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Press Release



Competition Open to Host Department of the Interior  Regional Climate Science Centers



05/05/2010

Joan Moody (Interior) 202-208-6416
Bill Lukas (USGS) 703-648-6168

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Department of the Interior is now accepting proposals from universities and scientific organizations to host four of the Department of the Interior regional Climate Science Centers planned throughout the nation—those in the Northwest, Southeast, Southwest and North Central regions.

“These centers will be part of a dynamic new network of eight geographically dispersed centers providing science about climate change impacts, helping land managers adapt to the impacts, and engaging the public through education initiatives,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “In short, Climate Science Centers will better connect our scientists with land managers and the public.”

The Program Announcement is posted here and is open for a 45-day period. Candidates should be institutions of higher learning or other organizations that have suitable facilities, partnerships, and science capabilities. Successful applicants are expected to be chosen by mid-August 2010.

Secretary Salazar called for the eight Climate Science Centers in a Secretarial Order signed on September 14, 2009. With this order, he put into action the Department’s first-ever coordinated strategy to address current and future impacts of climate change on America’s land, water, ocean, fish, wildlife, and cultural resources.

He named the University of Alaska as the first center on March 4, 2010. The Northwest and Southeast centers called for in today’s program announcement will be established during Fiscal Year 2010. Those in the Southwest and North Central will be selected via this competition announcement but their formal establishment will be subject to available funding. The remaining three regions will be open for competition under a second program announcement that is planned for release in 2012.

The sites for these centers will be at the successful applicants’ locations, not at the Interior Department or its bureaus’ facilities. U.S. Geological Survey scientists and staff from other Interior bureaus will be hosted in the selected locations.

Applicants wishing to host a Climate Science Center must be able to contribute climate science capabilities that complement and enhance U.S. Geological Survey and Department of the Interior scientific and computational capacity, and those of other science partners. Desirable background for host institutions includes experience with science collaborations and with regional land, water, fish and wildlife, and cultural resource partnerships and communities. Hosts will be eligible for federal funds for collaborative research projects with U.S. Geological Survey and other scientists.

The Department of the Interior is establishing not only the regional “Climate Science Centers” but also a network of “Landscape Conservation Cooperatives” that will interact with the science centers. The cooperatives will engage federal agencies, local and state partners, and the public in crafting practical, landscape-level strategies for managing climate change impacts within the eight regions.

Within their respective regions, these cooperatives will focus on impacts that typically extend beyond the borders of any single national wildlife refuge, national park or Bureau of Land Management unit—such as the effects of climate change on wildlife migration patterns, wildfire risk, drought, or invasive species.

To learn more about this climate change strategy, visit our new climate change strategy web page. This site features interactive maps of Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, as well as additional details on the services they will provide.