Mountain Climate Sciences Symposium Masthead Graphic
BACKGROUND & PURPOSE
PROGRAM & SCHEDULE
SPEAKER PRESENTATIONS
POSTERS
PARTICIPANTS
LOCATION & LODGING
CONVENORS
  MORE INFO &
CONTACTS
 
BACKGROUND 

Mountain regions are uniquely sensitive to changes in climate, and especially vulnerable to climatic effects on snowpack, streamflow, biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, fire regimes, carbon sequestration, and many other biotic and physical conditions of social concern. Because mountain regions serve as sources of desired human resources, changes in mountain systems cascade to issues of national concern. In effect, mountain systems act as “canaries in the coal mine” to provide early signals of significant climate-driven changes in valued resources.

Aspen/hemlock forests, central Sierra Nevada

In western North America research institutions associated with public agencies and university laboratories have conducted climate research for decades throughout the western mountain ranges. This work has been fundamental in developing a broad base for understanding past and present states of the climate system in the mountainous west, and their effects on related physical and ecological systems. These activities, however, are not integrated in ways that provide for understanding climate linkages among mountain ranges, or of linkages between climatic variability and the fundamental ecosystem services that are a critical underpinning for maintaining a sustainable economy in the West.

To address questions about past, present, and future environments of the western mountain states, a focused effort is needed to monitor and anticipate changes in our mountainous regions. Integrated information on fundamental climatic processes can be used to assess impacts of climate variability and mountain ecosystem vulnerability. The Mountain Climate Sciences Symposium was planned as an interdisciplinary working conference to establish a roadmap for regional integration of climate sciences, assessments, and, ultimately, policy activities.

Outcome

The presentations and discussions from this symposium generated core ideas that the symposium organizing committee is compiling into a written programmatic framework that describes integrative climate research on western mountain regions for the next five years. The emphasis of this initiative is on basic science, observations and monitoring, and adaptive resource management. We expect this framework to guide funding efforts as well as to focus research and resource-management agendas in western mountain regions.





PROGRAM & SCHEDULE

The primary symposium sessions focused on four key challenges to mountain regions of western North America: Climate Trends & Observation Networks, Water & Resources, Disturbance and Climate Interactions, Ecosystems & Natural Resources. Each session began with plenary lectures that summarized the state-of-knowledge of critical issues. Group break-out sessions followed, wherein invited responses and facilitated discussion refined key questions, missing research, and strategic science linkages that would assist in monitoring, evaluating, and anticipating policy for climate-influenced mountain systems.

High Sierra crest, near Bridgeport, CA

The final session identified cross-cutting opportunities for integrating mountain climate research and monitoring across western North American mountain ranges. Speakers addressed action items for promoting a mountain climate initiative, integration with resource management and decision-making, and opportunities for establishing monitoring networks.

Three keynote speakers addressed integration of regional mountain climate sciences into global initiatives, integration of climate sciences with resource management and policy, and concepts of change through time.

DETAILED PROGRAM HERE



POSTER SESSION & ABSTRACTS

Posters representing the research, monitoring, resource management, and policy issues relevant to the symposium were presented at the meeting. A dedicated poster session for discussion with authors was held the evening of May 25.

POSTER TITLES, ABSTRACTS, POSTER PDF'S HERE

White Mtns, CA lenticular clouds /meadows, High Sierra Nevada



PARTICIPATION


Participation was limited to facilitate effective discussion

PARTICIPANT LIST HERE




LOCATION & LODGING

Tuesday May 25 through noon Thursday May 27, 2004
North Tahoe Conference Center, Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe, California
Access via car, train/bus, and international airport at Reno, NV

Glacial topography, High Sierra Nevada

For information on the North Tahoe Conference Center, visit their website at:
http://www.northlaketahoe.net/conference

For information regarding Transportation in the Lake Tahoe area, visit the Tahoe Guide website at:
http://tahoeguide.com/tahoe/SITE/indexlisting.cfm/other/242/0/direct

Downloadable pdf file of local motels and hotels




CONVENORS

Symposium Chairs:  
Henry F. Diaz National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Climate Diagnostics Center
Constance Millar USDA Forest Service, PSW Research Station, Sierra Nevada Research
Center


Organizing Committee:
Henry F. Diaz and Constance I. Millar (co-chairs)
Daniel R. Cayan, University of California, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Michael D. Dettinger, USGS, Water Resources Division
Daniel B. Fagre, USGS, Biological Resources Division
Lisa J. Graumlich, Montana State University, Big Sky Institute
Greg Greenwood, State of California, The Resources Agency
Malcolm K. Hughes, University of Arizona, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
Kelly T. Redmond, Desert Research Institute, Western Regional Climate Center
David L. Peterson, USDA Forest Service, PNW Research Station, Fire and Environmental
Applications
Frank L. Powell, University of California, White Mountain Research Station
Nathan L. Stephenson, USGS, Biological Resources Division
Thomas W. Swetnam, University of Arizona, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research


Glacial topography, High Sierra Nevada



MORE INFO & CONTACTS

Program Inquiries (Co-Chairs)
Dr. Constance Millar
USDA Forest Service, PSW Research Station
Sierra Nevada Research Center
Albany, CA 94710
phone: 510-559-6435
email: cmillar@fs.fed.us



Conference Logistics
Ms. Marilyn Burrows
USDA Forest Service, PSW Research Station
Albany, CA 94710
phone: 510-559-6311
email: mburrows@fs.fed.us

 
Dr. Henry Diaz
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
Climate Diagnostics Center
Boulder, CO 80305
phone: 303-497-6649
email: henry.f.diaz@noaa.gov
  USDA Forest Service. Last modified: 02/20/04
  ©Copyright, 2003
. Pacific Soutwest Research Station