Materials and Resources
Climate Change Update
Welcome to the second issue of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Climate Change Update.
We hope this Update will provide a meaningful, Service-oriented synopsis of selected announcements and information tailored to help Service staff in regions and field offices stay informed. We also hope you will help us to share success stories and examples, identify key resources, and stay up-to-date about our agency's climate change response.
We will be working with the National Climate Team and scientists from across the Service to develop this Update, and welcome your feedback and input. Please contact Ann Froschauer to help provide content for future editions.
Climate Change Communications Strategy for Refuges
Engaging staff, stakeholders, and the public
As a portal to the natural world, the Refuge System is uniquely positioned to improve public understanding of the effects of climate change on our natural resources, and to garner public and partner support for mitigation and adaption strategies that address climate impacts. In a key step toward implementing the Conserving the Future vision, the Climate Change Communications and Engagement Strategy for the National Wildlife Refuge System has now been finalized.
The strategy makes a number of recommendations, including sharing examples of innovation and progress across the Refuge System, as well as cultivating a front line of ‘Climate Ambassadors’ to engage and inspire refuge visitors and local communities. Most of all, this strategy aims to improve the Refuge System’s ability to engage and elicit positive changes in adaptation and mitigation behavior among target audiences. Check out the Flipbook Version here.
Climate Change Education Opportunities at NCTC
New learning opportunities available
The National Conservation Training Center offers many learning opportunities to Service staff and partners looking to explore recent developments in climate change and climate science. Through various courses, webinars, seminars and workshops, participants can learn how to effectively adopt and apply the FWS Strategic Plan for responding to climate change while integrating climate change concepts into biological planning, conservation design and delivery, decision-based monitoring, and assumption-driven research. Upcoming courses include training in Decision Analysis for Climate Change, Communicating Climate Change, Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments, Scenario Planning, Climate-Smart Conservation, and more.
A Broad Service Climate Change Response
Update from the January Climate Change Data Call
In January, the Department of the Interior issued a data call asking its bureaus to summarize climate change opportunities, activities, and plans for 2013-2014. This request was in response to Executive Order 13653: Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change, released in November 2013.
Thanks to the many Service staff who submitted updates, FWS put together an impressive and wide-ranging cross-section of key climate change projects, activities, goals, and future plans. This write-up helps illustrate the varied and innovative climate change work of our agency going on all across the country.
These examples helped inform DOIís recently released Interim 2014 Climate Adaptation Plan, which was recently submitted to the Council on Environmental Quality.
Climate Change and Conservation Planning
Applications of a recent article to Service work
From: Incorporating climate change into systematic conservation planning
Conservation planning is necessary to meet the mandates of the Service. This paper addresses five important but not exclusive approaches that can be integrated into existing or new biodiversity conservation plans: (1) conserving the geophysical stage, (2) protecting climatic refugia, (3) enhancing regional connectivity, (4) sustaining ecosystem process and function, and (5) capitalizing on opportunities emerging in response to climate change. Many of the concepts, such as enhancing connectivity, are already part of our management plans. Read more about how the Service can apply these approaches here.
Honoring Donna Brewer
Donna Brewer, who has worked at National Conservation Training Center since 2001, will be retiring in April 2014. Donna is also a member of the Service’s National Climate Team, and works closely with the Office of the Science Advisor and the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives to develop science-based capacities within the agency and with partner organizations. Donna has been essential to the development and expansion of NCTC’s climate change program. She has helped create a widely recognized, state-of-the-art curriculum around addressing conservation issues posed by climate change, and has launched an ongoing effort to incorporate climate change broadly into Service training courses. We would like to thank her for all her years of service, hard work, and dedication. Best wishes for retirement!
Watch Dan Ashe testify on climate adaptation: On February 25, Director Dan Ashe testified on the Service’s climate adaptation activities before the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Oversight, at a hearing entitled “Natural Resource Adaptation: Protecting Ecosystems and Economies." Read the full testimony here.
The Desert National Wildlife Refuge visitor’s center held its grand opening on February 22, 2014. Years in the making, the 11,000-square-foot structure is packed with environmentally friendly design elements that may earn it a LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (Check out photos here).
Check out how the Service and the Department of Defense are teaming up to take on climate change, conservation and security.