North Central Climate Science Center


The North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC) is part of a federal network of eight Climate Science Centers created to provide scientific information, tools, and techniques that managers and other parties interested in land, water, wildlife and cultural resources can use to anticipate, monitor, and adapt to climate change.

The Climate in the North Central domain is driven by large-scale patterns in atmospheric circulation, the region’s complex topography, and effects due to the nature of the local land cover.This creates patterns of mean climate, climate variability, and climate change that are characterized by dramatic gradients in seasonal and annual temperature, effective moisture, and wind.

The mission of the NC CSC is to provide the best available climate science and tools to inform natural resource management within the North Central Domain. The NC CSC will provide the tools and information needed by managers to understand potential impacts and adaptation strategies for a broad range of natural, cultural, energy, and other resource management activities. This will be done in conjunction with the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and coordinated with the activities of the other regional climate science centers. The three main constituent groups for the center include the North Central University Consortium (NCUC), USGS centers in the region, and the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC).

These four goals will be met through cross-sector collaboration and regular iterative engagement with resource managers, decision makers, and the public: 

  • Compile existing climate data and projections for use in regional climate models that can inform short-term management objectives; 
  • Gain greater understanding of climate drivers and impacts on key regional sectors: natural, cultural, & energy resources and ecosystems goods and services; 
  • Evaluate vulnerabilities through physical, ecological, and social perspectives and consider adaptive capabilities with a focus on human livelihood, health, and safety; and 
  • Develop user-driven decision support tools that aid in developing effective climate change response strategies and resilient management practices.
Adaptation work: 

Connecting to decision makers is integral to the mission of the North Central Climate Science Center. This connection is not always obvious or automatic; it requires not only a strong research program but also a healthy infrastructure for transition, a strong interface with the user community, and continuous evaluation of the process. This research area will ensure that the NC CSC has these key components in place.

This focus area will provide a critical analysis of how the different management stakeholders across the region have an ability to implement adaptation and mitigation strategies. This analysis will evaluate the options available to these entities to both address the impacts on the system and identify potential vulnerabilities. This information will provide a framework to build capacity to cope or respond to different stressors. The analysis of capital assets will be made within the decision-making context of these entities and with the help of quantitative decision support tools. Activites falling under the adapation and mitigation Foundational Science Area include:

  • Detailed information on management options and institutional resources and how these are utilized under various decision-making situations,
  • Integration of the information derived from the other research activities above, shared with stakeholders across the region to enhance adaptive capacity, and
  • Quantitative decision-support tools for the ReVAMP.

FY15 Adaptation Proposal

USGS Mendendall Research Fellowship Opportunity Announcement

Recording of USGS Mendendall Research Fellowship Information Session (December 22, 2014)