Climate Change

Tribal Climate Resilience Camp Questionnaire Now Available!

URGENT: The Tribal Climate Resilience Camp planning team needs your help! Please take our questionnaire to better allow us to develop the content of our camp’s curriculum. But wait—there’s more: those who submit their feedback by Tuesday, December 1 will be entered into a drawing for a lobster dinner or Maine-made memento! Act NOW! Don’t miss out!!!

USET Virtual Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment/Adaption Plan Writing Retreat

This retreat will provide writing opportunities for Tribal Nations continuing to make progress on their adaptation plans, opportunities for feedback, peer editing and reflection, addressing gaps in supporting data and information, and identifying resources to help with implementation. Please register by Friday, January 8.


Contribute to the Fifth National Climate Assessment

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is pleased to announce that the call for author nominations and technical inputs for the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) is now open.

Please refer to the Federal Register Notice for a full description of the call. Prospective authors nominated through this call may be invited to serve as Chapter Lead Authors, Authors, or Technical Contributors to NCA5. Read more about the Fifth National Climate Assessment.

Submission deadline: November 14, 2020.

USDA Forest Service Appoints New Tribal Relations Director

The USDA Forest Service recently appointed a new director to the Tribal Relations program. Reed Robinson announced his new position in a blog post on the Tribal Relations webpage. Here is a snippet of that post from November 5, 2020.

“November is National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month and an excellent time to consider what ‘heritage’ means to Native Americans. My name is Reed Robinson and I am the newly appointed Director of Tribal Relations for the USDA Forest Service. I am also both Sicangu Lakota and an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.”

Reed Robinson, Director, Office of Tribal Relations

Read more about the USFS Tribal Relations Director Reed Robinson’s powerful message about what “heritage” means to Native Americans.

Reed Robinson has been appointed as the Director of the Office of Tribal Relations. Photo provided by USFS Tribal Relations.

Tribal Review of the Congressional Climate Action Plan

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) in partnership with Tribal Nations and Tribal organizations across the country led an effort to perform a Tribal Review of the 2020 Congressional document titled: Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America. The Congressional Action Plan (CAP) was developed by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The CAP aims to fulfill a set of integrated goals to reach net-zero emissions by 2050; reduce pollution in environmental justice communities; and reach net-negative emissions in the second half of the 21st century. Both the CAP and the Tribal Review can be found on ATNI’s Climate Change page.

The purpose of the Tribal Review is to provide Tribal Nations, inter-tribal organizations, and other interested parties with a framework of the CAP that will:

  1. Provide information to Tribal leaders regarding impacts and opportunities, gaps, concerns, and Tribal priorities identified in a critical review of the CAP;
  2. Assist Tribal leaders in strategizing to address the priorities and gaps of the CAP;
  3. Provide draft language that Tribal leaders may deploy in communications with policymakers to advance fulfillment of objectives, including Tribal resolutions.

Tribal Climate Conference Addresses Environmental Issues in Indian Country

“More than 2,400 participants from 30 countries and over 150 Tribal Nations sat in front of their screens to attend the first biennial National Tribal and Indigenous Climate Conference, held online Sept. 14-17.
“The virtual conference examined how climate change affects Indigenous peoples and emphasized the importance of traditional knowledge and Native stewardship of the earth.”

The Seminole Tribune

The Seminole Tribune, local news source for USET member Tribal Nation The Seminole Tribe of Florida, highlights some of the major takeaways of this extensive virtual conference.

Alarmed by scope of wildfires, officials turn to Native Americans for help

Fire was absolutely a part of what we did all the time,’ she said. ‘It wasn’t a fearful thing.’
“Long before California was California, Native Americans used fire to keep the lands where they lived healthy. That meant intentionally burning excess vegetation at regular intervals, during times of the year when the weather would keep blazes smaller and cooler than the destructive wildfires burning today.
“The work requires a deep understanding of how winds would spread flames down a particular hillside or when lighting a fire in a forest would foster the growth of certain plants, and that knowledge has been passed down through ceremony and practice. But until recently, it has been mostly dismissed as unscientific.
Now, as more Americans are being forced to confront the realities of climate change, firefighting experts and policymakers are increasingly turning to fundamental ecological principles that have long guided Indigenous communities.”

The Press Democrat

Read the article in The Press Democrat, by New York Times journalist Jill Cowan.

Preserving Our Place: Isle de Jean Charles

“The influx of saltwater killed the marsh grasses. Trees that once offered shelter from hurricane-force winds were turned a skeletal white by the salt….
“Preserving a moment in time has different meanings for everyone. Using the five senses helps to create a memory. Throughout time, there are days when we remember exactly where we were and the events surrounding them: Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941; the John F. Kennedy assassination, November 22, 1963; World Trade Center, September 11, 2001. Just as these moments were of deep national impact, so this moment is of deep impact for our Tribal nation. Preserving a place, whether physically, historically, or emotionally, usually comes about through great loss—as is the case with Isle de Jean Charles.”

Nonprofit Quarterly

Read the story by author Chantel Comardelle in the fall 2020 edition of Nonprofit Quarterly.

NE CASC Fellow’s Perspective: Our Place in This Place

NE CASC Undergraduate Fellow Jasmine Neosh, a student at the College of Menominee Nation, has published a personal essay that uses Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants as a touchstone to explore the destructive politics underlying the negative representation of humanity’s relationship with the environment and the urgent need to recast that relationship in positive terms.

Declining Marine Health Threatens Traditional Subsistence Fishing for Tribal Nations

“Melissa Watkinson recalls a time in the past when she could go crabbing at the end of the dock in the Puget Sound and catch a great deal of crab. She can’t do that anymore. These days, she has to go on a boat into deeper waters to catch any. ’My nieces won’t know what it’s like to be able to throw a pot at the end of a dock and catch some crab,’ Watkinson said. ‘Climate change and other changes in the ocean are having an impact on our ability to access some of these traditional foods for our family,’ she continued…”

South Seattle Emerald

Read Frances Lee’s article in the South Seattle Emerald.

“Mask-to-Mask” Tribal Consultation in A New Era of Social Interaction

A brief intro to a story posted on the USFS Tribal Relations blog on October 5, 2020 by Sandy Marin, Forest Service Office of Tribal Relations:

“As the COVID-19 pandemic stunted business as usual in many ways, the Forest Service is still finding ways to meaningfully consult with Tribal Nations on planned projects. Throughout the pandemic, Forest Service has remained committed to serving the public and Tribal partners. Staff on the Santa Fe National Forest have truly embodied agency core values of safety, interdependence, and service through recent government-to-government consultations with the Pueblos of Tesuque and Jemez.

“The new reality of reduced physical interaction means being creative in offering high quality service to stakeholders. As part of the federal trust responsibility to Native American Tribal Nations, meaningful government-to-government consultation on any projects that may impact Tribal lands or a Tribal Nation’s ability to access culturally significant resources is a legal obligation. Face-to-face consultation is imperative to Tribal leaders in carrying out meaningful, and effective consultation.”
Read the full story.

USET Awarded Outstanding Leadership in Climate Adaptation

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies celebrated the six winners of the 2020 Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards for Natural Resources during the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Virtual Annual Meeting. Among the awardees was the United South and Eastern Tribes – Office of Environmental Resource Management (USET-OERM) for their work in connecting Tribal natural-cultural resource departments, environmental  departments, and other Tribal programmatic staff with resources at the Northeast and Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Centers (NE/SE CASCs) and for hosting key networking and programmatic support events for Tribal Nations such as the Tribal Climate Resilience Summit, Climate Adaptation Plan Writing Retreats, USET Climate Change Adaptation Stories and Resources Web Page and the planned Tribal Climate Resilience Camp.  The Leadership in Climate Awards were established in 2016 to recognize outstanding leadership by individuals, organizations, businesses, and agencies to support the resilience of America’s vital natural resources and the many people, businesses, and communities that depend on them in the face of a changing climate. We are proud to recognize these leaders who are on the ground implementing adaptation strategies to safeguard our fish, wildlife, and plants now and for future generations. Please help us in congratulating these #AdaptationLeaders!

The award reception can be viewed here (at minute 18:25). Accepting the award on behalf of USET are Aranzazu Lascurain, Assistant University Director for the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (SE CASC) and Casey Thornbrugh, Tribal Climate Science Liaison with the United South and Eastern Tribes.

Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy America

The U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis recently released their Climate Crisis Action plan, which lays out plans to work towards ambitious and actionable climate solutions that Congress should enact to benefit American communities in addressing climate change. This 547-page report includes a section on Partnering with Tribal Nations and Indigenous Communities for Climate Adaptation and Resilience. For more information or to access the full report, click here.

North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center Launches the Tribal Climate Leaders Program (TCLP).

The Tribal Climate Leaders Program (TCLP) supports Native American graduate students to become the next generation of Tribal environmental leaders. The TCLP was launch this fall 2020 and will be providing 5 fully-funded, 2-year fellowships to Native American students pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Colorado Boulder in fields related to climate adaptation science. This is a new pilot program open to Native American students affiliated with the 32 federally-recognized Tribes in the 7-state North Central region.
To read more about current fellows see here.

The Indigenous Environmental Network: Offering Free, Virtual Carbon Pricing Training Workshops

The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) is providing free virtual educational trainings on carbon pricing in Indian Country. These virtual workshops aim to create collaborative spaces to discuss and learn about carbon pricing mechanisms and are tailored to fit each interested individuals or organization. IEN will be offering these virtual workshops from September to December 2020.

For more information or to sign up for a workshop, please click here.

Funding Opportunities
and Resources

NOAA Adaptation Science Program                                                Applications are due November 30, 2020. For Fiscal Year 2021, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Adaptation Science Program is soliciting proposals focused on U.S. coastal communities planning for the future impacts of flooding in the context of climate change and other stressors. The program seeks to advance the science of adaptation by soliciting proposals for interdisciplinary and social science research projects that accelerate, expand and enhance the effectiveness and scale of adaptation and resilience planning and implementation in the face of complex challenges in coastal settings. For more information see here.

NOAA RISA Funding Opportunities in Climate Change Preparation and Planning
Letters of intent due December 9, 2020; Full proposals due Feb. 8, 2021 (Competition #2); and Feb. 16, 2021 (Competition #1)  

A funding opportunity has been issued from NOAA to support the development of knowledge, expertise, and abilities of decision-makers to plan and prepare for climate change. This funding opportunity is for regionally-focused NOAA-RISA (Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments) engagement teams that can include: NOAA and other federal agencies, Tribal governments, non- governmental organizations, boundary organizations, international organizations and regional networks, extension services, state and local governments, and representative private sector organizations. This funding opportunity is divided into 2 regional competitions. More details can be found here

Competition #1: (1 funded project per RISA region) Northeast, MidAtlantic, Intermountain West, Carolinas, Great Lakes, Alaska, Pacific Islands, South Central, and Pacific Northwest. See NOAA-RISA regional teams map here.

Competition #2: (4 total planning activities) Southeast and Caribbean.

WEBINAR: Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 3:00 PM ET (2:00 PM CT)
RISA 2021 Funding Opportunity – Competition 1: Information on Letters of Intent

WEBINAR: Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 10:00 AM ET (9:00 AM CT)
RISA 2021 Funding Opportunity – Competition 2

Department of Energy: Energy Infrastructure Deployment of Tribal Lands 2020 Funding Opportunity Announcement
Note: This application deadline has been extended to December 10, 2020.  DOE’s Office of Indian Energy is soliciting applications from Tribal Nations, including Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Village Corporations, Intertribal Organizations, and Tribal Energy Development Organizations. For more information, click here.

NOAA Funding Opportunity: Addressing the Impacts of Multiple Stressors on Shellfish Aquaculture through Research/Industry Partnership 
Letters of Intent are due December 15, 2020 (Full proposals due March 16, 2021). The National Sea Grant Office (NSGO) and the Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) are funding a joint competition to fund proposals that seek to establish, continue, and/or expand collaborations between researchers and the shellfish aquaculture industry. Specifically, applications to this competition should utilize new or existing research/industry partnerships to study how ocean and coastal acidification in combination with other stressors impacts shellfish aquaculture. Applications must include at least one researcher and one shellfish grower acting as co-Principal Investigators, and the proposed work must utilize a co-production of knowledge framework. Total funding for this competition includes up to $2,000,000 in federal funds to support 2-6 projects. Each project will be funded at the approximate level of $100,000 – $300,000 per year for 1-3 years.

Additional Information: More details are available at Resources and forms are available on the Implementation page of Inside Sea Grant (

Questions: Questions about this funding opportunity should be sent to Sea Grant ( and/or the Ocean Acidification Program ( Please specify that your question is related to this competition in the subject line.

NOAA RESTORE Science Program Funding Opportunity: Planning for Actionable Science
Full proposals are due December 15, 2020.  
The NOAA RESTORE Science Program invites you to apply to our new funding competition, Planning for Actionable Science. This competition will provide natural resource managers, researchers, and other stakeholders with funding to plan a research project that informs a specific management decision impacting natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico. The Science Program is making approximately $2.5 million available for this competition to fund approximately 20 planning projects that will run for one year each. Please see the full announcement for complete instructions.

BIA Endangered Species Program
Applications are due January 13, 2021. Projects involving species protected by the Endangered Species Act (as amended 1973) (ESA).  This includes ESA Candidate species; Projects involving tribally important species and/or habitat(s) where such species or habitat(s) are identified in an official and approved Tribal document, management plan, or Tribal Resolution that lists the Tribally important species and/or habitat(s) and describes the tribal interest in focusing attention on those species/habitat(s); The maximum funding request is $120,000 per application.  The funding request cannot include the Tribal indirect rate.  Eligibility is limited to federally recognized Indian Tribal Governments and Native American Organizations authorized by Indian tribal governments (Tribes and inter-tribal organizations authorized under P.L. 93-638). For more information contact Keith Bluecloud at or Harold Peterson at (615) 564-6838.


BIA Invasive Species Program
Applications are due January 13, 2021. Instead of focusing on the definition of “Invasive Species,” this program will focus on the damage caused to Tribal Trust Resources and leave it to the discretion of the applicant to describe whether the species is “invasive” or represents an instance in which a native species is behaving as an invasive species due to altered environmental conditions. This funding can cover all invasive species (plants/animals) outside of noxious weeds in agricultural settings.

Invasive wildlife funding will focus on the following three areas. 

  • Planning funding would allow Tribal Nations to participate in local/regional/national forums and/or planning efforts by which such collaborative efforts have been established, or would allow Tribal Nations to initiate a collaborative forum, task force, or management planning effort where none currently exist.
  • Prevention funding would provide for the development of planning/management documents and or develop/implement procedures to prevent IS from impacting Tribal trust resources where such species are not already established.
  • Implementation funding would assist Tribal Nations in implementing management plans or other established protocols aimed at the control, management, or prevention of IS.

Funding requests can range from $2,500 – $250,000 per application. Proposals addressing more than one focus area may be combined into one proposal. 

Eligibility is limited to federally recognized Indian Tribal Governments and Native American Organizations authorized by Indian tribal governments (Tribes and inter-tribal organizations authorized under P.L. 93-638). For more information contact Keith Bluecloud at or & Harold Peterson at (615) 564-6838.


BIA Fish Hatcheries Maintenance Program
Applications are due January 13, 2021. Eligible Fish Hatchery. Any multi-purpose or single-purpose facility owned by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) or a Federally recognized Tribal Nation engaged in the spawning, hatching, rearing, holding, caring for, or stocking of fish and/or shellfish. Facilities owned by other federal agencies, states, and non-Tribal entities are not eligible to receive maintenance funds; Maintenance. Work that is required to prolong the life of a structure, building, or other facility component including: delay of physical deterioration; enhancement of original function; application of new technological advances; or replacement or acquisition of associated capitalized equipment.

Eligibility is limited to federally recognized Indian Tribal Governments and Native American Organizations authorized by Indian tribal governments (Tribes and inter-tribal organizations authorized under P.L. 93-638). For more information contact Keith Bluecloud at or Harold Peterson at (615) 564-6838.

BIA Tribal Youth Initiative (TYI) Program
Applications are due January 13, 2021. Initiative funding for the support and development of Tribal youth programs focused on science in alignment with conservation and resource management will be distributed on a competitive basis to Tribal Nations and inter-tribal organizations. The programs will provide opportunities for youth to engage in the field of natural resource management and encourage their interest in pursuing educational opportunities and careers in natural resources management.

Eligibility is limited to federally recognized Indian Tribal Governments and Native American Organizations authorized by Indian tribal governments (Tribes and inter-tribal organizations authorized under P.L. 93-638). For more information contact Keith Bluecloud at or Harold Peterson at (615) 564-6838.

FEMA Fiscal Year 2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity for Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants
Applications are due January 29, 2021.  FEMA has posted the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Notification of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) for the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program and the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) pre-disaster mitigation grant programs. FEMA’s two competitive mitigation grant programs provide states, local communities, Tribal Nations and territories (SLTTs) funding for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness by reducing disaster losses and protecting life and property from future disaster damages. The application opens on September 30, 2020 and will remain open through January 2021. The grants link contains information about the program, application details, and links to sign up for FEMA webinars. The overview link has a cleaner description of the program and its goals. More information can be found HERE.

Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)
Fact Sheet:
Federal Resources for Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change has provided this fact sheet as a survey of federal funding and technical assistance available to help state and local governments and agencies, Tribal Nations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and individuals implement nature-based solutions for climate resilience. Many of these sources of federal support allow communities to develop projects which draw on the multiple, interrelated benefits of nature-based solutions.  To access the fact sheet, click here.

DOC EDA FY2019 EDA Disaster Supplementals
Applications are accepted on a continuing basis and processed as received. This investment assistance will help communities and regions devise and implement long-term economic recovery strategies through a variety of non-construction and construction projects, as appropriate, to address economic challenges in areas where a Presidential declaration of a major disaster was issued under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. For more information and to apply, click here.

Student Opportunities

ITC Education Scholarship
The Intertribal Timber Council (ITC), in partnership with the USDA Forest Service Research and Development is pleased to announce scholarship opportunities for Native American graduate students who are planning or currently conducting Tribally relevant research in a natural resource issue.
Deadline: December 1, 2020, 5:00 p.m. PST
Award: Varies, not to exceed $5,000
Purpose: The ITC Education Scholarship is designed to support Tribally relevant, natural resource based, research being conducted by Native American scholars enrolled in a graduate program. For additional information and how to apply click here.

USGS Wetlands Post-Doctoral Opportunity
Applications due January 4, 2021. The USGS Coastal-Marine Hazards Resources Program is offering a post-doctoral research opportunity through the USGS Mendenhall Fellow program.  This postdoc program allows early career scientists to propose projects in response to a general area defined in a specific research opportunity. Mendenhall Fellows join USGS as (temporary) federal employees.
The research opportunity may be of interest to young scientists interested in pursuing research in coastal wetlands/landscape change and natural resource decision making. Applicants with PhDs in Chemistry, Ecology, Geography, Engineering, and Natural Resource Management may be well qualified for this work.
More information:
Details about this research opportunity
General information about the Mendenhall program

NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Applications due January 8, 2021.  NOAA is pleased to announce the 2021 call for applications for NOAA’s Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship (C&GC) program. The fellowship program has an outstanding reputation for attracting the best and the brightest PhDs in the sciences relevant to climate change. Each appointed fellow is hosted by a mentoring scientist at a U.S. university or research institution to work in an area of mutual interest.  Fellows  focus  on  observing, understanding, modeling, and predicting climate variability and change on seasonal and longer time scales. This includes the documentation and analysis of past, current, or possible future climate variability and change as well as the study of the underlying physical, chemical, and biological processes. Fellows  are  UCAR employees and receive a fixed annual salary, plus UCAR’s benefits and allowances  for  relocation,  travel and publications. Appointments will be announced by April 1, 2021.  For more information go here.

USFS Native American Student Research Assistantship
Applications due January 15, 2021.
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS), through partnership with The Wildlife Society, is offering research assistantships for Native American undergraduate or graduate students as part of the Native American Research Assistantship Program for Summer 2021. The program promotes student advancement and training for careers in natural resource and conservation-related fields. Assistantship participants aid and learn about the USFS’ ecological, science-based approach to decision-making and balancing multiple use management of national forests and grasslands. Assistantships are available for Native American students interested in wildlife and forest resource research and management. Applicants must be a member of an American Indian or Alaska Native Tribal Nation, First Nations or a Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or have some other Indigenous identification, and be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program from an accredited academic institution. For more information and to apply see here.

Graduate Student Scholarship Opportunity: Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership. The Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the State University of New York (SUNY)
Applications accepted on a rolling basis (but note SUNY fall/spring application deadlines). Graduate Study Opportunity Integrating Indigenous and Scientific Knowledges for Environmental Sustainability. The Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science & Forestry is recruiting students for graduate study in diverse environmental sciences from ecology, sustainability, conservation biology to restoration and environmental engineering. As a member of the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership, the program provides funding for full tuition and stipends for Native American students pursuing MS and PhD degrees. Applications are open so please join us in this exciting initiative. Additional information can be found online at or contact Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer at

Additional Resources

Forest Adaptation Webinar Series – Climate Change Response Framework  

The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS) and the Forest Stewards Guild worked together to offer a webinar series focused on forests and climate change adaptation.  The series brought together scientists and managers to learn about and discuss emerging topics related to the effects of climate change on forest management, with a focus in New England and New York.  These webinars have been archived and can be viewed here.


Northeast Indigenous Climate Resilience Network

The Northeast Indigenous Climate Resilience Network (NICRN) seeks to convene Indigenous peoples to identify threats to Indigenous self-determination and ways of life and to formulate adaptation and mitigation strategies, dialogues, and educational programs that build Indigenous capacities to address climate-related issues. This website provides the latest tools and resources for Indigenous peoples and scientists to work together towards meeting the current challenges of climate change.  To go to the NICRN website, click here.

The Tribal Adaptation Menu (TAM)

The Tribal Adaptation Menu (TAM) is an extensive collection of climate change adaptation actions for natural resource management, organized into tiers of general and more specific ideas. While this first version of the Menu was created based on Ojibwe and Menominee perspectives, languages, concepts and values (hence its name in language–Dibaginjigaadeg Anishinaabe Ezhitwaad), it was intentionally designed to be adaptable to other Indigenous communities, allowing for the incorporation of their language, knowledge and culture.  The TAM authors and team provide culturally-supportive climate change adaptation planning workshops.  For more information see here.  

Bureau of Indian Affairs: Tribal Resilience Program        

The BIA Tribal Resilience Program (TRP) provides federal-wide resources to Tribal Nations to build capacity and resilience through leadership engagement, delivery of data and tools, training and Tribal capacity building. Direct funding supports Tribal Nations, Tribal consortia, and authorized Tribal organizations to build resilience through competitive awards for Tribally designed resilience training, adaptation planning, vulnerability assessments, supplemental monitoring, capacity building, and youth engagement. The resilient ocean and coastal management effort supports planning, science and tools, and capacity for coastal Tribal Nation’s ocean management, including the Great Lakes.  For more information, see here.

Tribal Climate Change Guide

Tribal Climate Change Funding Guide is intended to provide up-to-date information on grants, programs and plans that may assist Tribal Nations in addressing climate change through a broad range of sectors. We will update this guide regularly, so please check back often. If you have questions or updates for this guide, email: Please note that for entries that are accepting applications continuously, the grant deadline column will list “12/31/2017” as the grant deadline. This ensures that those grants will appear immediately after those grants with a set deadline.  To go to the Tribal Climate Change Guide, click here.

Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP): Tribal Climate Change Program    

ITEP’s Climate Change Program is a resource for Tribal Nations and Tribal environmental and other program staff for climate change adaptation support.  The ITEP Climate Change Program provides climate change adaptation planning workshops and trainings via webinar and in-person.  For more information see ITEP’s Climate Change Program webpage here

Virtual Conference: American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting

December 1-17, 2020. The AGU20 Fall Meeting will be one of the world’s largest virtual scientific conferences, with exciting programming and events. This will be our most diverse, engaging and dynamic Fall Meeting to date. AGU20 is scheduled from 1-17 December to accommodate over a thousand hours of virtual content to minimize conflicts while maximizing global engagement. Scientific program content will be available on-demand, with pre-recorded oral presentations and virtual posters available for attendees to view and peruse outside of the scheduled live Q&A sessions during the meeting.

NOTE: AGU is pleased to support Indigenous member students and faculty enrolled in or working for North American Tribal and territorial colleges and universities to attend the 2020 Fall Meeting for a $0 registration fee. For more information and for registration see here.


Webinar: Native Voices in STEM

December 2 at 5:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Indige-FEWSS/ University of Arizona. This professional seminar series invites Native scientists, engineers, activists, community members and leaders to share their personal and professional journeys, providing inspiration to the next generation of change makers. This next webinar will feature Nonabah Lane, on topics of Navajo Ethno-Agriculture. To access this event, click here.


Virtual Conference: GEO Indigenous Summit

December 7- 9, 2020. Join Indigenous leaders from around the world as they discuss Indigenous-led innovation in Earth observations data, science and technology. This will build on the GEO Indigenous hackathon, bringing together Indigenous knowledge and state-of-the-art science and technology, as well as the global GEO community. Please mark your calendar for this virtual event and register.
Themes: COVID-19, Women Empowerment, Education, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, Indigenous Data Sovereignty, Knowledge Transfer.
Lightning talks session:  Lightning talks are 3 minutes pre-recorded presentations related to the themes of the Summit. To submit an abstract, complete this form by November 25 at 23:59 CEST.


Virtual Conference: Intertribal Agricultural Council – Resilience in Action

December 7-10, 2020. The Intertribal Agriculture Council Virtual Conference is the largest gathering of American Indian agriculture producers, Tribal natural resource professionals and USDA service providers. Attendees include Native pre-college and college students, educators, and professionals as well as representatives from Tribal Nations, Tribal enterprises, Native owned businesses, and government partners. The renowned American Indian Foods Exhibit Hall features government agencies, nonprofit organizations, Tribal Nations, and Native artisans, featuring handcrafted art and value added food products, many of which utilize our Made By American Indians™ trademark. Over 800 people attended the 2019 Meeting. For more information and registration see here.


Virtual Session II: National Tribal Leadership Climate Change Summit

December TBD, 2020. Offered by the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI), National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), and Pacific Northwest Tribal Nations. Learn how vulnerability assessments, adaptation planning, and promoting resiliency are increasing Tribal engagement in climate issues. See examples of model climate resiliency plans. Session II agenda and speaker list is currently in development. Stay tuned for more details, click here for the latest information.


Webinar: Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center Webinar Series: Variation in Nutrient Loading among Lake Michigan Watersheds: Disentangling Land Use and Discharge Effects 

December 9 at 12:00 PM Eastern (11:00 AM Central). Webinar speaker Peter McIntyre. A full description will be found here soon.


Webinar: Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center Webinar Series: Developing Future Habitat Condition Scenarios for Wildlife in the Imperiled Pine Rockland Ecosystem of South Florida

December 15 at 11:00 AM Eastern (10:00 AM Central). Dr. Suresh Subedi is an Assistant Professor of Biology in Arkansas Tech University. He is involved in research related to the effects of climate change on natural resources and wildlife management. He is mainly interested in merging modelling and field-based approaches to predict community interactions and environmental adaptation to climate change.  For more information on the project see here.


Virtual Adaptation Planning and Practices Course: Adaptation Planning for Tribal Environmental Professionals

January 27 – March 15, 2021. The Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science and USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub are offering the Adaptation Planning and Practices training as an online course for forest and natural resource managers, and there is no registration fee

This unique opportunity provides hands-on training in considering climate change information and identifying adaptation actions for natural resources management professionals working in forests and natural ecosystems. Participants will receive coaching and feedback while using the Adaptation Workbook to develop their own real-world climate adaptation project. The course consists of seven web sessions with work time occurring between sessions.

Information will focus on forest ecosystems, urban forests, and forested watersheds in the Midwest and Northeast, but applicants from other regions should apply and may be accepted if space allows.  For more information and to register see here.


11th Annual Rooted in the Mountains Symposium – Ama: The Sacredness of Water (Integrating Indigenous Knowledge, Language, Health & Environment)

April 8-9, 2021. Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC. Rooted in the Mountains is an annual symposium that intersects traditional and local knowledge with health and environmental issues. Join the keynote speakers and panelists for an interdisciplinary discussion of water during the 11th Annual Rooted in the Mountains Symposium. This full two-day symposium will occur on the WCU campus with panels and keynoters. Participants leave the symposium with a new sense of urgency and tools to use in valuing our common ground.  Learn more and register HERE.


Conference: Fall 2020 EPA New England Tribal Leaders Summit & Environmental Conference

Postponed until 2021.  


Summit: Shifting Seasons 3

April 19-21, 2021. Menominee Conference Center, Keshena, WI. Hosted by the College of Menominee Nation and respective partners.  The 3rd Shifting Seasons Summit will include climate adaptation training sessions tailored to the needs and capabilities of Tribal Nations but will focus on the development of in-depth case studies based on existing Tribal adaptation work in the Northeast region. This summit would also include relevant Tribal climate change initiatives developed outside of the Northeast by capacity-building organizations, academic institutions and Tribal Nations who have approved climate adaptation plans, thus creating continued network building opportunities. More information can be found HERE.


Conference: National Adaptation Forum

April 26-28, 2021. Atlanta, GA. This event will gather the adaptation community to foster knowledge exchange, innovation and mutual support for a better tomorrow. Join adaptation practitioners from around the country who are focused on moving beyond adaptation awareness and planning to adaptation action. For more information see here.


Conference: 2021 Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference

Postponed until May 10-12, 2021. Durham, NC. The Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference has been postponed to May 10–12, 2021, due to concerns associated with the novel coronavirus pandemic. The CISA team and conference planning committees agree that this postponement will help to ensure the health and safety of our participants. We are especially grateful to our first responders and health care professionals who are on the frontlines, helping to save the lives of so many. We look forward to convening the network in-person next spring. For more information see here


Conference: 2020 Local Solutions: Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness Conference  

May 24-25, 2021. Portland, ME. The 2020 Local Solutions conference will empower participants to take action steps that center climate equity. Climate equity ensures that all people have the opportunity to influence and benefit from climate resilience-building solutions. When we achieve climate equity, all communities will have the opportunity to thrive in the face of climate change, and race, ethnicity, income level, gender, and disability or immigration status will not be factors causing disproportionate vulnerability to climate impacts. For more information see here


Camp: ATNI Tribal Climate Camp

 May 23-28, 2021. Anchorage, AK. Native Organization Host: Chugach Regional Resources Commission. In 2020, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Michigan State University, Portland State University’s Institute for Tribal Government, Chugach Regional Resources Commission, and the Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center are collaboratively offering the Tribal Climate Camp (TCC) to support teams of Tribal leaders, climate change coordinators, planners, and program managers to build skills, gather information, and develop Tribal policy needed to address climate change impacts. To learn more about the event see here or contact Peggy Harris at


Camp: Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress

June 26 – July 3, 2021 (For those students that applied for 2020 NYCALC, their applications will still be valid for 2021). National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV.  The Native Youth Community Adaptation and Leadership Congress (NYCALC) is held each summer at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV. The Congress includes a mix of urban and rural students from Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities located throughout the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, and American Samoa.  For more information and to apply see here.


Camp: USET Tribal Climate Resilience Camp

July 11-16, 2021, Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, ME. Tribal Nation Host: the Penobscot Nation. The USET Office of Environmental Resource Management (USET-OERM) will be holding a Tribal Climate Resilience Camp to support teams of Tribal Leaders, climate change coordinators, planners, and program managers to build skills, gather information, and develop Tribal policies and plans needed for Tribal Nations to address climate change impacts. Information about travel, lodging, and registration will be available soon. For more information contact, Casey Thornbrugh, USET Tribal Climate Science Liaison at CThornbrugh@USETINC.ORG.



La Niña conditions have set in for the Fall-Winter 2020-2021

El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions have remained neutral through the summer, but with continued cooling of sea surface temperatures in the eastern Tropical Pacific, La Niña conditions have developed and are likely to continue impacting the US climate in the fall and winter.  For more information see HERE.

Typically, La Niña conditions develop when sea surface temperatures in the eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean are cooler than their seasonal average.  This sets up an air circulation and jet stream pattern that favors more Atlantic hurricanes in the fall and a northerly Jet Stream or storm track favoring wetter than average conditions over the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest regions of the U.S.  La Niña conditions can also favor colder than average conditions during the winter in the Northern Great Plains.

See original map HERE.                    

See original map HERE.

The opposite scenario is El Niño where conditions develop when sea surface temperatures in the eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean are warmer than their seasonal average.  This sets up an air circulation and jet stream pattern that favors fewer Atlantic hurricanes in the fall and in the winter, a southerly Jet Stream or storm track favoring wetter than average conditions over the southern tier of the U.S. and drier conditions in the Midwest. Sometimes warmer than average conditions also occur over the northern tier of the U.S. and Canada.  

See original map HERE.                       

See original map HERE

NOAA Provides 2020 Hurricane Preparedness Page

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides a webpage on hurricane preparedness for the 2020 season.  This page provides information on current tropical cyclone activity and hurricane safety including brief, 1 to 2-minute videos on hurricane safety.  The full page can be found here

NOAA Forecasts Above-Average Hurricane Activity in the Atlantic for the 2020 Hurricane Season

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s-Climate Prediction Center (NOAA-CPC) is forecasting a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.

El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are expected to either remain neutral or to trend toward La Niña, meaning there will not be El Niño conditions present (e.g. a strong west-to-east storm track over southern North America), which typically suppresses hurricane activity. Also, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear (i.e. wind shears often break up hurricanes before they can form), weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon (e.g. more moisture-fuel for strong hurricanes to develop in the Atlantic) all increase the likelihood for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Similar conditions have been producing more active seasons since the current high-activity era began in 1995.

For a video summary see here.

For the full story see here.

NOAA State of the Climate Report: Selected Climate Anomalies for September 2020

Explanation of Maps:
The following maps were generated with observed and recorded data from weather stations across the continental United States compiled and displayed at the High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC) located in Lincoln, NE.  The data uses a baseline or “climate normal” based on the 30-year climate averages for locations for the years 1981-2010.  The standard 30-year climate averages will be updated again for the time frame 1991-2020 at the conclusion of year 2020. 

NOAA Regional Climate Centers: Departure from Normal Temperature (°F) for Jul., Aug., & Sep. 2020
Summer and early fall 2020 continued to experience significantly warmer than average conditions (based on the years 1981-2010 climatological average) in the West and Southwest as well as the Northeast and Florida. Although an Arctic blast of cold air impacted the Rockies and northern Plains Sep. 8-9, 2020, it was short-lived while the season remained warmer than average. Only the central and southern Plains experienced average to cooler than average temperatures.

For more information visit:

NOAA Regional Climate Centers: Percent of Normal Precipitation (%) for Jul., Aug., & Sep. 2020
Summer and early fall 2020 continued to experience large areas of drier than average conditions (based on the years 1981-2010 climatological average) across the West and Southwest, the Rockies and the Northeast.  Wetter than average conditions were observed for smaller areas of the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Gulf Coast, parts of the Central Great Plains, and the Pacific Northwest.  Most notably are the observed drought in the Southwest during the otherwise Southwest/North American Monsoon.

For more information visit:

Explanation of the Maps:

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issues seasonal climate forecast maps. These maps show the probabilities of unusually warmer/colder or wetter/drier seasons (relative to the 1981-2010 climate averages). Specifically, “A” indicates chances are leaning toward above average, “B” indicates chances are leaning toward below average, and “EC” indicates that there are equal chances for above average, below average, or average conditions. This information is generated from forecast models that use information on ocean, land, and atmospheric conditions such as sea surface temperatures (e.g. El Niño/La Niña conditions), presence/absence of sea ice or snow pack, and tropical weather patterns that can influence the location of the Jetstream and persistent areas of high/low pressure systems during a season. Note: These are seasonal forecasts not predictions with 100% certainty. For example, a single hurricane with heavy rain or a week-long cold air blast/heat wave can impact the outcome of these forecasts. Please see this 2-minute video on how to interpret these maps.

Temperature & Precipitation Outlooks


The fall-early winter (October-November-December; OND) 2020 temperature outlook is for the entire U.S. is leaning toward above average temperatures especially for the Southwest, but also in the Northeast, and northern Alaska.

The OND 2020 precipitation outlook indicates a leaning toward above average seasonal precipitation for coastal-western Alaska and the northern Rockies-Pacific Northwest of the continental U.S. Below average precipitation is of the highest probability over the Southwest and southern Plains.

Resolutions, Reports & Testimonies

2018:SPF 002 Maine Tribal Aquatic Ecosystems in Peril

2017:003 Authorization to Apply for Federal Funding for Natural Resource Management Programs

2016:037 Authorization for USET to Seek Federal Funding for BIA Tribal Climate Resilience Program

2016:034 Climate Change Impacts and Response Actions to Protect Human Health, Tribal Lands, Water and Natural Resources, Cultural Identity, and Sovereignty

2013:036 Authorization to Submit a Funding Proposal for Ethnobotanical Climate Change Adaptation Planning

2010:010 Support for Tribal Energy Capacity Development and Implementation

2011:055 Support the Formation of a National Tribal Water Advisory Committee

Testimony of United South and Eastern Tribes Sovereignty Protection Fund Submitted to the House Natural Resources Subcommittee for Indigenous People of the United States for the Record of the February 12, 2019 Hearing, “The Impacts of Climate Change on Tribal Communities” February 26 2019

USET Climate Program Staff

Casey Thornbrugh is the Tribal Climate Science Liaison with United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) and is a citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Based at the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NE CASC) at UMass-Amherst, Casey provides current climate science information to Tribal Nations in both the NE CASC and the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (SE CASC) regions. Casey also works with Tribal Nations to identify climate research needs and priorities and provide climate adaptation planning support.

Email: CThornbrugh@USETINC.ORG

Phone: NE CASC Office – (413) 545-2619    USET Mobile – (615) 589-1629

Tyler Everett is a Forest Adaptation Technical Assistant working for USET to provide Climate Change and Forest  Adaptation planning technical support to Tribal Nations.  Tyler is a citizen of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs and is a forester specializing in forest pests, namely the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), which is impacting Black/Brown Ash (Fraxinus nigra) on Tribal lands in northern forests.  Tyler works remotely from Maine and assists with USET Climate Change trainings, writing retreats and other climate change adaptation events. He is also in the Ph.D. program at the School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine.


SC CASC and MW CASC Tribal Liaisons 

April Taylor is a Sustainability Scientist and Tribal Liaison with the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (SC CASC) and is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. April is based at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK and works with the goal of building research relationships with Tribal Nations in the SC CASC region.  She is actively involved with the training and development of resources for Tribal health and climate change vulnerability assessments.


Phone: Office – (580) 235-7430   


Sara Smith is the Midwest Tribal Resilience Liaison with the College of Menominee Nation as part of the Sustainable Development Institute.  She is a direct descendent of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.  Sara is stationed at the US Forest Service’s Northern Forest Research Station on the University of Minnesota campus in St. Paul, Minnesota. Sara serves as a direct liaison between Tribal Nations in the Midwest and the NE CASC to identify and address research gaps in climate, natural, and cultural resources as well as improve outreach and capacity building.  Sara also coordinates meetings of the Northeast Indigenous Climate Resilience Network (NICRN). 


Phone: Office – (651) 649-5134

October 2020 Story Archive

September 2020 Story Archive

July 2020 Story Archive

June 2020 Story Archive

May 2020 Story Archive

Fourth National Climate Assessment Vol II + SOCCR2

February 2018 Tribal Climate Highlights

January 2018 Tribal Climate Highlights

October 2019 Tribal Climate Headlines