The vision for the Southwest Climate Science Center (SW CSC) is to foster effective collaboration between scientists and resource managers in anticipating, monitoring, and adapting to climate variability and change in the Southwest, and attain national distinction in developing best practices for translational climate science.

The SW CSC was established by the U.S. Department of the Interior as part of a network of eight CSCs managed by the
National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), under the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The CSCs were created to provide scientific information, tools, and techniques that managers and other parties interested in land, water, wildlife and cultural resources can use to anticipate, monitor, and adapt to climate change. For more information about the SW CSC, please see the 2015 Workplan.

The SW CSC is hosted by a consortium of six institutions that comprise the Southwest Climate Alliance: University of Arizona, Tucson; University of California, Davis; University of California, Los Angeles; Desert Research Institute, Reno; University of Colorado, Boulder; and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. The University of Arizona serves as the central location and administrative center for the SW CSC. In addition to the host institutions, the SW CSC also includes important partner institutions.