Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Department of the Interior and University of Alaska Dedicate Climate Science Center
Alaska Center first of eight to open throughout the nation
Last edited 4/26/2016
ANCHORAGE, AK—The Department of the Interior held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today for its new Alaska Climate Science Center (CSC), which is being hosted in Anchorage by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The ceremony for the Alaska CSC marked the first official opening of one of eight regional climate science centers the department is establishing throughout the nation.
Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, addresses the Alaska CSC launch.
- University of Alaska Photo
“Everyone here knows that Alaska is ‘ground zero' in witnessing the impacts associated with climate change, with rapidly receding glaciers and a thawing permafrost having far-ranging effects on plants, animals, and humans alike,” said Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science Anne Castle.
In addition to Assistant Secretary Castle, participating leaders included University of Alaska Chancellors Brian Rogers of the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Fran Ulmer of the University of Alaska Anchorage; and John Pugh of the University of Alaska Southeast; as well as U.S. Geological Survey Regional Executive Leslie Holland-Bartels and the interim director of the Alaska CSC, Mark Shasby of USGS.
“The University of Alaska Fairbanks and the USGS have a long-established and strong working relationship, and we are committed to this new and important partnership in collaboration with the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Southeast,” said Chancellor Rogers. “The new Center builds on the strength of this foundation and creates an even stronger research partnership. The university's function in this center will be to ‘Observe, Understand and Respond' to provide significant specialization in Arctic terrestrial and marine ecosystems.”
“The University of Alaska system is a tremendous resource, and the CSC will leverage the work already being done at the university on the impacts of climate change to Arctic resources,” said Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science.
- University of Alaska Photo
“The University of Alaska system is a tremendous resource, and the CSC will leverage the work already being done at the university on the impacts of climate change to Arctic resources,” Castle said. “The new Alaska CSC will be able to immediately tie into university resources, establish relationships with the university's existing partners, and enhance the collaborations that are already ongoing among the university, the department and our agencies.”
The CSCs will use existing capacities to provide scientific data, tools and techniques to manage the nation's land, water, fish and wildlife, and cultural heritage in a changing climate. Each CSC will be a partnership between federal and state agencies and an academic institution or consortium of universities.
The CSCs will also work closely with a network of “Landscape Conservation Cooperatives” (LCCs) in which federal, state, tribal and other managers and scientists will develop conservation, adaptation and mitigation strategies for dealing with the impacts of various stressors such as climate change. The Arctic LCC, one of five Alaska LCCs that will be established, has already initiated funding of crucial projects through the university.
By working together with the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, CSCs and LCCs will address climate change impacts that typically extend beyond the borders of any single national wildlife refuge, national park or Bureau of Land Management unit.
Cutting the ribbon to dedicate the new Alaska Climate Science Center on Feb. 24, 2011 were (left to right) Fran Ulmer, Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage; Brian Rogers, Chancellor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science; and John Pugh, Chancellor of the University of Alaska Southeast.
- University of Alaska photo.
None of the CSCs or the LCCs is meant to replace existing partnerships, agencies, or jurisdictions. Instead, they will tap into these partnerships and identify what gaps exist in the state of knowledge about how climate change and other landscape-scale stressors are affecting a region.
The existing Alaska Climate Change Executive Roundtable, for example, will provide a crucial role in ensuring coordination and integration of activities among the new Alaska CSC and LCCs in Alaska as well as the activities of NOAA's Climate Service for Alaska.
In addition to the Alaska CSC, the Department of the Interior has already announced the Southeast Climate Science Center hosted by North Carolina State University; the Northwest Climate Science Center led by a consortium of three universities; the Southwest Climate Science Center with a large consortium including Univ. of Arizona-Tucson; and the North Central Climate Science Center with nine universities headed by Colorado State University.
Interior will invite proposals for the three remaining centers, which will be the Northeast, South Central, and Pacific Islands Climate Science Centers. The selection process will be posted on Grants.gov next week.