collaboration and regular iterative engagement with resource managers, decision makers, and the public:

  • Compile existing climate data and projections for use in regional climate models that can inform short-term management objectives;
  • Gain greater understanding of climate drivers and impacts on key regional sectors: natural, cultural, & energy resources and ecosystems goods and services;
  • Evaluate vulnerabilities through physical, ecological, and social perspectives and consider adaptive capabilities with a focus on human livelihood, health, and safety; and
  • Develop user-driven decision support tools that aid in developing effective climate change response strategies and resilient management practices.  

Guiding Principles

National and regional collaborators have agreed upon a set of guiding principles to ensure that all efforts work towards the Center’s mission. As a result, the NC CSC will strive to:

  1. Build on existing documents, assessments, indicators, and frameworks so as not to “reinvent the wheel"
  2. Improve understanding among resource managers about the implications of a non-stationary climate where temperature and precipitation events vary over time
  3. Prioritize research that is useful for end-users
  4. Maintain functionality of the Center as a coordinated research team focused on regional initiatives
  5. Respect the unique demands and constraints of all diverse stakeholders and research partners, each of whom is both limited and guided by different incentives and circumstances