The Southwest Climate Science Center (SW CSC) was established in 2011 to provide objective scientific information, tools, and techniques that land, water, wildlife, and cultural resource managers and other interested parties can apply to anticipate, monitor, and adapt to climate change impacts in the southwestern United States.
The SW CSC is one of eight regional Climate Science Centers managed by the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. The SW CSC is a collaborative partnership among USGS scientists, resource management agencies, and a consortium of six academic institutions from across the region. One of the greatest strengths of the SW CSC is the expertise provided by the program’s numerous partners and affiliate institutions.
The science activities undertaken by the SW CSC are informed primarily by the Strategic Science Agenda and the Annual Science Workplan. The Strategic Science Agenda articulates general science objectives, staffing needs, and operating principles for the SW CSC over a five-year period that started in 2013. The 2015 Annual Science Workplan details the specific research priorities and planned actions for the SW CSC during federal fiscal year 2015.
The development of the SW CSC’s strategic direction is guided by a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC comprises executive-level representatives from federal, state, and tribal resource management agencies, including the region’s Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs). The SAC plays a critical role in shaping the SW CSC’s science planning process to ensure it meets the needs of on-the-ground resource managers.
The LCCs are science-management partnerships that include federal, state, tribal, and local governments and private landowners, and they play an important role in assisting CSCs identify key climate science needs of a wide range of land managers within their areas. The SW CSC’s geographic focus includes portions of five LCCs: California, Desert, Great Basin, North Pacific, and Southern Rockies.