January 2018 Newsletter
Welcome to the Southeast Climate Science Center’s January 2018 Newsletter.
In this newsletter you will find:
SE CSC News
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Southeast Climate Science Center News
Ryan Boyles has taken on the role of Acting USGS Director of the SE CSC. Jerry McMahon will act in a part-time senior scientist role at the SE CSC, with a current focus on strategic planning.
Thirteen exceptional NC State graduate students have been selected for the Global Change Fellows Program for Spring 2018. The Global Change Fellows will bring their diverse perspectives to the development of a Global Change Seminar series, which will engage the NC State and broader community across disciplines on topics of global change. Learn more about the Fellows.
Panel Discussion: Climate Justice, Why Climate Change is More Than Just an Environmental Issue. The first in the Global Change Seminar series organized by the Global Change Fellows, on Jan. 25, features SE CSC Faculty Affiliates Caren Cooper, Bethany Cutts, Ryan Emanuel, and Louie Rivers. The discussion will explore disparate impacts of climate change and the ability of populations to mitigate and adapt to the negative consequences. More information.
Consortium PI Karen McNeal will lead a Global Change and Food, Energy, Water Symposium Friday, Feb 9 at Auburn University. The meeting will engage the Auburn research community with the SE CSC and foster collaborations among researchers, agencies, and local decision makers. For more information, contact Karen McNeal.
Former Global Change Fellow Adrienne Wootten, USGS Research Scientist Adam Terando, and Acting USGS Director Ryan Boyles recently published Characterizing Sources of Uncertainty from Global Climate Models and Downscaling Techniques. The paper in Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology summarizes a method to partition and quantify the uncertainty in climate model ensembles that is attributable to downscaling. Read the paper.
Former Global Change Fellows Steven Grodsky and Sarah Fritts and Faculty Affiliate Chris Moorman are lead authors on an article in Ecological Applications, Invertebrate community response to coarse woody debris removal for bioenergy production from intensively managed forests. Read the paper.
Senior Research Scholar Jared Bowden co-authored an article in Environmental Research Letters, Co-benefits of global, domestic, and sectoral greenhouse gas mitigation for US air quality and human health in 2050. Read the paper.
Consortium PI Lydia Olander was lead author on new paper, Benefit relevant indicators: Ecosystem services measures that link ecological and social outcomes, in Ecological Indicators. Read the paper.
Latest from Conservation Corridor: Warmer temperatures and connectivity interact to influence metacommunity diversity.
The State of Climate Adaptation in Water Resources Management: Southeastern United States and U.S. Caribbean
The intent of this report by EcoAdapt is to provide a brief overview of key climate change impacts and a review of the prevalent work occurring on climate change adaptation in the southeastern U.S. and Caribbean, especially focusing on activities as they relate to water resources. This report presents efforts to survey, inventory, and, where possible, assess climate-informed water resources action in the region. The synthesis includes:
A summary of key regional climate change impacts and discussion on how the aforementioned issues combine to influence water supply, demand and use, quality, and delivery;
The results of a survey sent to federal, tribal, state, and other practitioners to identify challenges, needs, and opportunities for climate-informed water resources management;
Examples of adaptation initiatives from the region, focusing on activities in the natural and built environments as they relate to water resources;
Eighteen full-length case studies, detailing how adaptation is taking shape; and
A guide to the current suite of tools available to support adaptation action in water resources management, planning, and conservation.
Coastal Resilience Decision Support Tool. This tool, developed by The Nature Conservancy and partners, allows users to:
– view potential impacts of sea level rise, surge from storms and hurricanes, and inland flooding
– combine coastal habitat and exposure with socio-economic data to identify where habitat management may most reduce risks
– examine natural and built coastal defense strategies
– compare risk and vulnerability indicators across countries.
Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlook for the Southeast Region
Coastal Dynamics of Sea Level Rise: Hydro-MEM Story Map. This application uses Story Map framework to introduce the Hydro-MEM model, which aims to forecast marsh productivity and mean high water under a suite of sea level rise scenarios at three National Estuarine Research Reserves and surrounding regions within the northern Gulf of Mexico: Grand Bay (MS), Weeks Bay (AL), and Apalachicola (FL). These predictions were derived through integrated modeling of tidal hydrodynamics (via ADCIRC) and a parametric marsh model (Marsh Equilibrium Model, or MEM). This integrated model incorporates dynamic feedbacks among physical and biological processes. Learn more.
Coastal Dynamics of Sea Level Rise: Simulated Storm Surge Story Map. This application uses Story Map framework to show storm surge results based on simulations for four (4) sea level rise scenarios in the year 2100 for the northern Gulf of Mexico (MS, AL, and FL panhandle). Created as part of the Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the northern Gulf of Mexico (EESLR-NGOM) project, the storm surge simulation results incorporate waves and surge, land use changes, habitat changes, and shoreline, dune and barrier island morphology. Learn more.
State of the Climate Extreme Climate & Weather Events. The map is an interactive version of the maps compiled each year for the annual State of the Climate Report, edited by NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information scientists and published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Additional details about events are sometimes pulled from the NOAA/NCEI annual and monthly climate summaries. Learn more.
Climate Change Evidence & Causes. Overview by The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences includes Basics of Climate Change and Climate Change Q & A in online and downloadable pdf versions. Learn more.
Sea Rise. The application, currently in beta development, provide map overlays of environmental, population, and infrastructure data in 4 population centers in SC and GA and calculates the number of people, structures, and miles of roads affected by sea level rise. Learn more.
Direct and indirect controls on organic matter decomposition in four coastal wetland communities along a landscape salinity gradient
Changes to salinity and flooding regimes in coastal wetlands as sea level rises may impact ecological functions, like organic matter decomposition, that influence carbon storage. Sea-level rise can affect organic matter decomposition indirectly (forcing shifts in vegetation community composition) and directly (changing salinity and flooding). Authors conclude that as sea level rises, initial direct effects of salinity will stimulate decay of carbon, but as plant communities shift from fresh to more brackish marsh over time, litter decay will decline, resulting in greater potential for long-term carbon storage. They emphasize the importance of quantifying carbon loss at multiple temporal scales in these and other ecosystems where plant-mediated responses to climate change will have significant impacts on carbon cycling. Link to article.
Thermal anomalies detect critical global land surface changes
Authors present a new global change indicator based on an annual global measure of the Earth’s maximum land surface temperature derived from remotely sensed thermal infrared data. Measurements that link surface conditions and climate can provide important insights about changes occurring in the Earth’s biosphere. Land surface temperature (LST) acts as the driving force of energy and water fluxes at the surface-atmosphere interface and so provides information about the physical processes of land cover change and energy balance changes, which is not provided by measurements of air temperature. The study correlates maximum thermal anomalies from satellite observations with observed heat waves and droughts, a melting cryosphere, and tropical forest disturbance from 2003 to 2014. Results showed that extreme climatic events and large-scale land surface changes, such as melting of ice sheets, severe droughts, and incremental effects of forest loss in tropical forests, drove shifts in maximum LST distributions of entire biomes. Link to article.
Transdisciplinary sea level rise risk communication and outreach strategies from stakeholder focus groups
Journal Abstract: As part of a larger transdisciplinary sea level rise (SLR) research project, six face-to-face, repeated focus groups with stakeholders (coastal resource managers and environmental communications professionals) were conducted in three states (Alabama, Florida, Mississippi) in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The purpose was to collect input on development of the project’s scientific research and models and gather future project outreach recommendations. This paper reports on the outreach-related results, which synergistically grew to encompass not only project-specific outreach but also broader concerns of stakeholders pertaining to risk communication. Participants believed outreach on SLR preparation was urgently needed and could be facilitated with a multifaceted targeted approach despite various challenges. Analysis revealed five target audience recommendations, six message content and format recommendations, and eight message delivery recommendations. Overall, the study provides empirical support for the perceived value and added benefits of social science, particularly qualitative methods, to foment transdisciplinary projects and for effective SLR communication. The paper concludes with a discussion of connections to the transdisciplinary research and risk communication literature followed by practical and future research implications. Link to article.
Recreation Costs of Endangered Species Protection: Evidence from Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Providing recreational access while also ensuring environmental protection can be a challenging aspect of federal public land management, though fundamental to the mission of the National Park Service. Balancing competing public and private benefits often requires difficult tradeoffs. Authors studied the land use conflict at Cape Hatteras National Seashore between off-road vehicle (ORV) access and nesting habitat protection for a number of endangered species. They developed quantitative information on non-market tradeoffs by estimating the effects of access restriction at beaches on shoreline recreational anglers, using site choice and participation data to estimate a repeated discrete choice model. Estimated economic costs of the ORV restriction are relatively modest, ranging from $403,000 to $2.07 million annually. They conclude that the upper bound of recreation costs is likely less than conservative estimates of the benefits associated with endangered species protection, suggesting general support for the policy. Link to article.
Widespread local chronic stressors in Caribbean coastal habitats
This paper synthesizes data produced by the Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity program (CARICOMP), which collects environmental data in mangrove, seagrass, and coral reef habitats, to detect long-term trends in environmental stressors that act at a local scale (decreases in water quality) and at a global scale (increases in temperature). 42% of stations showed decreases in water quality, measured as increased turbidity, indicating that local-scale chronic stressors are widespread. Only 18% of stations showed increases in water temperature that would be expected from global warming, which authors attribute in part to inherent natural variability in temperature data limiting the ability to detect trends. Decreases in visibility were associated with increased human density, but factors such as increased flushes of water can dampen that influence. All environmental data from CARICOMP, the longest, largest monitoring program in the wider Caribbean basin, are now available, providing an important data record that can be used to support research, conservation, and management of coastal ecosystems. Link to article.
Natural and Human-Induced Variability in Barrier-Island Response to Sea Level Rise
Journal Plain Language Summary: Barrier islands, thin strings of islands offshore of mainland coasts, are the first line of defense for protecting estuaries and mainland population centers from storms. They are also important for tourism that drives many coastal economies. Sand movement to the top of and across barrier islands is how they keep pace with sea level rise (SLR), so restrictions to those processes may make barrier islands more vulnerable to SLR effects. In our study, we used observations from New Jersey, USA, as inputs to a model that forecasts barrier island changes in response to SLR. This is particularly important for New Jersey, which is expected to experience rates of relative SLR that are higher than average. We found that 28% of the barrier island was vulnerable to a moderate rate of SLR and 100% of the barrier island was vulnerable to a high rate of SLR. Furthermore, we found that barrier island vulnerability increased in heavily populated locations relative to less populated locations. This suggests that human changes to coastal systems likely impact the lifespan of barrier islands. If some barrier islands degrade faster than others, their ability to protect mainland coasts and sustain coastal communities and economies could be compromised. Link to article.
Community Science with Indigenous Communities, a blog post by Raj Pandya of Thriving Earth Exchange, summarizes a session held at recent American Geophysical Union meeting on Native Science: How Indigenous Perspectives Inform Environmental Science and Policy, co-organized by Ryan Emanuel, Heather Lazrus, and Karletta Chief. He describes five tips that he learned for traditional scientists who want to work well with Indigenous communities. Read the post.
Thousand of years of expertise: Cherokees contribute to National Forest management plan. This article describes work between US Forest Service and several Tribes in developing sustainable management practices. Learn more.
A Record of Change: Science and Tribal Elders Observations on the Navajo Nation is a 25-minute documentary about collaborative studies using conventional physical sciences, combined with tribal elder observations to show that local knowledge and conventional science partnerships can effectively document ecosystem change and determine the resulting challenges to livelihoods. Learn more.
Soil-Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) weather stations. The NRCS and BIA are initiating a pilot project to distribute 30 SCAN stations across Indian Country (nationally) for this year. Federally Recognized Tribes with “lands in trust” are eligible to apply to receive a SCAN station. The number of SCAN stations is limited to 30. Contact your NRCS State Conservationist or Suzanne Baker, Acting NRCS Tribal Liaison-New York.
USDA Tribal Scholars Program Accepting Applications. Applications Due February 9, 2018. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1994 Tribal Scholars Program is an employment program that offers a combination of work experience and academic study at a Tribal College leading to career positions within USDA. Students enrolling in or pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Tribal College or Tribal University are eligible for this program. Learn more and apply.
6th Annual Workshop Rising Voices: Collaborative Science with Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Solutions. April 11-13, Duluth, MN. The theme of the workshop is “Rising Together: Mobilizing Learning from Local to Global.” Applications for participation due January 31. More information.
Fourteenth Annual Southeast Indian Studies Conference, April 12-13, 2018, Museum of the Southeast American Indian at University of North Carolina – Pembroke. The purpose of the Southeast Indian Studies Conference is to provide a forum for discussion of the culture, history, art, health and contemporary issues of Native Americans in the Southeast. The conference serves as a critical venue for scholars, students and all persons interested in American Indian Studies in the region. Call for Papers due January 31. More information.
Gulf Coast Prairie LCC
Interior unveils regional reorganization plan. Learn more.
Peninsular Florida LCC
$10 Million for Conservation Innovation Grants – Proposals due February 26, 2018. Learn more.
Find more webinar information in our calendar.
Jan 25 | 12:00 PM-1:00 PM | Human influence at the coast: Upland and shoreline stressors affect coastal benthic macrofauna
Jan 25 | 2:00 PM-3:00 PM | Decision Support Tools and a Framework for Climate-smart Restoration
Jan 30 | 12:00 PM-1:00 PM | Data Driven Decision-Making: Introducing the American Community Survey
Jan 31 | 12:00 PM-1:00 PM | Well below 2 °C: Mitigation strategies for avoiding dangerous to catastrophic climate changes
Feb 7 | 12:00 PM-1:00 PM | Making estuarine shoreline science relevant to managers and policymakers
Feb 15 | 12:00 PM-1:00 PM | Natural Shoreline Infrastructure: Working with Nature to Increase Coastal Resilience
Find more upcoming events in our calendar.
Feb 5 | Sharing science effectively: Know your audience and speak their language | New Orleans, LA
Gulf Sea Grant Oil Spill Outreach Communicators
Goals and objectives of this workshop are to:
– Learn about common challenges researchers have when presenting science.
– Provide scientists with tips on how to identify their audiences, specifically a) Understanding how audiences perceive and process information, b) Techniques for engaging lay and professional audiences, and c) Meeting the information needs of specific audiences.
– Refine presentation skills and learn how to design informative slides.
Mar 6-8 | 2018 Southeast Biodiversity Conservation Forum | Chapel Hill, NC
The Southeastern U.S. is the most biodiverse region in the US, but also faces the most severe threats to that biodiversity. Our Southeast regional gathering will bring together key experts on biodiversity from all over the Southeast to develop strategies to better understand the imperiled species and ecosystems of this region and their status so we can ultimately do a better job of protecting their populations against these threats. Sponsored by North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, NatureServe, Southeast Conservation Partners, and the North Carolina Botanical Garden.
May 22-24 | 16th Annual Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop (CPASW) | Fargo, ND
The 16th Annual Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop (CPASW) brings together a diverse group of climate researchers, information producers, and users to share developments in the research and applications of climate predictions for societal decision-making. The workshop theme is “Impact Based Decision Support Tools for Climate Services.” Abstract deadline is January 26. The meeting format will include a combination of symposia, panel sessions, discussions, and keynote speakers that address the workshop theme
At NC State
Jan 25, 3:30 pm | Geospatial Forum with Dr. Adam Terando – Deep Dives into Climate Model Downscaling | 5103 Jordan Hall
As the planet continues to warm, many decision makers are grappling with how best to adapt to our changing climate. But for these decision makers, the most advanced global climate models are also perceived as being too ‘wrong’ to be useful for planning and adaptation. In response, an explosion of higher resolution ‘downscaled’ climate models have emerged that could have increased value. This talk presents work being done at the Southeast Climate Science Center to develop decision-relevant high resolution climate model simulations for the US Caribbean and new strategies for investments in downscaling in the context of real-world decisions.
Jan 25, 3:30 pm | Climate Justice, Why Climate Change is More Than Just an Environmental Issue | 101 David Clark Labs
Join the SE CSC Global Change Fellows in a conversation about climate justice perspectives and research from NC State faculty and graduate students.Is there a moral obligation to assist communities that have not been part of the climate mitigation conversation? How have communities been resilient in the past, and what adaptive resources should our institutions deploy? What ethical and social issues will be exacerbated by climate change? We invite you to listen, discuss, and explore these questions and more with our expert panel, as well as come with any questions or points of discussion that you would like to see a part of the conversation.
USGS Social Scientist, Fort Collins Science Center. Specific duties will include:
– Plans and carries out projects for collecting detailed social science data to address social factors encountered while carrying out the U.S. Geological Survey mission.
– Plans and prepares quantitative and qualitative analysis of social science data associated with the social factors encountered while carrying out the U.S. Geological Survey mission.
-Plans and prepares interpretive reports resulting from the analyses of social science data associated with the social factors encountered while carrying out the U.S. Geological Survey mission.
– Occasionally directs the work of technicians and graduate students in the collection of data pursuant to approved study plans. Information and application.
University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Centennial Postdoctoral Initiative. The University of Alaska Fairbanks, a Land, Sea, and Space Grant institution and the world’s leading arctic research university, invites applications for post-doctoral positions. The Centennial Postdoctoral Initiative seeks to attract outstanding, early career scientists, scholars, or artists, who will engage in research or creative expression relevant to Alaska, the circumpolar north, or other UAF research priorities. Each recipient should pursue his or her own research interests in association with a faculty sponsor in such a way that it will benefit the research of both the postdoc and the faculty sponsor. Each award recipient will be provided with office space in close proximity to the faculty sponsor and will share laboratory space with that sponsor (if needed) throughout the award period. Recipients are expected to author papers for peer review as well as collaborate with the sponsor and potentially, other university researchers and/or a private or public sector partner. Learn more.
Public Communication Specialist, Sea Grant Program. The Public Communications Specialist shares results of research projects and outreach efforts funded or administered by the Water Resources Research Institute of the University of North Carolina and North Carolina Space Grant. This includes working with other team members, researchers and community partners to present timely information through varied communication venues including printed and online resources, social media, story maps, reports for individual projects and the full programs, videos, podcasts, newsletters, blog posts, program identity pieces, and educational materials. The position is based in Raleigh, NC with some day and overnight travel required. Application.
Director, American Indian Center. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill invites applications and nominations for the position of Director of the American Indian Center, which was established in 2006 and whose mission is to bridge the richness of American Indian nations and communities with the strengths of Carolina’s research, education, and teaching. The Director of the American Indian Center has overall responsibility for the activities, programs, and operations of the Center, which was established in 2006 to bridge the richness of American Indian nations and communities with the strengths of Carolina’s research, education, and teaching. The Center strengthens, nurtures, and applies research and teaching related to American Indians. It also advances campus diversity by facilitating the inclusion of American Indian perspectives, enriching the overall learning environment. Specific responsibilities include strategic planning in collaboration with University and community colleagues; program development, implementation, and evaluation; outreach and partnership development; and fiscal and administrative oversight. Learn more.
Faculty, Remote Sensing. As part of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program, NC State University seeks a scholar in remote sensing to join the Geospatial Analytics cluster. The position is an open rank tenured/tenure track position with an anticipated departmental home in the College of Sciences’ Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences with an anticipated start date of August 2018. The Geospatial Analytics cluster currently includes faculty from the Colleges of Natural Resources and Engineering. The cluster is coordinated through the Center for Geospatial Analytics, a collaborative hub for faculty, researchers and graduate students from over a dozen departments across campus. We seek a collaborative scholar who will lead research on remote sensing of Earth’s land and ice surfaces, ocean, atmosphere, and/or subsurface, and who will develop and teach related undergraduate and graduate courses, including courses that support the new cross-college PhD degree program in Geospatial Analytics. The scholar will be expected to build a program of well-established and focused research and related publications; recruit and mentor graduate students; generate externally funded projects and provide leadership and service to the cluster, the department, college, university, and scholarly organizations. NC State places a high value on excellent instruction and the use of innovative teaching methods. Application.
EPA | Gulf of Mexico Program RESTORE Gulf of Mexico Conservation Enhancement Grants Program
The EPA is soliciting proposals to enhance private/public partnerships that support land protection and conservation across the Gulf Coast. This program will be aimed at land conservation organizations such as land trusts, NGOs, and state land preservation agencies across the Gulf region. Applications due Feb. 9, 2018.
NC Sea Grant | Community Collaborative Research Grant Program
Community Collaborative Research Grant (CCRG) Program addresses priority coastal issues that align with the mission and strategic plan of NC Sea Grant. Specifically, CCRG requires the use of a collaborative research approach that couples the knowledge of community stakeholders with academic experts in the field. The 2018-2021 NC Sea Grant Strategic Plan defines four focus areas: 1) Healthy Coastal Ecosystems; 2) Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture; 3) Resilient Communities and Economies; and 4) Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development. Applications due 4 pm, Feb. 12, 2018.
NAS | Gulf Research Program Capacity Building Grants: Education Advancing Scientific and Environmental Literacy in Children and Youth
This grant aims to support experiences that foster the development of scientific and environmental literacy, skills, competencies, and capabilities that are critical to cultivating a next generation of informed citizens, scientists, engineers, and decision-makers. Activities should focus on service-, project-, or problem- based learning opportunities. Activities may take place in formal or informal educational settings, should target children and youth in the K-12 grade range, and be complementary to formal education standards and learning objectives. Letters of Intent (LOIs) are required and due February 14, 2018. Full proposals are due April 11, 2018.
NOAA | Environmental Literacy Grants: Supporting the Education of K-12 Students and the Public for Community Resilience
The goal of this Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) is to support the education of K-12 students and the public so they are knowledgeable of the ways in which their community can become more resilient to extreme weather events and/or other environmental hazards, and become involved in achieving that resilience. Many U.S. communities are increasingly contending with issues related to preventing, withstanding, and recovering from disruptions caused by extreme weather, such as severe storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, heavy precipitation events, persistent drought, heat waves, increased global temperatures, acidification of the ocean, and sea level rise. These extreme weather and climate events put stress on infrastructure, ecological systems, and the humans that live in the impacted places. Education projects focused on resilience enable and empower community members, including children and youth, to protect themselves and their communities from these hazards. Projects through these grants should build the environmental literacy necessary for communities to become more resilient to extreme weather and other environmental hazards they face. Eligible entities are State, local, and Indian tribal governments. Applications due April 6, 2018.
Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) | Vembu Subramanian Ocean Scholars Award
This annual award of up to $2500 can support one undergraduate student, graduate student, or early career professional for a research project or to present at a professional meeting in a marine science field relevant to SECOORA. An eligible applicant is any student or early career professional studying or working at a SECOORA member organization. Proposals are due 5:00 PM ET on March 15, 2018.