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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
Changing Wildfire, Changing Forests

Forests are an iconic feature of Northwest landscapes. From dense forests of towering conifers in the west to ponderosa pine forests in the east, these ecosystems provide water, wildlife habitat, timber, recreation and other benefits. But Northwest forests and the resources they provide are sensitive to climate change. 

As climate continues to change across the Northwest, the need for climate-informed forest management will grow. In response to this need, NW CASC-funded researchers developed a state-of-science synthesis on the potential effects of changing climate on fire regimes in Northwest forests. This publication reviews existing literature sources to determine likely changes in fire regimes and how Northwest forests may respond to the combined effects of climate and fire activity. The authors provide a risk-based summary of their findings, describe the implications for forest management and identify remaining research needs.

Learn More

Events & Opportunities
  • NW CASC is now accepting applications for our 2020-21 Research Fellowship Program, which supports research by graduate students & postdocs that advances climate adaptation in the Northwest! Applications are due March 16, 2020. 
  • NW CASC is hosting a webinar about our Research Fellowship Program and the application process at 2PM (PT) on February 12, 2020. Register here.
  • Oregon State University’s TEK Initiative is currently accepting proposals for the 10th Anniversary TEK Conference, May 13-14 at OSU. Deadline is February 28, 2020.
Faces of Adaptation: Meet Ronda Strauch

Former NW CASC Fellow and Actionable Science Postdoctoral Fellow Ronda Strauch is the Climate Change Research and Adaptation Advisor at Seattle City Light. In her role, Ronda works collaboratively within Seattle City Light to identify where the utility is vulnerable to a changing climate, what science is needed to inform its decisions and what adaptation strategies can help reduce these vulnerabilities. She explains, “I love being a government employee, working with wonderful people to facilitate strategies that benefit the community and the ecosystem that
I live in.”

Learn More About Ronda
Actionable Science Resources
Interested in developing science that can be used to inform environmental decision-making and policy? Use-inspired science: making science usable by and useful to decision-makers (Wall et al. 2017) describes the key factors involved in producing usable science, including intentional planning and engagement between researchers
and end-users.

Read the Paper
Uniquely Northwest: Whitebark Pine
When hiking in certain Northwest forests, you might miss a whitebark pine tree amongst its more majestic pine relatives. But don’t let this sometimes scrubby and misshapen tree fool you - the whitebark pine is an important species in high-elevation ecosystems of western North America, including parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. In addition to providing critical wildlife habitat, this tree’s large and nutritious seeds are an important food source for wildlife, including the Clark’s Nutcracker, which the tree relies upon for dispersing its seeds. Whitebark pine is declining across its range due to a combination of stressors, including mountain pine beetle outbreaks, which are worsening with climate change. NW CASC-funded research seeks to understand climate-driven threats facing the whitebark pine as well as genetic traits that allow for more adaptive capacity, in order to understand which management actions can help protect whitebark pine forests in a changing climate. 
Volume 1: Issue 3
Copyright © 2019 Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, All rights reserved.

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