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The Climate Change Response Framework is an example of a collaborative, cross-boundary approach to create a set of tools, partnerships, and actions to support climate-informed conservation and land management. Historically, this effort has focused on the needs of forest managers and forestry professionals. In recent years, however, there has been increasing demand for science and tools to address climate change adaptation in wildlife management and conservation. Not only do wildlife and resource managers need the best available science, it must also be presented in a usable format with feasible options within the purview of an individual manager. The research team first completed a comprehensive review of peer-reviewed studies to summarize what wildlife-related management actions currently exist in climate change adaptation. They then developed and tested a “menu” of climate change adaptation actions that are suitable for wildlife management in terrestrial ecosystems

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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

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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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We worked with stakeholders to develop a series of climate change adaptation management strategies for forests in the Central Hardwoods and Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks region. Strategies focused on resistance, resilience, or transition of forests under climate change and vary the types of silvicultural practices considered and where and how much each practice occurs. We implemented strategies in a forest landscape-modeling framework and demonstrated the consequences of these alternative strategies on forest composition and structure in the region. The goal was to provide a large-scale perspective on the potential of forest adaptation strategies to address impacts of climate change on forests

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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
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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

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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

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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

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