UMASS climate science center awarded $4.5-million

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AMHERST, Mass. – The Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NE CASC) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a five-year, $4.5 million commitment from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The center will act as the host campus for its six-member consortium of universities including the universities of Vermont, Missouri, Wisconsin, Cornell University and the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin. Also eligible for funding through NE CASC are Columbia University, Woods Hole Research Center and Michigan State University. 

Scientists affiliated with the center provide federal, state and other agencies with region-specific results of targeted research on the effects of climate change on ecosystems, wildlife, water and other resources. These are used in resource management and planning. The new agreement continues Interior’s original seven-year, $11 million grant to the NE CASC at UMass Amherst that began in 2011.

NE CASC co-director Richard Palmer says the center’s renewal means it can continue helping natural resource managers with detailed information relevant to their specific area and to the particular problems they face with climate change effects on fish and wildlife, or the effects of rising sea levels or floods. A major goal is to provide a sound foundation for decision-making and risk management.

NE CASC scientists have given hundreds of talks and seminars over the past seven years, contributed to more than 200 publications and have created 24 web-based interactive tools that are used by dozens of wildlife ecologists, state agencies, tribes, town planning boards and local conservation groups. It offers newsletters and webinars to circulate research news, tools and opportunities.

The NE CASC is one of eight established by the Interior Department since 2009.  The Northeast region ranges from Maine to Wisconsin and Maryland to Missouri.

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