Office of the Climate Change Advisor

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Performance Scorecard National Roadmap
Performance Scorecard
Starting this year, each national forest and grassland will be tracking progress using a new 10-point scorecard. The Forest Service's research branch along with regional and national programs will provide support for this agency-wide effort.

Click here to learn more
National Roadmap
The Roadmap will help to guide the Forest Service as it works to ensure that national forests and private working lands are conserved, restored, and made more resilient to climate change.

Click here to learn more

Performance Scorecard: 4- Science-Management Partnerships

Scorecard Question

Does the Unit actively engage with scientists and scientific organizations to improve its ability to respond to climate change?

What a science management partnership can do for you

  • Utilize your regional program managers such as ecologists, geneticists, wildlife biologists, hydrologists, and botanists and Forest Health Protection entomologists and pathologists as dedicated science application and delivery specialists.
  • Work with scientists on your local experimental forest.
  • Develop partnerships with science delivery and technology transfer specialists at the Research Station closest to your Unit.

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What are other forests doing?

Okanogan-Wenatchee and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests (R6)

 

The Okanogan-Wenatchee and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests (R6) are part of the North Cascadia Adaptation Partnership (NCAP). The Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory leads this effort with participation from the North Cascades National Park Complex, Mt Rainier National Park, and the two forests. NCAP focuses on 6 million acres in North Central Washington. NCAP successfully developed educational programs for employees throughout this area. Now, they are working on a vulnerability assessment with city, state, tribal, and federal partners, and the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group. Ultimately, the partnership will develop both strategic and tactical approaches to climate change adaptation in the North Cascades.


Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands (R2)

 

The Pike and San Isabel National Forests and the Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands (R2) participate in several partnerships involving on-going basic and applied science. Some of these include a study by Colorado College of the effects of climate change on the tree-line dynamics on Pikes Peak, collaborative data collection by University of Guelph and others for a dendrochronological study of high elevation tree species, and research from the University of Colorado at Boulder on American pike abundance and habitat conditions.


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Resources

Reading

U.S. National Forests Adapt To Climate Change Through Science-Management Partnerships
(Littell; Peterson; Millar; O’Halloran; 2011)
Journal article about applying science-management partnerships to address adaptation questions on the Olympic and Tahoe National Forests.

Tools

Forest Service scientists working on climate change:

Research Roundup
Overviews of the climate change work happening at Forest Service research stations.

Forest Service centers focused on climate change science delivery:

Climate Change Resource Center
A reference Web site for resource managers and decisionmakers who need information and tools to address climate change in planning and project implementation. 
Regions served: all

Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center
An interdisciplinary resource that is actively developing new technology and tools to anticipate and respond to emerging eastern forest threats.
Regions served: 8,9

Western Wildlands Environmental Threat Assessment Center
Generates and integrates knowledge and information to provide credible prediction, early detection, and quantitative assessment of environmental threats in the western United States.
Regions served: 1-6, 10

Other federal climate change science-management initiatives:

Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
Twenty-one public-private partnerships that collectively form a national network of land, water, wildlife, and cultural resource managers, scientists, and organizations with the intent to identify best practices, connect efforts, identify needs, and avoid duplication through improved coordination.

USGS Climate Science Centers
Provide scientific information, tools and techniques that resource managers can use to support adaptation and mitigation efforts on both public and private lands.

NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program
RISA scientists provide information that decision makers can use to cope with drought, understand climatic influences on wildfire, and assess climate impacts on the transportation sector, coastal communities and human health.

Other organizations focused on climate change science delivery for land managers

National

EcoAdapt
Provides support, training, and assistance on climate change adaptation to governments, organizations, and individuals. They created the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE), which includes case studies and tools, a virtual library, and a directory of people and organizations focused on adaptation.  

Western US

Mountain Studies Institute
Develops science that people can use to address environmental issues facing the San Juan Mountains.

Washington Climate Impacts Group
Performs fundamental research on climate and climate impacts and works with planners and policy makers to apply this information to regional decision making processes.

Geos Institute
A nonprofit organization and consulting firm that uses science to help people predict, reduce, and prepare for climate change.

Climate Assessment of the Southwest
The program promotes participatory, iterative research involving scientists, decision makers, resource users, educators, and others who need more and better information about climate and its impacts.

North Cascadia Adaptation Partnership
A Forest Service – National Park Service collaboration on climate change adaptation. NCAP addresses adaptation for the region that includes Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, North Cascades National Park Complex, and Mount Rainier National Park.

Eastern US

Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science
A partnership between the Forest Service, Michigan Tech, the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, and Trust for Public land that develops synthesis products, fosters communication, and pursues science in the focus areas of carbon science and management, climate change, and bioenergy in the Midwest and Northeast.

Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences
Climate Change & Energy Initiative focuses on adaptation and mitigation strategies for human communities and wildlife habitats, as well as integrating energy infrastructure with wildlife conservation.

Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI)
Assesses and anticipates climate change impacts on specific Wisconsin natural resources, ecosystems and regions; evaluates potential effects on industry, agriculture, tourism and other human activities; and develops and recommends adaptation strategies that can be implemented by businesses, farmers, public health officials, municipalities, resource managers and other stakeholders.

The New England Integrated Sciences and Assessments (NEISA)
An engaged research program devoted to the development of decision relevant information concerning climate and air quality for the citizens of New England.

Scorecard questions, concerns or suggestions for
additional resources?

Inquire with the Climate Change Advisor.

All Scorecard Elements

  1. Employee Education
  2. Climate Change Coordinators
  3. Program Guidance
  4. Science-Management Partnerships
  5. Other Partnerships
  6. Assessing Vulnerability
  7. Adaptation Actions
  8. Monitoring
  9. Carbon Assessment and Stewardship
  10. Sustainable Operations

Getting to YES

To answer "yes," your unit should have an ongoing partnership with scientists or scientific organizations that is helping you to improve your ability to respond to climate change. The narrative for this element asks you:

In what ways have you engaged the science community to improve your ability to respond to climate change?

Definitions

Scientists and Scientific Organizations

Forest Service Research Stations, Universities, other research agencies and programs, and other entities with a role in applied science development or delivery including science specialists and programs within the National Forest System and State and Private Forestry .

Partnerships

Any formal or informal relationship where two or more entities work together to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

Operations

Any activities carried out by the Unit, including training, partnerships, land management activities, planning, or business operations.

Geographic Scale

Science-manager partnerships may exist on the Unit, with a coalition of Units across a particular geography or ecosystem, or at a larger state or regional scale. Units are encouraged to scale up and aggregate based on shared social and political interests as well as partner and scientific gseography. However, larger-scale partnerships must have a direct benefit to the Unit level.

Downloads

Full Guidance Document
PDF, 2.2 MB, 104 pp

Download Appendix B: Science Deilvery
PDF, 211 K, 3 pp