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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

NE CSC Newsletter

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

News and upcoming events related to the Northeast Climate Science Center

------ NE CSC NEWS: -----------------------------------------------------------------

Upcoming Webinar: Extreme Climate Events and Species Population Dynamics: Overriding Influence or Not Such a Big Deal?    April 23, 2014 at 3:30pm (ET), Speaker: Keith Nislow, UMass Amherst. Given the difficulty of accurately forecasting climate extremes understanding their role in population dynamics is critical for effective management and climate adaptation.  In this talk, we review some of the basic determinants of population response to extreme events, using case studies based on long-term data from natural populations in the northeastern region, and present a modeling framework for evaluating the relative impacts of changes in timing, duration, and magnitude.  Read more…


CMN awarded NASA's 2014 Innovations in Climate Education Tribal Awards    Congratulations to NE CSC Consortium Institution, College of Menominee Nation, one of the awardees!  NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project has awarded nearly $3 million in new cooperative agreements to four Tribal Colleges and Universities across the US to enhance learning through the use of the agency’s Earth science resources. Read more…


Storm transposition and climate change    NE CSC Principal Investigator Ken Potter and colleagues are using “storm transposition” to evaluate the vulnerability of communities to the kinds of flood risk that are likely to increase due to climate change.  They model  model flooding conditions in particular locations using data from an extreme storm that recently occurred in a nearby location.   For example, their work modeling the impact of extreme events on the Lake Mendota watershed, which includes Madison, Wisconsin indicates that a transposed storm would have been more damaging than any storm to date.  Throughout the modeling process they have shared methods and results with city and county engineers and, once results are available, will work with city and county personnel to evaluate the effectiveness of existing lake management practices and stormwater management ordinances.  Read more…


University of Missouri helps Feds with climate change research    NE CSC Fellow Thomas Bonnot at the University of Missouri is featured in a story on Mid-Missouri Public Radio for his work developing models that predict how climate change will effect forests and wildlife.  "We can use these models to not only pull in climate change but pull in those conservation scenarios that we might consider and see which of those conservation scenarios across the region are going to most benefit the most wildlife species in the context of the climate change that might happen."  Read more…


New publication: Rare sperm whale biodiversity and habitat     In the largest regional study of its type to date, marine ecologist and NE CSC Science Coordinator Michelle Staudinger at UMass Amherst and colleagues offer better understanding of the feeding ecologies of two very rare sperm whale species in waters off the southeast U.S. coast, adding baseline data they say are important as climate change, fishing and pollution alters the animals’ environment and food sources.  Published in Marine Mammal Science. Read more…


Upcoming Webinar: NE CSC Fish Habitat Data Viewer Planning     Wednesday May 7, 2014 - This workshop is being organized to demonstrate methods to: 1) characterize the current condition of stream fish habitats throughout the NE CSC region based on responses of target fish species to a diverse set of landscape-scale disturbances; 2) identify stream reaches predicted to change with climate and likely to change distributions of target fish species throughout the region; and 3) develop a spatially-explicit web-based decision support viewer showing measures of current landscape condition along with estimates of changes in habitat that may occur with changes in climate.  RSVP required.  Read more…


------ FEATURED PARTNER: ------------------------------------------

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Urban and Community Forestry Program     The Massachusetts Urban and Community Forestry Program assists communities and nonprofit groups in protecting, growing, and managing community trees and forests, with the ultimate aim of improving the environment and enhancing livability of communities in Massachusetts. The program provides grants, technical assistance, training, and recognition awards to communities of all sizes throughout the commonwealth and also provides guidance on urban forestry policy issues at the state level. Find resources on how trees in urban and suburban areas can help mitigate some impacts of climate change, from reducing stormwater to air pollution, on our resources page


------ WEBINARS: ------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, April 17, 10:00 am ET

Third Thursday Web Forum presents,

“Can forests take the heat? Managing pests and ecosystem services in a warming climate”

Steve Frank, Ph.D., NC State University, Department of Entomology

To join, visit:


Wednesday, April 23, 1:00 pm ET

EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities program presents,

“Communicating Climate Risks”

To join, visit:  (click on “training” tab)


Wednesday, April 23, 3:30 pm ET

Northeast Climate Science Center presents, 

"Extreme Climate Events and Species Population Dynamics: Overriding Influence or Not Such a Big Deal?"

Keith Nislow, UMass Amherst

To join, visit:


Thursday, April 24, 1:00 pm ET

Tribal Renewable Energy webinar series presents,

"Natural Resources and Agriculture Webinar"

To join or register, visit:


Thursday, April 24, 2:00 pm ET

OneNOAA Science Seminars

"Human-Induced Climate Change and Projections for the Future"

Dennis L. Hartmann

To join or register, visit:

password: 282 627 017 


Thursday, May 1, 2014 1:00 PM  ET

Tribal Renewable Energy webinar series presents,

“Communities: Human Health and Community Development Webinar”

To register, visit:


Wednesday, May 7, time TBD

Northeast Climate Science Center presents, 

“NE CSC Fish Habitat Data Viewer Planning"

Craig Paukert and others

To register, visit:


Wednesday, May 7, 4:00 pm ET

Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast presents,

“How Do Local Decision Makers and the Public View Climate Change?”

To join, visit:


Tuesday, May 21, 1:00 pm EST

US Forest Service Landscape Science webinar series presents, 

"Can landscape-scale management influence insect outbreak dynamics? A natural experiment for spruce budworm"

Brain Sturtevant

To join or register, visit:


Wednesday, May 28, 1:00 pm EST

Tribal Renewable Energy webinar series presents,

"Renewable Energy Project Refinement Webinar"

James Buizer

To join or register, visit:


Thursday, May 29, 5:00 pm EST

OneNOAA Science Seminars

"A climate-to-fish-to-fishers model for the Eastern Pacific sardine and anchovy system"

Enrique Curchitser

To join or register, visit:

password: 282 627 017 


----- UPCOMING EVENTS: --------------------------------------------------

Dan Zarrow, NE Regional Climate Center at Cornell, to speak on Extreme Precipitation in the Northeast US in a Changing Climate     Monday, April 28 at MIT, Cambridge, MA.  Mr. Zarrow will discuss the history of extreme precipitation analysis, demonstrate a NRCC web tool to explore extreme rainfall statistics, describe trends in extreme precipitation over time, and preview work to downscale global climate models and predict extreme rainfall events in the future.  Advanced registration required by April 21st.  Read more…


------ OTHER NEWS: --------------------------------------------------------------

Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change     The IPCC WG III “[assessed] all relevant options for mitigating climate change through limiting or preventing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing activities that remove them from the atmosphere.”  The meeting concluded with a finalized assessment report. Read more… 


Obama Administration Launches Climate Data Initiative      A broad effort to leverage the federal government's extensive, freely-available climate-relevant data resources to stimulate innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship in support of national climate-change preparedness.  Read more…


Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast Announces Seminar Series on Green Infrastructure, Climate, and Cities     The seminars will focus on the specific climate risks in the urban Northeast United States, and Philadelphia in particular, and how the public thinks about climate change and makes associated decisions. Read more…


Video: Minnesota Mystery: What’s Killing the Moose?    Moose in Minnesota are dying at an alarming rate, and biologists are racing to understand what's behind the rapid decline. Video features Dr. Seth Moore, Director of Biology and Environment, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Read more…


Cape Wind Battle Continues as Foes File New Lawsuit    Longtime opponents of Cape Wind’s controversial $2.6 billion industrial wind energy proposal off the coast of Cape Cod have filed a new lawsuit, challenging the developer’s state-approved no-bid contract to sell its energy at three times the price of competing out-of-state green energy companies. Read more…


Breaking New Ground    Last month, about 30 people representing a dozen or so federal, state and non-governmental organizations gathered at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turner Falls, Massachusetts to begin mapping out a plan for conserving fish, wildlife and plants in the 7.2 million-acre Connecticut River watershed. It's a small step that is leading to something big. Read more…


Landscope Chesapeake    As a formal collaboration between NatureServe, Chesapeake watershed states, the National Park Service, and U.S. Geological Survey, LandScope Chesapeake supports collaboration among many partners in land conservation efforts throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. Read more…


CAKE Highlight: Using Green Infrastructure to Prevent Sewage Overflows in Detroit     In the Great Lakes region, climate change is predicted to bring greater amounts of precipitation falling in shorter periods of time, resulting in increased flooding. For Detroit, flooding brings an extra problem - sewage overflows. Green infrastructure creates rainwater filtration right at the surface, keeping rainwater from entering the combined sewer system and preventing additional sewage pollution in the Great Lakes. Read more…


------ RESOURCES: --------------------------------------------------------------

NIACS Update: Climate vulnerability assessment for Michigan forests     The latest product from the Climate Change Response Framework, the Michigan Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis, is specifically designed to address forests in Michigan's eastern Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, and it is one of a series of similar assessments within the Northwoods. Read more…


Better Road-Stream Crossing Designs Can Help Prevent Road Wash-outs and Help Fish     In a recent article in Fisheries, the magazine of the American Fisheries Society, scientists describe the benefits of stream simulation design for both improving the reliability of the road network and enhancing connectivity for fish and other aquatic species. Read more…


New Regional Climate Outlook    The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment Climate Network has launched a new quarterly e-bulletin with information on regional climate adaptation resources and events, and a new product collaboratively developed by US and Canadian meteorologists—the Gulf of Maine Region Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook (GOM Outlook). Read more…


Video: Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey: Adaptation to Sea Level Rise     On the topic of sea level rise and our responses to it, which include a wide variety of approaches, from elaborate and expensive seawalls to enhanced natural resilience, such as the restoration of mangroves, marshes and coral reefs. Read more…


American Association for the Advancement of Science Launches Communications Campaign on Climate Change     "What We Know: The Reality Risks, and Responses to Climate Change," a new initiative dedicated to ensuring that the reality, risks, and response to climate change are communicated to the public.  Read more… 


Videos: Forest and Grassland Carbon in North America    This short course was designed to provide land managers with a range of presentations by experts on carbon science, management, and policy. A series of "portable electronic presentations" that provide relevant and credible information and link to numerous tools and resources. Read more…


Study Says Climate Change Will Lower Crop Yields    The University of Leeds published a study in Nature Climate Change which found that 2 degrees Celsius of global warming will reduce world-wide crop yields sooner than previous predictions. Researchers predict diminishing yields beginning in the 2030s and on.  Read more...


------ OPPORTUNITIES: --------------------------------------------------------------

SCRiM Summer Scholars 2014    A 9-week summer research opportunity at Penn State University for undergraduates and early-career graduate students.  The Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRiM) links a transdisciplinary team of climate scientists, economists, philosophers, statisticians, engineers, and policy analysts to answer the question, “What are sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient, and ethically defensible strategies for managing the risks associated with climate change?” Read more…


EPA Announces Mid-Atlantic Wetland Program Development Grants Proposals     An opportunity for states, local governments, and state universities to complete projects that develop and refine comprehensive wetland programs.  The goal is to increase the quantity and quality of wetlands in the U.S. by conserving and restoring wetland acreage and improving wetland conditions.  Deadline April 21, 2014.  Read more…