Interagency collaboration in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains: Federal-university climate service networks for producing actionable information for climate change adaptation

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Andrea J Ray1, Elizabeth McNie2, Kristen Averyt3, Jeffrey T Morisette4, Justin D Derner5, Dennis S Ojima6, Lisa Dilling7 and Joseph J Barsugli3, (1)NOAA/Earth System Research Lab, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)University of Colorado Boulder, CIRES, Boulder, CO, United States, (4)USGS North Central Climate Science Center, Fort Collins, CO, United States, (5)USDA ARS, Northern Plains Regional Climate Hub, Cheyenne, WY, United States, (6)Colorado State University, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Fort Collins, CO, United States, (7)University of Colorado at Boulder, Western Water Assessment RISA, Boulder, CO, United States
Several federal agencies in north-central United States are each working to develop and disseminate useful climate information to enhance resilience to climate change. This talk will discuss how the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) the North Central Climate Science Center, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Western Water Assessment RISA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Climate Hub, are building and managing a collaborative research and climate-service network in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. This presentation will describe the evolution of the interagency collaboration and the partnership with universities to build a climate service network. Such collaboration takes time and intention and must include the right people and organizations to effectively bridge the gap between use-inspired research and application. In particular, we will discuss a focus on the Upper Missouri Basin, developing research to meet needs in a basin that has had relatively less attention on risks of climate change and adaptation to those risks.

Each organization has its own mission, stakeholders, and priorities, but there are many commonalities and potential synergies. Together, these organizations, and their agency scientists and university partners, are fostering cross-agency collaboration at the regional scale to optimize efficient allocation of resources while simultaneously enabling information to be generated at a scale that is relevant to decision makers. By each organization knowing the others needs and priorities, there are opportunities to craft research agendas and strategies for providing services that take advantage of the strengths and skills of the different organizations. University partners are key components of each organization, and of the collaboration, who bring in expertise beyond that in the agencies, in particular connections to social scientists, extension services.