With five new university consortium partners and a renewed five-year funding award, NC State University will continue to host the Department of the Interior’s Southeast Climate Science Center, broadening its access to expertise and renewing its commitment to the science needs of the region.
“Our goal is to continue to provide natural resource managers with the information they need to make informed decisions,” said NC State’s Harry Daniels, the new university director of the Southeast CSC.
In a region faced with increasing urbanization, changing precipitation patterns and rising sea levels, a broad suite of scientific expertise is crucial for managing risk and planning for the future. The new partners — Auburn University, Duke University, the University of Florida, the University of South Carolina and the University of Tennessee — bring extensive experience and knowledge related to Southeastern coastlines, the important role of ecosystems in our society, the effects of land use and urbanization on habitats and many more topics. This will complement the expertise of faculty at NC State.
Each university had to compete to join the consortium, undergoing extensive expert review.
“NC State has been pivotal in the development and growth of the Southeast CSC,” Daniels said. “We look forward to our continued involvement and know that the growth of our consortium will greatly strengthen our ability to help the Southeast prepare for future risks.”
These partnerships ensure access to a broad range of scientific expertise, production of high-quality science and sharing of funds, resources and facilities. University involvement also allows the CSCs to introduce students to the innovative approach of “co-producing” science, a process that aims to ensure scientific research and products directly address real-world problems.
So far, the center’s actionable science projects have ranged from estimating future water availability to developing decision frameworks that enable collaborative decisions about climate adaptations. Students are heavily involved in the work, another key objective of the center.
“A critical aspect of preparing for the future involves training the next generation of scientists, managers, and engineers, giving them multi-disciplinary skills required to approach the complex issues of global change facing our region and nation,” Daniels said. “The Southeast CSC will continue to invest in building capacity through graduate student training, resulting in lasting impacts.”
The Southeast CSC is one of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s eight regional Climate Science Centers. We address the key natural resource conservation challenge of our time: Helping people manage climate and land use changes in ways that sustain the coupled human and natural systems on which our region depends.
The CSCs are deeply rooted in federal-university partnerships. Each is hosted by a public university, comprised of a multi-institution consortium and managed by the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. The FY 2018 President’s Budget Request for US Geological Survey changes the name of the center to the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center.
To learn more about the CSC network, please visit: https://nccwsc.usgs.gov/. The national network also includes two new five-year hosting agreement awards to the Northwest Climate Science Center and the Alaska Climate Science Center.
This post was originally published in College of Agriculture and Life Sciences News.