The Department of the Interior Northwest Climate Science Center (NW CSC) was established to help safeguard the natural and cultural resources of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and surrounding river basins by providing managers and decision makers with accessible science on climate change impacts and adaptation actions. The NW CSC Science Agenda for 2018– 23 builds upon an extensive research portfolio funded by the NW CSC from 2011 to 2017 and charts the overall science direction and research opportunities for the NW CSC over the next 5 years.
The Science Agenda is based on seven guiding principles that strongly influenced its development and will steer its implementation, including allowing resource management priorities to drive science opportunities and supporting coproduced actionable science. Through a deliberate and open dialogue that the NW CSC established between regional resource managers and scientists, we identified 6 management priorities (aquatic resources, at-risk species and habitat, invasive species and diseases, forest ecosystems, shrubland ecosystems, working lands and waters), 12 management goals, and 41 key science opportunities that will help guide the NW CSC’s research funding decisions and other activities. The human dimensions of climate adaptation are also recognized under three goals that may provide alternative and useful ways to frame regional climate change and natural resource issues. Because the Science Agenda sets the expectations for how the NW CSC intends to meet the science information needs of resource managers, an evaluation component is embedded within and considered an integral way of assessing both the impacts of the NW CSC on the region and accountability to the NW CSC’s regional stakeholders and Federal funding agency.