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This project identifies opportunities to manage flows, connections, and landscapes to increase the resilience of human communities and ecosystems. This research identifies dynamic and adaptive solutions to managing river flows that allow continued provision of valuable infrastructure services such as flood control, hydropower, and water supply, while also supporting thriving river ecosystems - both today and into the future. The goals of the research were to: 1) Evaluate the potential impacts of climate change on hydrologic regimes, 2) Determine the flow regime changes that will be required to provide riverine environmental services and any risk associated with these changes, and 3) Explore management alternatives that mitigate potential negative impacts and improve system robustness

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Connecticut River - public domain
Project

Climate change is likely to impact erosion rates, the magnitude and frequency of extreme rainfall/mass wasting events, and the accumulation of sediment in coastal areas. However, long-term rates of erosion and sediment delivery to coastal systems are poorly constrained and there is limited understanding of the relative effects of climate change versus land-use change on these processes. Furthermore, existing instrumental and historical observations are inadequate for constraining the frequency of extreme events and evaluating the potential for changes in the magnitude and frequency of these events through time

Project

The Massachusetts Climate Change Projections - Statewide and for Major Drainage Basins:  Temperature, Precipitation, and Sea Level Rise Projections project was developed by NE CASC with funding by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In Sept. 2016 Governor Baker signed a Comprehensive Executive Order committing the administration to work across the state to plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The goal of this project was to develop down scaled projections for changes in temperature, precipitation, and sea level rise for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has provided support for these projections to enable municipalities, industry, organizations, state government and others to utilize a standard, peer-reviewed set of climate change projections that show how the climate is likely to change in Massachusetts through the end of this century

Project

As more NE CASC projects come to completion, the opportunity to share research-based outputs to an expanded audience of end users has increased. The translation and application of climate science data and products are paramount to effective on-the-ground adaptation.  Extension staff at land-grant universities have a translational role in providing guidance to municipalities, private landowners, farmers, and other practitioners making natural resource management decisions. They work closely with academics, nonprofits, and state agencies to deliver research-based information and approaches. This project will identify extension partners leading on climate adaptation in our region, provide insight on where and how some of these partners and their stakeholders are using NE CASC products, and deliver any new information

Project

This project studies water systems in a changing climate through the lens of Sustainability Science, which provides a framework where all systems can move endogenously through time with interactions. This study will develop an analytical system for the prediction of outcomes and feedbacks among the climate, biogeochemical, and social systems controlling water quality in the Great Lakes region. The focus will be on the expected impact of climate-change-related extreme events on nutrient loading to the Great Lakes, and the development of management systems that are robust and support adaptation in this context. We will select specific analytical scenarios, such as increased drought, extremes in springtime precipitation, changes in snowmelt patterns, and rapid shifts in human water use. A 50-year retrospective analysis will identify feedbacks and parameterize models to predict future changes, and a prognostic analysis will project impacts for 100 years

Project

Native communities are among the most vulnerable to climate change due to their small size and limited resources, as well limited voice in American government policy making and our culture.  DOI has declared it a mandatory goal that the agency works to assist tribes with their climate change adaptation needs.  Doing so requires considerable time developing relationships and trust. In addition to engagement through site visits, this project entails providing localized climate summaries (data tables, maps, time series) for tribal communities in the NE CASC footprint as well as engaging them in decision making frameworks such as Scenario Planning

Project

Downscaling is the process of making a coarse-scale global climate model into a finer resolution in order to capture some of the localized detail that the coarse global models cannot resolve. There are two general approaches of downscaling: dynamical and statistical. Within those, many dynamical models have been developed by different institutions, and there are a number of statistical algorithms that have been developed over the years. Many past studies have evaluated the performance of these two broad approaches of downscaling with respect to climate variables (e.g., temperature, precipitation), but few have translated these evaluations to ecological metrics that managers use to make decisions in planning for climate change. This study uses maple syrup production as a case study for evaluating how these two downscaling techniques perform in terms of projecting changes in the tapping season

Project

The Brook Floater (Alasmidonta varicosa) is a stream-dwelling freshwater mussel native to the Atlantic Slope of the United States and Canada that has experienced large population declines over the last 50 years and is at high risk of extinction. This project will focus on strategies for achieving conservation for Brook Floater through multiple objectives: We will develop standardized surveys that will be conducted throughout partnering states to estimate abundances and predict occupancy of Brook Floater. We will develop species distribution models from the results of surveys from partnering states to inform future surveys and understand the habitat needs of Brook Floater.   We will develop propagation methods and build capacity for Brook Floater propagation throughout the range to aid in for population restoration. We will use structured decision making to focus monitoring design at the state and regional scale

Project

The purpose of the Indigenous Planning Summer Institute (IPSI) is to introduce concepts of Indigenous planning; Examine the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) theoretical model of sustainability as a guide for Indigenous Planning; Visit the Menominee community and forest and surrounding tribal communities to see different examples of Indigenous Planning in practice. We have slowly built up support for this specific project over the years, including directing support from NE CASC and integrating resources, products and information into this project. The future goal we are working toward is to create indigenous students who are the next leaders, managers, and scientists in their communities, and well versed in indigenous planning concepts, in relation to climate change and other community resiliency topics

Project

Climate change-driven shifts in distribution and abundance are documented in many species. However, in order to better predict species responses, managers are seeking to understand the mechanisms that are driving these changes, including any thresholds that might soon be crossed. We leveraged the research that has already been supported by the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NE CASC) and its partners and used the latest modeling techniques combined with robust field data to examine the impact of specific climate variables, land use change, and species interactions on the future distribution and abundance of species of conservation concern. Moreover, we documented biological thresholds related to climate variability and change for critical species in the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. Our objectives were to identify the primary drivers (e.g

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