U of I Part of Midwest Climate Center
10/5/2021 10:42:22 AM
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) have finalized an agreement with the University of Minnesota and seven partner organizations — including the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign — to form a new Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC). The center will advance scientific research and education in response to climate change impacts in the Midwest.
The Midwest CASC consortium will be hosted at Minnesota and will include the U of I, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the College of Menominee Nation, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Michigan State University, Indiana University and The Nature Conservancy. Member organizations were selected to the newest of nine regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers after an open competition and extensive review by scientific experts.
The U of I team, funded at $518,000 over five years, is led by Jeremy S. Guest, CEE Associate Professor and Associate Director for Research at the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment, and Jeffrey Brawn, Levenick Endowed Chair of Sustainability and Professor of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences.
“We are excited to be part of the new CASC consortium for the Midwest, which will create exciting research opportunities for researchers across campus,” Guest said. “It will advance our capacity to study the interactions among natural and built environments in the Midwest, and establish new partnerships to advance climate science and adaptation.”
Together, the Midwest CASC consortium organizations will work closely with USGS and other federal, state, and tribal entities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to support management and protection of land, water, and natural resources with actionable climate science, innovation and decision support tools.
The Midwest CASC will focus on pursuing adaptation — from understanding key vulnerabilities to climate change, to designing adaptation actions in ecologically and culturally appropriate ways. A key aspect of the innovation will include monitoring approaches to review and update actions. To this end, the CASC will fund individual research projects and work collaboratively across the consortium on key issues in the region that also involve adaptation practitioners.