The Northwest Climate Science Center (NW CSC) is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Graduate Fellows, Ian Breckheimer and Diana Gergel, both of the University of Washington. Breckheimer, a student in the Department of Biology, uses field experiments and long-term observations to study the ecological mechanisms that determine sensitivity to climate change in plant communities. Gergel models the effects of climate change on snowpack in the Western U.S. as a student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. More information available here.
Eric Salathé, NW CSC's University of Washington Director, will estimate NW flood risk as part of an initiative launched by the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. CIRI was created to improve the resiliency of critical infrastructure, such as dams and roads. Salathé will work with Guillaume Mauger of UW’s Climate Impacts Group to model flood risk based on changes in extreme precipitation and sea level rise. More here.
Results from a Northwest Climate Science Center report published this week give managers a picture of the likely impacts of sea level rise on saltwater marshes along the coastlines of Oregon and Washington. Coastal wetlands are economic engines for our region- providing recreational benefits to local communities and creating critical habitat for our iconic fisheries of salmon and trout. They also help purify water and protect seaside towns from flooding. What effects will rising sea levels have on these ecological powerhouses? Read here to find out.