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Drought is a normal feature in the North Central and Great Plains of the United States. Yet, as the region continues to warm and the impacts of climate change are more widespread, the threat of ecological drought has the potential to result in major social and ecological impacts. The Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and their managing organization, the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey, have chosen the emerging climate science field of Ecological Drought as a research focus area. This newsletter highlights the outcomes of a two-day workshop held at the North Central CSC in Fort Collins, Colorado, as part of a series of meetings at each of the nation's eight CSCs. These workshops are aimed at collating our existing knowledge of the ecological impacts, resistance, and recovery from drought.
Alex Fries, Dave Nemazie, and Bill Dennison traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the initiation of a Guanabara Bay report card. IAN is partnering with KCI, a Maryland-based engineering firm, and PSAM, a municipal sanitation management agency in Rio. We actively participated in two workshopsa small technical workshop at INEA, which is an environmental agency based in Rio, and a large public workshop at the new Museum of Tomorrow, overlooking Guanabara Bay. Alex produced a draft newsletter in Portuguese which we used in the workshop at the Museum of Tomorrow. We will be returning to Rio in the coming months to complete the Guanabara Bay report card.
Marking a significant milestone in our ongoing partnership with the National Park Service National Capital Region Network (NCRN), IAN has completed Natural Resource Condition Assessments for the 11 NCRN park units in Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia. Natural Resource Condition Assessments evaluate and report on the natural resources within a park, and aim to provide science-based information to assist park managers in ongoing resource planning and decision-making. This partnership began in 2005, focusing on the communication of natural resources in the National Parks, and has evolved and continues to grow today. All completed NRCAs and accompanying products are available on IAN Press.
IAN participated in two meetings related to the Gulf of Mexico Report Card project, including a meeting in Villahermosa, Mexico at the University of Tabasco, and at the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, Texas. The meeting in Villahermosa was to begin the process for creating a report card for the Mexico portion of the Gulf, and the meeting in Corpus Christi was to begin integrating human health and well-being concepts with ecosystem services into the report card project. Both of these meetings were good opportunities to integrate efforts to ultimately create a Gulf-wide report card.
Further information: www.ian.umces.edu