Through a fledgling science center tailored to study the Inland Northwest, the US Department of the Interior has awarded several new grants to guide planning for climate change. The Northwest Climate Science Center, headquartered in Corvallis, Oregon, is getting seed money for 13 new climate studies.
The work will focus on figuring out how climate change affects natural resources, and ways to mitigate damage to ecosystems and species. For example, planners will try to understand how wildfires and land-use changes will affect northwest watersheds and water supply in the region.
Another study will focus on the connectivity of landscapes, especially on the trans-boundary region between Washington and Canada. That issue will become increasingly important as climate change forces species such as grizzly bears to shift their ranges.
In all, The Department of the Interior is funneling a million dollars to the Northwest Climate Science Center, one of eight such regional operations in the country.
The studies will be undertaken by scientists from the three major universities that are partners in the center - the Universities of Washington and Idaho and Oregon State University.