The Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (NW CASC) combines academic expertise with federal resources to advance climate science development and delivery for managers and policy makers in the Northwest region.
In 2010 the NW CASC was established by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to help safeguard the region's natural and cultural resources by providing managers and policy-makers across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Western Montana with timely, relevant, accessible climate science. The NW CASC is one of eight regional DOI Climate Adaptation Science Centers across the country coordinated through the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The CASCs are deeply rooted in federal-university partnerships. Each CASC is hosted by a public university and is composed of a multi-institution consortium. Download the NW CASC's brochure here.
The NW CASC is hosted by the University of Washington and is made up of a consortium of universities including Boise State University, University of Montana, Washington State University and Western Washington University. These universities function as part of the collaborative network that defines the NW CASC. This involves working closely with federal, state, and tribal entities, including those responsible for managing and protecting the land, water, and natural resources of the Northwest, to develop actionable climate science and decision-support tools.
These partnerships ensure access to a broad range of scientific expertise, production of high-quality science, and sharing of funds, resources, and facilities. University involvment also allows the CASCs to introduce students to the innovative approach of "co-producing" science, in which scientists and deicison-makers work closely together to ensure scientific research and products are usable and directly address real-world problems.
The NW CASC's vision is:
To become nationally recognized as a best-practice model for the provision of climate science and decision support tools to address conservation and management issues in the Pacific Northwest Region.
The vision includes two overarching goals supported by a set of interrelated objectives that describe the core services provided by the NW CASC to the NW community. These goals are to:
- Establish a significant and effective leadership presence to strengthen the region's ability to plan and implement a coordinated climate science portfolio.
- Develop resources and programs to enhance climate science literacy, and give regional audiences the necessary tools and information to promote climate change awareness.
The NW CASC meets its goals through five primary services:
EXECUTIVE SERVICES – The NW CASC provides guidance and support for climate-related activities through coordination and engagement with relevant stakeholders. The NW CASC's Stakeholder Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from local, state and federal agencies, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and tribes who convene regularly to discuss developments and prioritize science needs.
SCIENCE SERVICES – The NW CASC works to identify and address the current and future climate science needs of managers and decision-makers in the Northwest. A NW CSC Science Agenda 2018-23 was adopted in November 2017 to identify annual and long-term research priorities.
DATA SERVICES – The NW CASC collects and secures climate data while providing timely access, analytical functions, and interpretive services. The NW CASC works with partners to organize, store and make accessible the rapidly increasing volumes of data relevant to NW climate scientists and natural and cultural resource managers.
COMMUNICATION SERVICES – The NW CASC promotes the exchange of information among regional stakeholders and works to raise awareness of climate issues in the Northwest. Its Communication Strategy, describes the intended audiences and best approaches to reach them effectively.
EDUCATION and TRAINING SERVICES – The NW CASC supports broad participation in climate science and the education of diverse young scientists through graduate fellowships and training including during an annual weeklong professional development retreat know as Climate Boot Camp.