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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Scientists speak: Establishing science priorities for the Northeast Climate Science Center

Region 3, October 5, 2012
Rachel Muir, Northeast Climate Science Center Interim Director welcomes scientists from across the Midwest to discuss science priorities for the USGS Northeast Climate Science Center. The discussion also set the foundation for the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative to develop science need priorities for the natural resources that make up the nation’s “cornbelt” region.
Rachel Muir, Northeast Climate Science Center Interim Director welcomes scientists from across the Midwest to discuss science priorities for the USGS Northeast Climate Science Center. The discussion also set the foundation for the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative to develop science need priorities for the natural resources that make up the nation’s “cornbelt” region. - Photo Credit: n/a

More than 40 scientists from across the Midwest conservation community gathered this May to establish science priorities as part of a five-year science plan under development by USGS’ Northeast Climate Science Center. The session was led by Rachel Muir, interim director of the recently established Northeast Climate Science Center, and coordinated by the Illinois Natural History Survey, and the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC), a complimentary natural resources partnership dedicated to identifying and addressing landscape scale stressors on conservation, protection and restoration activities in our nation’s “cornbelt”.

 

The USGS Northeast Climate Science Center was established to generate research and science-based understanding that would better equip natural resources managers and decision makers to respond to impacts of climate change on natural resources. The Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative takes a similar, but broader approach to identifying science needs in relation to large scale stressors across specific Midwest ecosystems. Both partnerships are focused on natural resources issues in the Midwestern United States, although the LCC focuses its energy on the heavily agricultural landscape that stretches from southwest Ohio westward across to eastern Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska, and segments of Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota.

“Still in its infancy, the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative, used this opportunity to jumpstart the conversation about landscape level stressors to the natural resources of our agricultural communities, rivers and streams, grasslands, forests, and urban areas,” said Glen Salmon, coordinator of the Eastern TallgrassPrairie and Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative. “Working alongside Illinois Natural History Survey and USGS Northeast Climate Science Center, we were able to create an open dialogue that will help not only identify science needs in relation to climate change, but also help the LCC identify its own priorities and concentrate the partnership’s efforts in a strategic way.”

Contact Info: Joanna Gilkeson, 6127135170, Joanna_Gilkeson@fws.gov