USGS Center hosts Washington dignitaries for first ever Northern Rockies Climate Science Meeting

Glacier staff and guests enjoy a day on Logan Pass.USGS-Northern Rocky Mountain Center (NOROCK) hosted the first ever Northern Rockies Climate Science Meeting July 20-24 in Bozeman, Montana. The purpose of this meeting was to feature the dynamic research and science activities in which NOROCK and their partners are participating surrounding issues related to climate change in mountain ecosystems. The meeting also emphasized the growing network of collaborative research activities and tools in climate change science which includes active partnerships between many USGS programs and entities such as US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), US Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), universities, tribal entities, and NGOs.

NOROCK Center Director Jeff Kershner hosted the meeting which included a four day tour of both the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (Glacier National Park) and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Yellowstone National Park). Both of these regions are instrumental in the study of climate change impacts on mountain ecosystems due to the diversity of species and landscapes within each ecosystem, as well as the values society has placed on the preservation of these ecosystems due to their historical, biological, and geological significance. During the tour attendees visited with both GNP Superintendent Chas Cartwright and YNP Deputy Superintendent Chris Lehnertz to learn more about climate change science and issues surrounding each park. In addition, Dr. Kathy Whitlock from the Montana State University Earth Sciences Department and Vice President’s office discussed university programming surrounding climate change science. These talks, accompanied by presentations and field tours specific to climate change research performed by NOROCK scientists and their partners, provided a holistic overview of the top rate science partnerships and resulting research being developed and implemented throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

Those attending included: Kit Batten, Science Advisor in the Office of the Deputy Secretary of the Interior; Tom Armstrong, USGS Senior Advisor for Global Change; Mark Sogge, Interim Director USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center; Jay Hestbeck, USGS Central Region Science Officer; Steve Hostetler, USGS Water Resource Division; Jeff Stoner, Science Advisor USGS Central Region-North Central Area; DeWayne Cecil, USGS Climate Change Program; Rick Sojda, USGS-NOROCK; John Kilpatrick, Director USGS Montana Water Resource Center; Kyle Blasch, Assistant Director Montana Water Resource Center; Grey Watson, USFWS Mountain Prairie Region; Yvette Converse, USFSW Interim Coordinator for the Northern Rockies-Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Bob Booth, USFWS Director Bozeman Fish Technology Center; NOROCK researchers and staff.