Todd Ontl

USDA Climate Hub Fellow

As the Fellow for the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub, I am looking at ways forest l managers are using the Adaptation Workbook, developed by the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, for climate-informed decision making in land management. I focus on looking at what on-the-ground adaptation looks like by analyzing the suite of climate adaptation demonstration projects developed through the Climate Change Response Framework. My focus is on determining:

  • what are the climate impacts and vulnerabilities managers are concerned with?
  • what adaptation strategies and approaches are they incorporating into their management approaches?
  • how are these operationalized in the field?
  • what are the barriers they are running into?
  • what metrics are being measured to determine if management goals are being met?

Beyond understanding what the adaptation decisions that are being made look like, I seek to understand what elements are influencing these decisions. For example, I am looking at the roles that characteristics of the projects (organization type, forest type, parcel size, ecoregion, etc) and the beliefs and attitudes of the managers themselves may play in approaches to integrating adaptation in forest land management. 


The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) has been designed as a collaborative effort among the Forest Service, universities, and forest industry to provide information on managing forests for climate change adaptation, enhanced carbon sequestration, and sustainable production of bioenergy and materials.