Climate Change


ITEP’s National Tribal and Indigenous Climate Change Conference

The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) will be hosting the United States’ First Biennial National Tribal and Indigenous Climate Conference (NTICC) along with support from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Resilience Program. The NTICC will be held virtually and is open to all US Tribal Nations & Indigenous Peoples from throughout the world, with an emphasis on including our Elders and Youth. The NTICC will convene experts on climate change & will include a balance of Traditional Indigenous Knowledges and Western Science. Registration is free and abstracts for presentations will be accepted until August 7, 2020.  Click Here for the video announcement and for more information on speakers and registration Click Here

USDA Forest Service Invests Four Million to Support Community Forest Projects: One project is the Hall Mountain Community Forest Phase 2, Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, North Carolina

The USDA Forest Service is collaborating with Tribal Nations in the USET region by supporting community forest projects. Click Here to read the article that discusses the funding opportunity and lists the projects being funded. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are set to enter phase 2 of their Hall Mountain community forest Project. Other Tribal Nations have taken advantage of this funding source as well. Out west, in Washington State, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians have entered a robust community forest project in this program. You can learn more about that project at the following link. Click Here

A New Report Compares Gains in Forest Land Use with Losses in Forest Cover

Every 10 years the USDA Forest Service puts out the Resources Planning Act, which is a valuable tool for informing decision making that plans for the future based a variety of trends being observed in the United States forest resources. This article highlights some finding of a supplementary technical document for the RPA. The report discussed explores the trends in landscape level land changes pertaining to forest land. Read more about this report at the following link. Click Here

Fifth National Climate Assessment Public Comment. Comments are due August 10, 2020.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program is pleased to announce that the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5) development process is officially underway. A newly released Federal Register Notice seeks public comment on the NCA5 Draft Prospectus, which describes the proposed overarching themes and framework for the report. Public comments are also sought on ways to make the assessment information accessible and useful to multiple audiences; specific types of detailed information at regional scales that would be most useful to NCA5 readers; how to best describe risks and impacts, as well as potential opportunities to reduce those risks and impacts; suggestions for new approaches to topics addressed in previous NCAs; and suggestions regarding overarching themes that NCA5 should consider addressing. All members of the public are encouraged to read the Draft Prospectus and submit their comments through USGCRP’s website by 11:59 PM ET on August 10, 2020. The feedback we receive will help shape the development of NCA5. Learn more about the Draft Prospectus and find out how to participate here.

UNFCCC Requests Survey Feedback on Proposed Two-Year Work Plan for the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is requesting feedback on their proposed two-year work plan for the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP). The LCIPP’s proposed work plan has 12 activities geared towards facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experience, build capacity for engagement, and to weave diverse knowledge systems into climate change policies and actions. The LCIPP survey can be found here. The survey will be open until July 31, 2020.

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

The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released this report, which lays out the Climate Crisis Action Plan, full of detailed, ambitious and actionable climate solutions that Congress should enact to benefit American families in communities across the nation. The report includes a section on “Partnering with Tribes and Indigenous Communities for Climate Adaptation and Resilience.” The full report is available here. Participants on the call discussed how these recommendations might move forward and what opportunities there may be to comment on the report. Several participants mentioned their interest in reviewing the plan and Eliza Ghiitis shared that the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission will be discussing the recommendations in the report. We will continue to explore opportunities to submit comments about the Plan to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and share any opportunities with the Network.

Prestigious Banting Postdoctoral Fellow to Study How Climate Change Affects Indigenous Water Justice

Water and climate scientist Kelsey Leonard is a Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellow at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

After graduating from Harvard College, Dr. Leonard became the first Native American woman to earn a science degree from the University of Oxford, receiving her master’s in water science, policy, and management.

As a citizen of the Shinnecock Indian Nation and an environmental leader, Dr. Leonard strives to be a strong advocate for the protection of Indigenous waters through enhanced interjurisdictional coordination and meaningful consultation. She is a Tribal representative on the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean and a member of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission.

Dr. Leonard has been instrumental in safeguarding the interests of Tribal Nations for environmental planning, and builds Indigenous science and knowledge into new solutions for water governance and sustainable oceans. Her recent scholarship explores “Indigenous Water Justice” and the defining international legal principle of self-determination under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which was published in the Lewis and Clark Law Review and available for download here: Her research on climate change focuses on water security challenges facing Tribal and First Nations in the Great Lakes and Coastal Atlantic regions due to rising sea and lake levels and extreme climate events. Dr. Leonard is a member of an international research team using Indigenous science, to deepen our understandings of perceived climate change impacts, and works to ensure Indigenous knowledge systems influence international climate change negotiations and policy-making processes.

At the TEDWomen 2019 Conference, she presented a talk titled “Why lakes and rivers should have the same rights as humans,” which has garnered almost 1.5 million views. In this talk, Dr. Leonard outlines why granting legal personhood to water is a powerful step in transforming our relationship with water and asks us to reflect on the question “What have I done for the water today?”

You can watch Dr. Leonard’s TED Talk HERE:  If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Leonard’s research or exploring opportunities for climate change research partnerships please contact her at


How is the Coronavirus Pandemic Affecting Climate Change?

The global Coronavirus Pandemic is affecting climate change in both anticipated and unanticipated ways.  For example, as observed during the 2008 global recession carbon, emissions are temporarily decreasing.  Scientists are projecting that 2020 may observe a 5% drop in CO2 emissions from 2019.  That may not seem like a lot, however it is the first significant drop in over a decade.  Also, although global transportation has reduced significantly, electricity production continues to meet the needs of homes as well as for essential services.  With the reduction is fossil fuel transportation, air quality around the globe and especially over major urban areas has improved significantly.  However, to protect from the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) there has been an increase in plastic waste from sanitizing and cleaning materials and containers to other disposable plastics.  More on the story of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting climate change and the environment can be found here.     


COVID-19 and the climate crisis are intertwined threats to Native American and the Earth; A story by Chase Iron Eyes

Within the past few weeks, Indigenous communities in the U.S. achieved a pair of substantial victories regarding pipelines. First, legal action by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe compelled a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to revoke permits for the Dakota Access pipeline. Then another federal judge in Montana ruled that the environmental impact review process for the Keystone XL pipeline was flawed, and he halted its construction through domestic waterways…Yet, any sense of victory is tempered — by the COVID-19 pandemic we face together, and by a long history of disappointment…The COVID-19 pandemic should remind us of our need to be prepared. Though Mother Earth may be getting a short breather while billions stay home, the climate crisis hasn’t gone away. Even in the midst of this awful time and with two key rulings in our favor, the Dakota Access pipeline is about to double the oil it carries through our homelands, and Keystone XL construction is slated to continue.  For the full article, click here.

Tribal Community in Louisiana Fights to remain in their Homelands Amid the Impacts of Sea Level Rise

Sea level rise is threatening the homes, lands, and waterways of the Atakapa-Ishak/Chawasha Tribal Community of Grand Bayou in Louisiana.  However, the community is not looking to relocate, but to protect in place.  Since the 1930s, about 2,000 square miles—more than 10 times the land area of sprawling New Orleans—have disappeared from Louisiana’s coastline. Grand Bayou lies outside the protection of the state’s levee system.  With the understanding of the risk of sea level rise the people of Grand Bayou are leaning to their self-determination of their future amid the Climate Crisis.  For more on the story see here.

A New Fish and Climate Change Database – Check out FiCli!  

Inland fishes provide important ecosystem services to communities worldwide and are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC) supported researchers created the standardized Fish and Climate Change database, FiCli (pronounced “fick-lee”) where researchers and managers can query fish families, species, response types, or geographic locations to obtain summary information on inland fish responses to climate change and recommended management actions. To learn more, see here.

Analysis Identifies Most Worrisome Invasive Plants in the Northeast  

More than 100 new invasive plant species could expand into the Northeast under changing climate conditions in the region. To help resource managers plan for this challenge, Northeast CASC supported ecologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are offering a new analysis that narrows the large list down to five priority invasive plant species with the greatest potential impacts.  To learn more, see here.

Funding Opportunities
and Resources

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.

APHIS Announces Availability of Funding to Combat Chronic Wasting Disease                                  The funding opportunity announcement will be posted on Applications are due August 14, 2020. State departments of agriculture, state animal health agencies, state departments of wildlife or natural resources, and Tribal Nations are eligible to submit funding proposals that further develop and implement CWD management, response, and research activities, including surveillance and testing. The funding can also be used to support education and outreach activities to increase awareness about the disease and how it spreads. APHIS will give priority to states and Tribal Nations that have already detected CWD and implemented CWD monitoring and surveillance programs or that propose to create control programs. Follow the link to learn more.

USDA APHIS Suggestion Period: Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program

Open period for suggestions will last more than 5 weeks, from July 16 through August 21, 2020. Under the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, APHIS funds projects organized around specific goal areas that represent critical needs and opportunities to strengthen, prevent, detect, and mitigate invasive pests and diseases. The six strategic goal areas include:

  1. Enhancing plant pest and disease analysis and survey
  2. Targeting domestic inspection activities at vulnerable points in the safeguarding continuum
  3. Enhancing and strengthening pest identification and technology
  4. Safeguarding nursery production
  5. Conducting targeted outreach and education; and
  6. Enhancing mitigation and rapid response capabilities

Click Here for more information.

2020 Fish Passage Program
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis from October 1, 2019- September 3, 2020. The National Fish Passage Program (NFPP) is a voluntary program that provides direct technical and financial assistance to partners. The program works in partnership to provide fish (and other aquatic organisms) passage and restore aquatic connectivity for the benefit of federal trust resources. In doing so, the program aims to maintain or increase fish populations in order to improve ecosystem resiliency and to provide quality fishing experiences for the American people. To view the funding opportunity click here.

Student Opportunities

Indigenous Youth Video Contest Submissions due September 7, 2020. The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) is happy to announce the National Climate Summit Indigenous Youth Video Contest.  Encourage your #IndigenousYouth and #NativeYouth to create a video for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians‘ 2021 National Tribal Leadership Climate Change Summit.
Winners will receive travel awards to attend the in-person summit in Seattle in 2021! Please share. 
Learn more at:                             

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

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

WEBINAR Series: Tribal Climate and Health Adaptation Webinar Series

The third Tuesday of the month (12:00 – 1:30pm Eastern/11-12:30 Central) from January 21, 2020 through August 18, 2020. The Pala Band of Mission Indians/Pala Environmental Department, is pleased to announce the 2020 Tribal Climate & Health Adaptation Regional Cohort Webinar Series. Please visit our website for more information on how to register for this informative and engaging webinar series. This FREE interactive training is offered through a series of eight live webinars.

Native Lands Stewardship Webinar Series – Notes from the Field:  GIS Mapping in Indigenous Communities

July 28, 2020. 2 PM Eastern. Additional information to come, meanwhile learn more here.

Webinar: New Product for reducing southeast forest disturbance risk and recovery time.

July 29th, 2020 @ 1 PM Eastern. Hurricanes winds and associated storm surge are impacting coastal forests, while southern pine beetle outbreaks and other disturbances are increasing across the region. The USDA Southeast Regional Climate Hub (SERCH) has been established to increase forest resiliency to these and other stresses. SERCH Director, Steven McNulty will present tools and other products developed by SERCH to improve southeast forest resilience to various disturbances. Tune in to the webinar 15 – 30 minutes ahead of the start time to reserve your spot by navigating to the provided link. Click Here Note: No preregistration is required for this webinar, but attendance is capped at 500 participants.

WEBINAR: USDA Forest Service 638 Authority Webinar

July 29, 2020 @ 4 PM Eastern. The Intertribal Timber Council and the USDA Forest Service are hosting two webinars to support understanding of implementation of 2018 Farm Bill provisions relating to the Forest Service 638 authority. Webinars will provide an introduction to the new authority, respond to frequently asked questions, and share insight regarding pilot projects.  Please Register by following this link: For further information, please contact Stephanie Lucero via email at or call (520) 901-8532.

WEBINAR: USDA Forest Service 638 Authority Webinar

August 4, 2020 @ 4 PM Eastern. The Intertribal Timber Council and the USDA Forest Service are hosting two webinars to support understanding of implementation of 2018 Farm Bill provisions relating to the Forest Service 638 authority. Webinars will provide an introduction to the new authority, respond to frequently asked questions, and share insight regarding pilot projects. These webinars are an opportunity to hear how the Forest Service is progressing in implementation and provide feedback on next steps and considerations to implementation. Tribal leaders, program directors, agency line officers and key staff are invited to join us for these important webinars. Interested participants only need sign up for one of the available dates.  Please Register by following this link: For further information, please contact Stephanie Lucero via email at or call (520) 901-8532.

Conference – VIRTUAL GATHERING: ITEP National Tribal Lands & Environment Forum

 August 11-20, 2020. This will be a series of events will be taking place and will feature live online events, on-demand prerecorded sessions, and virtual field trips. There will be opportunities to join online and live group discussions with mentors, presenters, and colleagues. ITEP is currently accepting proposals for presentations (click on the proposals tab on the information page to submit your idea). ITEP will be offering these valuable trainings at no cost.  More information can be found here.       

WEBINAR: Climate Change Communication

August 13th. 2020 @ 9:00 a.m. PT/ 10 MT/ 11 CT/ Noon ET: This webinar is approved for 1 CFE credit by SAF. This one-hour, last session in the Forest Adaptation Webinar Series will provide a forum for participants to discuss how to communicate the intention of adaptation actions. A series of short presentations will feature communications products and the lessons learned in creating these products, followed by active discussion among participants.  
To participate in this webinar Click Here.

Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Working Group Webinar Series

The Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Working Group (IPCCWG) would like to invite you to join us for a 4-part webinar series that will discuss the future generations of American Indian and Alaskan Native geoscience professionals, educators, and workforce. An in-person IPCCWG meeting will take place at the National Tribal & Indigenous Climate Conference. To register for the webinars, please click HERE. The webinar schedule is as follows:
August 13, 2020. 4 PM Eastern.

If you have any questions regarding registration or anything else, please do not hesitate to reach out to Althea Walker at or 480-258-3963.

VIRTUAL Conference: ITEP National Tribal & Indigenous Climate Conference 

September 14-17, 2020. The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) is honored to host the United States’ First Annual National Tribal and Indigenous Climate Conference (NTICC) along with support from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Tribal Resilience Program.  The NTICC is open to all US Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples from throughout the world, with an emphasis on including our Elders and Youth.  The NTOCC will convene experts on climate change, which will include a balance of Western Science and Traditional Indigenous Knowledges.  The topic areas will address climate impacts, assessments, adaptation, mitigation, implementation, and solutions.  More information can be found here.       

Conference: International Conference on Global Climate Change (ICGCC)

September 24-25, 2020. (VIRTUAL MEETING) San Francisco, CA. This gathering aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Global Climate Change. For more information click here.

Conference: The Wildlife Society (TWG) 27th Annual Conference. 

September 28 – October 2, 2020.  Louisville, KY. VIRTUAL MEETING The Wildlife Society (TWS) is announcing a Professional Development Program for Indigenous Students Interested in the Wildlife Profession.  Program participants will also receive a one-year membership in TWS and become members of the TWS Native People’s Wildlife Management Working Group (NPWMWG).  More information on the NPWMWG can be found here. To apply for the Professional Development Program see here.  


VIRTUAL Meeting: NE CASC Biological Thresholds Workshop

October 7-8 & 27th, 2020; Please RSVP by August 8thThe Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NE CASC) is pleased to announce the Biological Thresholds Workshop, which will take place in October 2020. Environmental and natural resources managers are invited to join NE CASC staff and principle investigators in the fall for what promises to be an exciting and informative experience.  To better predict the response of plants and wildlife to climate change, we seek to understand the mechanisms that drive changes in the distribution and abundance of plant and animal species, including any thresholds (non-linear responses) that might soon be crossed. Through this workshop, we will identify climate-driven or management thresholds for populations, ecosystems, and landscapes to inform climate change adaptation and cultural/natural management plans as well as prioritizing research opportunities.
The workshop will be spread over three days. The first two days (Oct 7th & 8th) will be promoted widely and are open to a general audience. The final day (Oct 27th) will provide an opportunity for smaller, more focused discussions to inform future NE CASC work and will be open exclusively to invited NE CASC partners and collaborators like you. With this email, we enthusiastically invite you to participate in the full workshop program, particularly the concluding day of discussions. These conversations, which will promote exchanges and collaboration between the management and scientific communities, should prove especially valuable.

Please RSVP by August 8th using this form:

Summit: National Tribal Leadership Climate Change Summit

October 12-14, 2020. VIRTUAL MEETING;
Spring 2021: In-person Meeting
The Affiliated Tribes of NW Indians, National Congress of American Indians, United South and Eastern Tribes, Pacific NW Tribes, and regional and national inter-tribal organizations are convening Tribal Leaders and staff from Tribal Nations, First Nations, and Indigenous communities from around the world. Our goal is to build on the knowledge and experiences related to climate change impacts and traditional knowledges, develop approaches that promote Tribal leadership in adaptation, mitigation, and resiliency, and foster pathways to influence climate policy regionally, nationally, and internationally. The Summit will include internationally renowned plenary speakers, participatory breakout sessions, youth sessions, climate solution exhibition, and more. The Summit will culminate in the development of a policy platform to ensure that Tribal Nations are leaders in moving climate policy forward in the United States and around the world.
CoVid-19 update
In response to CoVid-19, the conference steering committee is proposing to push the in-person meeting to Spring 2021, while also planning on online virtual aspect of the meeting during the original dates (October 12-14, 2020). Please revisit this website here to learn more about our modified plans.

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

October 20-22, 2020.  Hosted by the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point at the Bar Harbor Regency – Mount Desert Island –  Bar Harbor, ME. The Tribal Leaders Summit in the morning and afternoon on October 20 will be an executive session with Tribal Leaders, Tribal Environmental Directors, EPA Senior Leadership, other Federal Agency leaders, and invited guests. The Tribal Environmental Conference on October 21 ad 22 is open to Tribal Leaders, Tribal Environmental Directors and Staff, Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, EPA Leadership and Staff, Tribal Elders and Students, as well as State, Federal, University and other external partners. More information on lodging and registration can be found here.

Conference: 2021 Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference

October 26-28, 2020 (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

Summit: Shifting Seasons 3

(Postponed until Spring 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: 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.


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 June 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 Apr., May, & Jun. 2020
Spring and early summer 2020 continued to experience significantly warmer than average conditions (based on the years 1981-2010 climatological average) in the Southwest and South Florida.  Warmer than average conditions also occurred over the West Coast.  Much of the eastern U.S. and the Northern Tier had average to cooler than average temperatures.





NOAA Regional Climate Centers: Percent of Normal Precipitation (%) for Apr., May, & Jun. 2020
Spring through early summer 2020 continued to experience wetter than average conditions (based on the years 1981-2010 climatological average) in the interior Southeast with near average rainfall for Florida and the Gulf Coast.  Northern California, southern Texas, much of the Inter-Mountain west, and the Central and Northern Great Plains remained drier than average. The Northeast leaned to drier than average for the season.  Southern California experienced a 4-day rain event in early April, in which several inches of rain fell over desert areas, normally dry, especially in the spring.

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 summer and early fall (August-September-October; ASO) 2020 temperature outlook is for the entire U.S. is leaning toward above average temperatures especially for the Southwest, but also South Florida, the Northeast, and the western Alaska.

The ASO 2020 precipitation outlook indicates a leaning toward above average seasonal precipitation for southwestern Alaska and the Southeast region of the continental U.S. Below average precipitation is of the highest probability over the central Rocky Mountains.


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

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