Project

Expanding our knowledge of winter limnology is critical for managing lakes , reservoirs, and all freshwater resources in a future with shorter winters and less lake ice. In temperate latitudes, we have largely ignored winter as a season that impacts ecological processes, and it is unclear what ramifications the loss of lake ice will have on lake ecosystems. This project will combine long-term observational datasets, high-frequency buoy data, and an experimental approach to understanding the role of light availability in under-ice productivity

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This project examines how leadership within organizations (e.g., C-suite executives) influences organizational and sectoral responses to climate change. This includes prioritization of climate change responses within and beyond organizational boundaries, climate-oriented organizational leadership within and across sectors (e.g., public health, higher education), and the role of institutional leaders in driving change

Project

Global mean sea level rise of ~3 mm/year during the last decade was likely the highest rate since 1900, and continues to accelerate. It is therefore critical that coastal communities begin to develop adaptive responses to changing shorelines. We will update local sea level rise projections along the Northeast US coastline using a probabilistic model of future sea level distribution, combined with analysis of local trends and extreme sea level events from tide gauge records, to create regionally-appropriate projections. A similar approach has already been successfully implemented for the state of Massachusetts. This project builds on previous work to improve the scale and continuity of the ice-sheet analysis, and spatially extending the framework to assess the vulnerability of the entire Northeast coastline

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The forests of the Northeastern United States are home to some of the greatest diversity of nesting songbirds in the country. Climate change, shifts in natural disturbance regimes, and invasive species pose threats to forest habitats and bird species in the northeastern United States and represent major challenges to natural resource managers.   Although broad adaptation approaches have been suggested for sustaining forested habitats under global change, it is unclear how effective the implementation of these strategies at local and regional scales will be for maintaining habitat conditions for a broad suite of forest-dependent bird species over time. Moreover, given the diversity in forest stakeholders across the Northeast region, it is unclear if the adaptation science needs for these stakeholders are fully captured by existing adaptation recommendations

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Adirondacks, NY - Credit: Alan Cressler
Project

Both lynx and marten occupancy is negatively impacted by competition from bobcats (lynx) and fisher and red fox (martens).Causes of vulnerability and resistance and reslilience strageies for wildlife and fisheries management.  Phase I: Determining causes of vulnerability- Completed The NE CASC has as part of its mission to conduct stakeholder-driven research to understand climate impacts on freshwater resources and land-use change as well as ecosystem vulnerability and species response to climate variability and change.  In the face of increasing temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, and large uncertainty, natural resource managers need to assess vulnerability of species in order to develop adaptation options and conservation strategies. This research evaluated how shifting climate is directly and indirectly affecting mammal populations in the northeasten U.S

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

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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

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

Cold-water fish are disappearing from many midwestern lakes as they warm. This loss is due to a combination of de-oxygenation of the deep waters with heating of the surface waters. Together, these climate-driven changes squeeze the depth distribution of fish that require cold, well-oxygenated water, sometimes eliminating their habitat entirely. We will investigate where this combination of factors has likely caused extirpation of cold-water fishes, and where future warming is most likely to eliminate more populations. In addition to hydrodynamic modeling, we are partnering with genomics experts to assess selection on functional genes associated with surviving temperature or oxygen challenges. The goals of this project are to: Manage cold-water lake fishes. Manage fish species of special concern in the state. Guide pre-emptive efforts to prioritize sites for management interventions

Project

WICCI is a grassroots effort to consolidate information about climate change impacts in Wisconsin.  Its first report, released in 2010, has played a critical role in elevating climate change within dialogue about environmental management across the state, and serves as the go-to resource for agencies, NGOs, and the public.  We are now working to update that document, focusing on new research in aquatic and other ecosystems, as well as case studies of impacts on Wisconsin's ecosystem services. The goals of this project are in part to 1) Compile a synthesis of climate change impacts on people and natural resources of Wisconsin.  2) Provide public education about the seriousness of climate change impacts.  3) Establish accessible and credible reference for policy makers

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