Climate Change Vulnerability of Native Americans in the Southwest

Karletta Chief
Posted on: 7/18/2022 - Updated on: 6/13/2023

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CAKE Site Admin


Native Americans in the Southwest are vulnerable to climate change because of their intimate relationship with the environment upon which their culture, tradition, and livelihood depend. Climate change may overwhelm tribes already stressed by economical and development challenges. A primary example is Nevada’s largest tribe, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, located at the terminal end of the Truckee River Basin, who are deeply connected—culturally, physically, and spiritually—to Pyramid Lake and its ecosystem.

This research project seeks to investigate the potential of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe to adapt to climate change. The project collaborators include the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, the University of Arizona, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Funding for this project comes from a two-year grant from the U.S. Geological Survey Southwest Climate Science Center.

Affiliated Organizations

The Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (SW CASC) was established in 2011 to provide objective scientific information, tools, and techniques that land, water, wildlife, and cultural resource managers and other interested parties can apply to anticipate, monitor, and adapt to climate change impacts in the southwestern United States.


Adaptation Phase
Target Climate Changes and Impacts