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Open-File Report 2013–1143

U.S. Department of the Interior South Central Climate Science Center Strategic Science Plan, 2013–18

By Kim T. Winton, Melinda S. Dalton, and Allison A. Shipp

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Executive Summary

The Department of the Interior (DOI) recognizes and embraces the unprecedented challenges of maintaining our Nation’s rich natural and cultural resources in the 21st century. The magnitude of these challenges demands that the conservation community work together to develop integrated adaptation and mitigation strategies that collectively address the impacts of climate change and other landscape-scale stressors. On September 14, 2009, DOI Secretary Ken Salazar signed Secretarial Order 3289 (amended February 22, 2010) entitled, “Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change on America’s Water, Land, and Other Natural and Cultural Resources.” The Order establishes the foundation for two partner-based conservation science entities to address these unprecedented challenges: Climate Science Centers (CSCs and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs). CSCs and LCCs are the Department-wide approach for applying scientific tools to increase understanding of climate change and to coordinate an effective response to its impacts on tribes and the land, water, ocean, fish and wildlife, and cultural-heritage resources that DOI manages. Eight CSCs have been established and are managed through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC); each CSC works in close collaboration with their neighboring CSCs, as well as those across the Nation, to ensure the best and most efficient science is produced.

The South Central CSC was established in 2012 through a cooperative agreement with the University of Oklahoma, Texas Tech University, Louisiana State University, the Chickasaw Nation, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab; hereafter termed the ”Consortium” of the South Central CSC. The Consortium has a broad expertise in the physical, biological, natural, and social sciences to address impacts of climate change on land, water, fish and wildlife, ocean, coastal, and cultural resources.

The South Central CSC will 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, actively engaging LCCs and other partners in translating science into management decisions.

This document is the first Strategic Science Plan for the South Central CSC (2013-18). Using the January 2011 DOI guidance as a model, this document (1) describes the role and interactions of the South Central CSC among partners and stakeholders including Federal, State, and non-governmental organizations throughout the region; (2) describes a concept of what the center will provide to its partners; (3) defines a context for climate impacts in the south central United States; and (4) establishes the science priorities the center will address through research. Science priorities are currently organized as immediate or future research needs; however, this document is intended to be reevaluated and modified as partner needs change and as scientific work progresses.

First posted July 2, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, South Central Climate Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Suite 1100
David L. Boren Blvd.
Norman, OK 73072
Phone: 405–833–5091

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Suggested citation:

Winton, K.T., Dalton, M.S., and Shipp, A.A., comps., 2013, U.S. Department of the Interior South Central Climate Science Center Strategic Science Plan, 2013–18: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013–1143, 24 p.,


Executive Summary


Regional Context

South Central CSC Science Planning

Monitoring Priorities

Information Management and Data Sharing

Science Resources and Skills

Selected References

Appendix 1. Bibliography

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