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Delivering science to help fish, wildlife, water, land and people adapt to a changing climate

NW CASC Connections is designed to help keep you -- a member of the community working to advance climate adaptation in and beyond the Northwest -- in the loop by connecting you to the latest NW CASC science, tools, opportunities and events from across our region. 

Science Spotlight
Building a Regional Network Focused on Climate & Invasive Species in the Northwest

Climate change and invasive species threaten ecosystems across the Northwest and the world, creating significant challenges for managing our lands and waters. Although both are recognized as major threats, there are still many questions about how climate change and invasive species interact to create novel and complex challenges for our ecosystems. 

The Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (NW CASC), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and EcoAdapt have recently launched the Pacific Northwest Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (PNW RISCC) Network to help natural resource managers and biologists incorporate climate change science into invasive species management. The network’s goal is to establish a community of practice that helps resource managers make climate-smart decisions around invasive species prevention, early detection, control, monitoring and future research activities.

Learn More

Science Spotlight

How Might Climate Change Affect Huckleberry in the Northwest?
Written by guest author Gina Fiorile, Science Communications Specialist, U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Adaptation Science Center

Huckleberry is both a culturally and ecologically significant plant species that is experiencing an altered growing season due to climate change. In the Pacific Northwest, huckleberry is an important food-producing species that is vulnerable to both reductions in habitat and shifts in phenology, or seasonal biological cycles such as the timing of flowering and fruiting. As rising temperatures and instances of drought increase in the region due to climate change, competitive interactions between huckleberry and other plant species could surge as a result. This competition can lead to reductions or expansions of suitable huckleberry habitat. Increased conflict between people and animals in harvest areas can also occur as the distribution of food plants shifts.

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Events & Opportunities
  • The First Biennial National Tribal and Indigenous Climate Conference will be held virtually September 14-17. The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals is hosting the conference with support from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Resilience Program. Register for free by August 31.

  • The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Indigenous Youth Video Contest seeks to explore impacts of climate change through the eyes and experiences of Indigenous youth, especially around themes of traditional knowledge, youth empowerment and climate resilience. Winners of the video contest will receive travel awards to attend the in-person 2021 National Tribal Leadership Climate Change Summit, set to take place in Seattle in May. Learn more about the contest, which runs until September 7.

  • Help improve the CASC Project Explorer! Maintained by the Alaska CASC and the Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning, the CASC Project Explorer is the central hub for information about projects funded by the entire nationwide CASC network. Your input can help ensure CASC science and products are accessible to our stakeholders and on-the-ground science users. Fill out this brief survey by September 10 to help guide improvements to the site's functionality.
Faces of Adaptation: Meet Coral Avery

Coral Avery is an enrolled member of the Shawnee Tribe and grew up in San Diego County, California. She is a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Pathways Program Intern working closely with NW CASC Tribal Liaison Chas Jones for both the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) and NW CASC in youth climate programming. Coral's professional mission is to bring attention to the bridge of social and environmental sustainability.

Learn More About Coral

Actionable Science Resources
A new paper in the journal Science sheds light on how social inequities, including racism and classism, are impacting biodiversity, evolution and plant and animal health in cities. The paper calls for expanding our understanding of environmental issues to encompass societal issues and for pushing for science centered around anti-racism and environmental justice. Lead Author Christopher Schell was quoted in a recent article in UW News: "I hope this paper will shine the light and create a paradigm shift in science. That means fundamentally changing how researchers do their science, which questions they ask, and realizing that their usual set of questions might be incomplete."

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Uniquely Northwest: Cascades Frog

The next time you are hiking in the Cascade or Olympic Mountains, take a close look around the edges of the ponds and slow-moving streams to see if you can spot a Cascades frog (Rana cascadae). If you’re quiet, maybe its call - a faint series of low clucking noises - will give it away. 

Like amphibian species worldwide, the Cascades frog faces threats from disease and climate change that are leading to sharp population declines. Northwest researchers are increasingly interested in how climate change may disrupt this amphibian’s natural protective mechanisms, leaving it more susceptible to infection.

Under past climate conditions, the antimicrobial properties of the frog's skin has protected it from Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), or amphibian chytrid fungus, which is an aquatic pathogen that infects the skin of its hosts. However, as high-elevation habitats in the Northwest continue to experience reduced snowpack and increasing temperatures, changing climate conditions may disrupt the frog's natural protective properties. NW CASC-funded research aims to understand how amphibian disease defense mechanisms and Bd prevalence will shift with a changing climate.

Volume 1: Issue 6
Copyright © 2019 Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, All rights reserved.

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