DOINews: NW CSC 2013 Climate Boot Camp: Grooming the Next Generation of Climate Experts

Last edited 4/26/2016

The Department of the Interior (DOI) Northwest Climate Science Center (NW CSC) has made the provision of education and training a key objective in its 2012-2015 Strategic Plan. This education and training priority is the driver behind the Climate Boot Camp, an annual, week-long interdisciplinary education program offered through the collaborative efforts of the NW CSC partners -- Oregon State University, University of Idaho, University of Washington and the Department of Interior U.S. Geological Survey.

Predicated on transferring the wisdom, knowledge and expertise of climate scientists and natural resource managers, Climate Boot Camp educational modules focus on climate impacts science; climate issues in the northwest region; communication of science to policy makers, managers and the public; the application of science to resource management decisions; and the integration of climate knowledge from empirical science, traditional sources and across scientific disciplines. The program gives participants an all-encompassing view of the workings of climate impacts science, and an understanding of the tools and skills needed to apply science to climate impact adaptation and resource management decision making.

The week-long Climate Boot Camp course includes skill-building exercises, presentations and field trips, conducted by leading climate scientists, communications experts and resource managers. The students at the Climate Boot Camp are referred to as Fellows. This year's Fellows, numbering 23, are a mix of graduate students form the NW CSC and the seven other regional CSCs, and early career professionals from northwest federal agencies, tribes and non-governmental organizations. Combined, this year's group of Fellows and educators come from the three northwest states and ten other states from North Carolina to Hawaii.

Lindsey Thurman, a Climate Boot Camp Fellow in 2012 and 2013 has teamed up with other Fellows to develop the online Early Career Climate Forum designed to extend collaborative efforts and maintain a network of early career professionals beyond the actual week of Climate Boot Camp. “Our website has more than 50 contributors discussing climate change research, science communication strategies, and tools for career development. It's evolving into a very useful toolbox for current and future researchers.”

The Climate Boot Camp was first offered in August 2011 at the Pack Forest in western Washington, and then in August 2012 at the HJ Andrews Forest in western Oregon, and in this third year (July 28-August 2, 2013) at the University of Idaho McCall Campus in central Idaho.

The NW CSC is one of eight regional Climate Science Centers established by DOI and coordinates the expertise of federal and university scientists to provide scientific information and tools necessary to address federal, state, and tribal resource managers' priorities in response to climate change.

For further information, please contact 2013 Climate Boot Camp Director, Steven Daley-Laursen, at the University of Idaho Office of Research and Economic Development (