The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Alaska Climate Science Center (CSC), which is being hosted in Anchorage by the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
The ceremony for the Alaska CSC marked the first official opening of one of eight regional climate science centers the department is establishing throughout the nation.
‘Everyone here knows that Alaska is 'ground zero' in witnessing the impacts associated with climate change, with rapidly receding glaciers and a thawing permafrost having far-ranging effects on plants, animals and humans alike,’ says Anne Castle, assistant secretary of the DOI's water and science division.
The CSCs will use existing capacities to provide scientific data, tools and techniques to manage the nation's land, water, fish and wildlife, and cultural heritage in a changing climate. Each CSC will be a partnership between federal and state agencies and an academic institution or consortium of universities.
The CSCs will also work closely with a network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) in which federal, state, tribal and other managers and scientists will develop conservation, adaptation and mitigation strategies for dealing with the impacts of various stressors such as climate change.
By working together with the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, CSCs and LCCs will address climate change impacts that typically extend beyond the borders of any single national wildlife refuge, national park or Bureau of Land Management unit.
In addition to the Alaska CSC, the DOI announced the Southeast Climate Science Center hosted by North Carolina State University; the Northwest Climate Science Center led by a consortium of three universities; the Southwest Climate Science Center with a large consortium including University of Arizona-Tucson; and the North Central Climate Science Center with nine universities headed by Colorado State University.
The DOI will invite proposals for the three remaining centers, which will be the Northeast, South Central, and Pacific Islands Climate Science Centers.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of the Interior