Office of the Climate Change Advisor
Performance Scorecard: 2- Designated Climate Change Coordinators
Is at least one employee assigned to coordinate climate change activities and be a resource for climate change questions and issues?
Is this employee provided with the training, time, and resources to make his/her assignment successful?
What are other forests doing?
Name: Linda R. Parker
Unit: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (R9)
Position: Forest Ecologist
Linda participates in a scientist-manager partnership focused on developing a climate change response framework for Northern Wisconsin. During the last two years the group has accomplished four major milestones:
- Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis
- Science Applications and Needs Workshop
- Shared Landscapes Initiative
- Mitigation Assessment
Linda also works with the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI), a statewide collaborative effort focused on climate change adaptation. While this requires a lot of time and coordination, the Forest benefits from an increased understanding of carbon and climate science.
Linda says talking to people about climate change may be the most important part of her job. She gives presentations at employee workshops, scientific conferences, and local community colleges because she feels so strongly about the importance of climate change education.
Responding to climate change can sometimes seem pretty daunting. For motivation, she keeps this quotation from Thoreau where she can see it every day, "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them". Linda sees her job as a climate change coordinator to put down the foundations.
Name: Kelly Palmer
Unit: San Juan National Forest (R2)
Position: Forest Hydrologist and Air Program Lead
Kelly helps make data and information available to the San Juan staff to help answer important management questions about present and future climate change. She is currently writing a new climate change chapter, with the help of many specialists, for the San Juan Public Lands Resource Management Plan. Helping to develop innovative management strategies to adapt to a changing climate has been a challenging but fun task.Air and water issues are already being driven by a changing climate on the San Juan Public Lands. For example, analysis of stream gage records show that stream runoff patterns are changing, compared to 30 years ago. Part of Kelly's job is to make use of existing data, studies, workshops, and other resources to help her and her co-workers keep up with new science. Looking at historic data sets in new ways that can result in new interpretations is an especially fascinating part of her job. Kelly also gives presentations to educate the public about the changing climate and the related work and projects accomplished by the San Juan Public Lands.
Name: Jennifer Cramer
Unit: Santa Fe National Forest (R3)
Position: Forest Planner
Jennifer co-planned the Santa Fe and Carson National Forests five-day Climate Change Conference in January 2011. The conference included a general education session and two, two-day workshops focusing on discussing challenges and strategies to address climate change issues related to management of fire and water resources. Jennifer also coordinates with partners, like The Nature Conservancy, on climate change issues.
Jennifer became involved in climate change issues on the Santa Fe National Forest when the Forest became one of ten projects selected to receive funding through the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. As the Santa Fe embarks on planning and implementing a multi-year restoration project across the Southwestern Jemez Mountains, they will need to consider how climate change impacts the resources they manage and their management actions.
Jennifer loves being able to engage with collaborators, scientists, and forest employees in climate change education, focusing on the idea that many current management strategies can translate into managing for a warmer and drier future in the Southwest.
Organizational challenges in addressing climate change issues
Jan Engert, Rocky Mountain Research Station
Describes employee perceptions around climate change and the Forest Service’s capacity to address it. It outlines challenges and needs for addressing those challenges.
All Scorecard Elements
- Employee Education
- Climate Change Coordinators
- Program Guidance
- Science-Management Partnerships
- Other Partnerships
- Assessing Vulnerability
- Adaptation Actions
- Carbon Assessment and Stewardship
- Sustainable Operations
Getting to YES
To answer "yes," your Unit should have a climate change coordinator with the ability to serve as a resource for climate change questions and issues and training and time to fulfill his or her responsibilities. Let the Regional Office and other Units in your Region know who your coordinator is. Discuss with the coordinator your expectations of fulfilling his/her roles and responsibilities. The narrative for this element asks you to answer the following questions:
- What is the name and contact information for the climate change coordinator on your unit?
- What training, time, and resources is he or she provided to fulfill his or her responsibilities?
Climate Change Coordinator
A permanent staff member with a program of work that includes assisting with climate change-related activities at the Unit level, and coordinating with the Regional Office and other Units on climate change activities. The climate change coordinator should have leadership and communication skills, enough of a technical or scientific background to learn and adopt new concepts related to climate change response, and time for climate change activities and training. The coordinator should also have a role in activities related to one or more Scorecard Elements.
Each Unit should have one assigned coordinator. If more than one National Forest or Grassland is managed by the same Supervisor (e.g. Green Mountain and Finger Lakes), one coordinator can serve all Units managed by that Supervisor.
Full Guidance Document
PDF, 2.2 MB, 104 pp