Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Open-File Report 2014–1075

The Pacific Islands Climate Science Center Five-Year Science Agenda, 2014–2018

By David A. Helweg, Sarah A. B. Nash, and Dan A. Polhemus

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (940 KB)Summary

In 2009 the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) established two partner-based entities to address challenges of climate change: Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs). CSCs provide region-focused climate science to support management of natural and cultural resources. The Pacific Islands Climate Science Center (PICSC) was launched in 2012 and serves Hawaiʻi and the U.S.–Affiliated Pacific Islands region. The PICSC is hosted by a university consortium including the University of Hawaiʻi and the University of Guam. Partnership with academia provides scientific expertise along with commitment to capacity building in the region. In close partnership with the PICSC is the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC), which serves as the regional LCC. Together, they work with Federal, state, and other partners to deliver scientific research and interpretation. A biocultural framework emphasizes interconnected natural and anthropogenic systems and seeks to integrate multiple knowledge systems and modes of investigation. The vision for the PICSC is to inform and support sustainability and climate adaptation of human and ecological communities in the Pacific islands. Emphasis is on actionable science—science with a clear path for integration with resource stewards, with research organized around themes that guide progress of the PICSC. In this Agenda, four themes are identified as priorities, namely (1) Guidance for Anticipated Intermediate-Term Climate Changes; (2) Potential Effects of Changing Climate on Freshwater Resources; (3) Anticipating and Mitigating Change in Coastal and Low-Lying Areas; and (4) Forecasting Sustainability for Resource Management and Planning. Within each Theme in this agenda, objectives are identified that will advance knowledge and capabilities that were identified during the development process. Objectives may contain more than one science element. Some may be addressed with existing knowledge and research methods, while others may need to wait until essential information or tools are developed. Leveraging science and technology programs in other institutions based on shared or unique mission goals will help make effective investments. By virtue of the PICSC relationship with the host universities and the network of cooperators and stakeholders, the center facilitates educational training and capacity building. The Agenda is a living document and will revised to reflect both progress on existing objectives as well as development of additional or alternative science priorities based on evaluation of climate issues, knowledge, and capabilities in the region.

First posted April 15, 2014

For additional information, contact:
David Helweg, Director
Pacific Islands Climate Science Center
USGS Climate and Land Use Mission Area

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). For best results viewing and printing PDF documents, it is recommended that you download the documents to your computer and open them with Adobe Reader. PDF documents opened from your browser may not display or print as intended. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Helweg, D., Nash, S., and Polhemus, D., 2014, The Pacific Islands Climate Science Center five-year science agenda, 2014–2018: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1075, 30 p.,

ISSN 2331–1258 (online)


Climate Change in Pacific Islands

Introduction to Climate Science Centers

The Pacific Islands Climate Science Center and Its Partners


Translating the Vision into Actionable Science

Portfolio Development—Implementing the Themes

Work Plan

Mid-Cycle Progress Evaluation


Appendixes 1-3

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: GS Pubs Web Contact
Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 07-Dec-2016 19:35:22 EST