UW News

August 7, 2017

UW to host Interior Department’s Northwest Climate Science Center

The University of Washington is the new host for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center. Boise State University, the University of Montana, Washington State University and Western Washington University are also new partners in the Northwest CSC university consortium.

center logoThese five universities were selected as the CSC host and consortium partners after an open competition and extensive review by scientific experts. They will work as part of the collaborative network that defines the Northwest CSC. This includes working closely with federal, state and tribal entities, including those responsible for managing and protecting the land, water and natural resources of the Northwest, to develop actionable climate science and decision support tools.

On the academic side, the center will be led by university director Amy Snover of the Climate Impacts Group in the UW College of the Environment. The Northwest CSC will also be a member organization of EarthLab, a new College of the Environment initiative. Snover will work closely with the U.S. Geological Survey center director, Gustavo Bisbal, and partners at each of the consortium universities.

The Northwest CSC is one of eight regional Climate Science Centers dedicated to delivering science that helps wildlife, water, land and people adapt to a changing climate. The national network also includes two new five-year host agreements to the Southeast Climate Science Center, based in North Carolina, and the Alaska Climate Science Center, based in Anchorage.

The CSCs are deeply rooted in federal-university partnerships. Each CSC is hosted by a public university, composed of a multi-institution consortium and managed by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. These partnerships ensure access to a broad range of scientific expertise, production of high-quality science and sharing of funds, resources and facilities. University involvement also allows the CSCs to introduce students to the idea of “co-producing” science, in which scientists and decision-makers work closely together to ensure scientific research and products are usable and directly address real-world problems.

Amy Snover

Amy Snover

“We are excited to bring to the Northwest CSC the Climate Impacts Group’s model for co-producing decision-relevant science that can help sustain our region’s prized natural and cultural resources in an uncertain future,” Snover said. “Our new Northwest CSC consortium will focus on helping our region better understand the changes that lie ahead and develop sound resource management strategies in light of those changes.”

Over the past seven years, the previous university consortium established a robust partner network across the region and helped to define and refine the scope and goals of the Northwest CSC.

“We look forward to collaborating across the region to build on the CSC’s strong foundation,” Snover said.

While this announcement marks the beginning of a transition period for the center, its core mission — to provide services to regional resource managers in the form of climate adaptation science, syntheses, tools development, outreach efforts and training — remains the same. A Stakeholder Advisory Committee will continue to provide crucial input and guidance. The center’s annual Climate Boot Camp, which provides an opportunity for students and early career professionals to improve their climate science knowledge and skills, will also remain a priority.


For more information, contact Snover at 206-221-0222 or aksnover@uw.edu, or UW Climate Impacts Group communications manager Heidi Roop at 206-616-1352 or hroop@uw.edu.

Note: The fiscal year 2018 president’s budget request for the USGS changes the name of the Northwest Climate Science Center to the “Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center.”