As arctic temperatures warm in Alaska, it is altering the natural habitat for polar bears. Photo by Bruce Noble.
As the primary land, water and wildlife manager for the nation, the U.S. Department of the Interior has an obligation to address the impacts that climate change is having on America's resources by developing integrated adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC)
The Secretary of the Interior has established 21 Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
that will focus on applied science at the landscape-level. Hosted at universities, these LCCs will be composed of scientists from many different agencies and partner organizations. Once in place, these groups of scientists will conduct the on-the-ground observations of climate change impacts that will then be used to make resource management decisions with a special emphasis on climate change adaptation strategies. Each LCC functions within a specific landscape, but it also will be part of a national, and ultimately, international network. These LCCs will be a key asset as the National Park Service (NPS) develops its response to climate change.
Climate Science Centers (CSC)
The Secretary of the Interior has also established 8 Climate Science Centers
which will provide the basic climate change science associated with broad regions of the country. They will work closely with the LCCs, other climate scientists and partners to develop the fundamental science and decision support for the LCCs. They will be located at host institutions with available expertise and resources on climate change. They will also facilitate and fund new research to advance the science of climate impact and resource modeling.