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Jan 26 / USGS Newsroom

Climate Change Workshop To Feature Leading Scientists

Sea-level rise, severe winter storms, salmon populations, carbon sequestration, invasive plants, and migratory birds are among the many issues of concern to natural resource managers that are affected by changing climate. Climate change and its impact on coastal ecosystems is the focus of a 2-day workshop that will bring together more than 450 scientists, policy-makers, resource managers and others on January 29-30 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco.

Sponsored by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, the workshop will also feature speakers from NOAA, the Minerals Management Service, U.S. Forest Service, Washington Department of Natural Resources, California Resources Agency, The Nature Conservancy, PRBO Conservation Science, the National Wildlife Federation and Stanford University.

The purpose of the workshop is to share information and provide resources for natural resource scientists and managers working to conserve the coastal ecosystems of California, Oregon and Washington and address the challenges associated with a changing climate.

The workshop will kick off with a broad discussion of climate change, its drivers and the existing tools that are being used to understand it. Elements of the ecosystems will be presented in three modules, with each module consisting of an overview presentation, specific case studies and projects, and will conclude with an opportunity for discussion. Special attention will be given to species, populations and land management.

The agenda is available online at:http://www.fws.gov/pacific/Climatechange/pdf/San_Francisco_Agenda.pdf

Presentations of particular interest include (not in chronological order):

Climate Change and the Changing Face of Conservation

  • Ellie Cohen, Executive Director, PRBO Conservation Science
    Managing for Change: Adaptive Conservation Strategies:
    The vital role of ecological conservation in reducing the negative impacts of climate change on birds, other wildlife and human communities. Ms. Cohen will discuss the use of birds as indicators of change and novel approaches to adaptive resource management for improving conservation outcomes in the context of rapid environmental change.
    Friday, 1/30/09, 9:00 a.m. Grand Ballroom B/C
  • Dan Ashe, Science Advisor to the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Later is Over: The Imperative for Transformation in Conservation:
    Climate change as the greatest and most complex challenge faced in conserving fish, wildlife, and their habitats with the potential to cause abrupt changes in ecosystems and mass species extinctions. Effective conservation will need to focus on strategic actions, building shared capacity, and working collaboratively across the entire conservation community.
    Friday, 1/30/09, 3:30 p.m. Grand Ballroom B/C

Coastal Watersheds and Landscapes

  • Randy Hanson, Research Hydrologist California Water Science Center, Water Resources Discipline, U.S. Geological Survey, San Diego
    Climate Variability and Change on Coastal Aquifer Systems:
    Climate variability and change will affect the hydrologic system and related land use for coastal watersheds that, in part, depend on ground-water resources for water supply and irrigation. Several areas will be reviewed to show historical and potential effects within coastal aquifer systems in California.
    Thursday, 1/29/09, 1:20 p.m., Grand Ballroom B.

Bays and Estuaries

  • Jan Thompson, Coordinator, Priority Ecosystems Studies, San Francisco Estuary, USGS, Menlo Park
    CASCaDE: A Decision Tool for Examining the Effect of Climate Change on the San Francisco Delta Ecosystem:
    The response of the San Francisco Delta ecosystem to several scenarios of climate change through a series of linked models. The linked models include global and regional climate models, a watershed model, Delta/Bay hydrodynamic models, geomorphic and suspended sediment models, a phytoplankton model, a series of fish life history models, and a contaminant bioaccumulation model.
    Friday, 1/30/09, 10:50 a.m., Grand Ballroom B/C.
  • John Takekawa, Research Wildlife Biologist, USGS Western Ecological Research Center
    Estuary-Nearshore Climate Change Effects and Relationship to Migratory and Listed Species:
    The effects of climate change on migratory and listed species in estuary-nearshore environments by two major forces: sea level rise and alteration of snowpack runoff. Examples of threats to endemic species in tidal marshes and migratory birds on mud flats will be presented.
    Thursday, 1/29/09, 2:20 p.m., Grand Ballroom C.

Nearshore and Open Ocean

  • David Revell, Senior Associate, Philip Williams and Associates, San Francisco
    An Initial Assessment of the Impact of Sea Level Rise to the California Coast:
    Evaluation of coastal hazards for the Central and Northern California coast using the best available data sets and most recent climate model outputs for California. Dr. Revell has been actively advancing the concept of sandshed management – integrating the physical, ecological, and economic aspects of watersheds and littoral cells to restore beach and coastal environments.
    Thursday, 1/29/09, 1:20 p.m., Regency A/B.
  • Patrick Barnard, Coastal Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Geology Program, Santa Cruz, CA
    A Comprehensive, Process-Based Modeling Approach for Assessing Coastal Flooding and Inundation under Extreme Storm Scenarios
    The USGS is leading the construction and implementation of a robust, process-based coastal hazards model for forecasting the impact of severe winter storms along the Southern California coast. Designed with an operational objective in mind, the model will also be used to simulate coastal erosion, flooding, inundation and cliff failure under a series of extreme but plausible winter storms that will become more common during the next century under most climate change scenarios.
    Thursday, 1/29/09, 1:40 p.m., Regency A/B.
  • Brian Collins, Research Civil Engineer, U.S Geological Survey, Western Earth Surface Processes Team, Menlo Park
    Climate Change Based Prediction of Coastal Cliff Landslides Near San Francisco, California:
    Coastal landslides in weakly lithified sediment are a common occurrence in many parts of the world, including the west coast of the United States. Dr. Collins will discuss a comprehensive research study begun in 2001 to document and monitor the effects of winter storms on several sections of cliff south of San Francisco, California and the effects of sea-level rise on landsliding.
    Thursday, 1/29/09, 2:00 p.m., Regency A/B.

Climate Change and Critters: How Will Species Respond to Climate Change?

  • Terry L. Root, Senior Fellow-University Faculty, Woods Institute for the Environment, Professor by Courtesy in Biological Sciences, Stanford University
    Wildlife Responses to Climate Change (Terrestrial) and Management Challenges:
    Changes have occurred in wild animals and plants in the past century with ~0.8oC of warming around the globe and what might the future ecological consequences be for wild species as the globe continues to warm rapidly. The work demonstrates that with only 0.8OC of warming over the last 30-45 years species around the globe are already changing dramatically: ranges moving poleward and up in elevation, events are happening earlier in the spring and later in the fall, and extinctions are beginning to occur.
    Friday, 1/30/09, 8:25 a.m. Grand Ballroom B/C.
  • Tim Tinker, Research Wildlife Biologist, USGS-WERC Santa Cruz Field Station, Santa Cruz
    Using long term research on sea otters and kelp forest food webs to study the effects of climate change on coastal ecosystems:
    Near-shore marine ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to combined impacts of climate change and human influences at the land-sea interface, particularly in areas of dense human populations and altered landscapes such as coastal California. Dr. Tinker will discuss how climate change is expected to affect a wide array of processes in near-shore systems. As apex predators in kelp forest ecosystems, sea otters are an ideal species for understanding these impacts.
    Friday, 1/30/09, 1:20 p.m. Grand Ballroom B.

Climate Change and Salmon

  • Bill Peterson, Oceanographer, NOAA/Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, OR
    Forecasting Returns of Coho and Chinook salmon in the Northern California Current: a Role for High-Frequency Long Term Observations:
    Research will be presented on monitoring hydrography and plankton and juvenile salmonid abundance in coastal waters of the northern California Current since 1998. This research has produced some success with qualitative forecasts of coho and spring Chinook salmon.
    Friday, 1/30/09, 1:00 p.m. Regency A/B.
  • Gordon H. Reeves, US Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Corvallis, OR
    Effects of Climate Change on the Freshwater Life-history of Anadromous Fish in the Pacific Northwest:
    Freshwater ecosystems used by Pacific salmon in western North America will potentially undergo major changes as a consequence of climate change. Of particular importance to salmonids are the alteration of the timing, duration, and nature of the flow regime, and changes in the magnitude and timing of water temperatures.
    Friday, 1/30/09, 1:20 p.m. Regency A/B.

Registration: Although workshop registration is not required for the media, it may speed up your check in time at the event. Registration: http://www.fws.gov/pacific/ClimateChange/register.cfm

Tour the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project: You are also invited to join a tour of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge– the largest tidal wetland restoration project on the west coast. On the tour we will discuss the overall project including the roles of sediment deposition and sea level rise in the bay. Although the field trip is full for workshop participants, reporters are welcome to join if you have your own transportation, Contact Eric Mruz at (510) 792-0222, ext. 25, or Eric_Mruz@fws.gov to be included in the field trip.

What: Climate Change, Natural Resources, and Coastal Ecosystems: A Workshop on Coastal Ecosystems of California, Oregon, and Washington

Who: More than 450 scientists, policy- makers, resource managers, planners, and information & data specialists from federal and state agencies and their partners.

Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel, 5 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, California

When: Thursday, January 29, 2009, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday, January 30, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

[Via USGS]

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