What is the National Climate Adaptation Science Center?
Born out of the pressing need to better understand the effects of climate change on our nation’s natural resources, the National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC), formerly named the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), was established by Congress in 2008. Housed within the U.S. Geological Survey, NCASC was tasked with providing science to help managers of the country’s fish and wildlife resources respond to climate change. To help meet this goal, NCASC established several regional climate science “hubs” – which later became the Climate Science Centers and in 2018 were renamed to the Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) – throughout the country to carry out research.
In 2009, Secretary of the Interior Salazar signed a secretarial order recognizing the Department of the Interior (DOI) as taking the lead in protecting the country’s natural and cultural resources “from the dramatic effects of climate change that are already occurring – from the Arctic to the Everglades”. As part of the secretarial order, the regional “hubs” were renamed the DOI Climate Science Centers (CSCs). The mission of the centers was also expanded, to include the development of science and tools to help managers address climate change-related impacts to the Nation’s land, water, fish and wildlife, and cultural heritage resources.
In the fiscal year 2018 budget, the name of the CSCs was changed to the Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs). The USGS NCCWSC, which manages the eight regional centers, was also renamed the National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC). Functionally, the mission of our network did not change. The changes more clearly aligned the national and regional centers, and emphasized the centers’ focus on meeting natural resource adaptation needs.
Mission: The National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) work with natural and cultural resource managers to gather the scientific information and build the tools needed to help fish, wildlife and ecosystems adapt to the impacts of climate change.