Golden fall colors in a Minnesota forest.
Autumn Forest Golden leaves in the forest. © Richard Hamilton Smith

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Media Statement: New Science Center Will Help Midwest Prepare for Change in Climate

In response to the climate crisis, the U.S. Geological Survey announced it will form a new Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center to be hosted at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

Partner organizations include The Nature Conservancy, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the College of the Menominee Nation, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Michigan State University, Indiana University and the University of Illinois.

The consortium will work closely with federal, state, and Tribal entities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to produce actionable science to help fish, wildlife, water, land and people in the region adapt to a changing climate. 

Commenting on the new Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, Kimberly Hall – Climate Change Ecologist for The Nature Conservancy – said:

Climate change is already impacting our water, wildlife and ways of life—and the consequences will become more severe over time. We must ensure that our cities and towns, farms and ranches, and our lands and waters—and the people, native plants and animals that depend upon them—are protected.

“We applaud the U.S. Geological Survey’s effort to establish this new center, focused on the needs of the Midwest. This partnership between USGS and the eight partner organizations is critical. We must prepare for climate impacts, including record heat, more frequent and intense floods and drought, as well as changes to where species will live.

“We want to thank and congratulate the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment for leading this new effort. And we look forward to working with all of the partner organizations. We believe our combined strengths in science, outreach and engagement and training the next generation of conservation leaders will be invaluable. 

“And because climate change is expected to disproportionately impact Indigenous people and communities of color, TNC appreciates the USGS’ commitment to include Tribal, rural and urban areas in its work.

“Guided by science and grounded by decades of on-the-ground experience throughout the Midwest, TNC will work our federal, state, local and Tribal partners and private landowners to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

“Delivering actionable climate research that focuses not only on the impact of climate change but also how people and nature in the region can adapt, is essential for our economy and our environment.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 75 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 38 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.