WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment was chosen by the Department of the Interior as the site of the Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC). CASCs serve as hubs for scientific researchers to work with fish and wildlife specialists to protect the community’s resources in the face of climate change.
“The climate crisis is happening right now and we need to confront it with a sense of urgency,” said Klobuchar. “By developing a Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center at the University of Minnesota, our state’s outdoor recreation specialists will be better able to keep our air and water clean and protect our state’s natural resources for generations to come.”
“The University of Minnesota has long been on the cutting edge of science and the protection of our water, land and natural resources,” said Smith. “In the face of climate change, we need resourceful ideas and bold action, so this decision to locate the Midwest CASC at the University is important to addressing this crisis.”
The Midwest CASC is the ninth and final member of the nationwide CASC network. As host, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities will lead a consortium of universities and natural resource organizations dedicated to advancing science to support management and protection of land, water and natural resources. The Center will pay special attention to Tribal concerns and build off the unique experience of Midwest Tribes with adaptation science and practice. This includes a fellowship program for graduate students and a summer research experience for undergraduates focused on Tribal participation. Another focus will be the interplay of natural resources, forestry, streams and wetlands, with agricultural and urban areas, land uses that are prominent in the Midwest.
Ongoing Midwest CASC projects focus on topics including Lake Michigan fish, forest habitats, and the resiliency of winter-adapted species.