Secretary Salazar Names Three Universities to Host Regional Climate Science Centers

Universities of Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Hawaii Complete Interior’s Nationwide Network


Contact: Adam Fetcher (202) 208-6416

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced three universities selected to host the Department of the Interior’s Climate Science Centers (CSCs) for the Northeast, South Central, and Pacific Islands regions. The three locations complete the national network of eight CSCs that will serve to provide land managers in federal, state and local agencies access to the best science available regarding climate change and other landscape-scale stressors. Secretary Salazar also announced today the permanent directors for three existing CSCs.

“Selecting the locations for the final three of our eight Climate Science Centers is a major milestone in our efforts to implement our department-wide climate change strategy,” Secretary Salazar said. “The nationwide network of Climate Science Centers will provide the scientific talent and commitment necessary for understanding how climate change and other landscape stressors will change the face of the United States, and how the Department of the Interior, as our nation’s chief steward of natural and cultural resources, can prepare and respond.”

The three universities announced today are:

Salazar noted that the CSCs will expand climate science capabilities without building new facilities or duplicating existing capabilities. Each CSC has a consortium of partners facilitating collaboration across the entire science community and expanding the expertise available to the CSC. The South Central CSC Consortium, for example, includes 30 departments within 4 universities.

The CSCs announced today also have significant participation from tribal communities. The Chickasaw Nation and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma are partners for the South Central Center, which will include support for a tribal sustainability officer, and the College of Menominee Nation is a partner for the Northeast CSC.

Secretary Salazar also announced the first permanent directors for three existing CSCs today:

The scientific priorities and agendas of each CSC will be decided in consultation with the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) in their respective regions - which are also part of the department’s coordinated climate change strategy - as well as with other scientists and land managers. The nationwide network of LCCs engages federal agencies, local and state partners, and the public in crafting practical, landscape-level strategies for managing climate change and other landscape-scale stressors impacting the nation’s natural and cultural resources.

The CSCs will serve as regional hubs of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, located at the headquarters of Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey. USGS is taking the lead on establishing the CSCs and providing initial staffing. Together, Interior’s CSCs and LCCs will assess the impacts of climate change and other landscape-scale stressors that typically extend beyond the borders of any single national wildlife refuge, national park or Bureau of Land Management unit and will identify strategies to ensure that resources across landscapes are resilient.

A list of the eight regional Climate Science Centers follows: