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USDA Northeast Climate Hub Welcomes New ORISE Fellow: Alyssa Soucy

Northeast Climate Hub ORISE Fellow, Alyssa Soucy, will help forest planners and managers respond to a changing climate by engaging stakeholders in the development of an open-source decision-making tool.

Alyssa will work on the Forest Climate Indicators project, which seeks to create online tools incorporating climate change indicators and relevant management options to guide forest planning and monitoring. As forests face increasingly complex challenges from climate change, such as shifting species compositions, extreme precipitation events, drought, and invasive species and pests, decision-support tools are critical for making climate-informed plans. However, the needs and perspectives of users are not always considered in the development of tools. Alyssa will facilitate a series of listening sessions to engage end users of the tools to inform development, as well as organize a series of workshops and trainings to share the tools with users and other Hubs. This work is important because it will respond directly to forest management and planning needs to address climate change impacts.

The Forest Climate Indicators project, therefore, will incorporate the needs of forest managers and planners throughout to ensure the final tools, including the indicators, are relevant for their day-to-day decisions. Users will be able to access and download historical, real-time, and projected data for their location, as well as explore management options based on local trends and projections. The project will be co-produced among USDA Forest Service Region 9 planners, scientists, and managers, as well as non-profit and private forest managers. Partners for the project include the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell, and USDA Midwest Climate Hub. This project coincides with other USDA Northeast Climate Hub work focused on the development of tools for forest and agricultural management in a changing climate. 

We are actively seeking input on data-needs. 

What would you like to see for tools? What indicators would be useful to incorporate? Email Alyssa to share your ideas!