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Climate Research Center in Alaska

Recently, I read in the Anchorage Daily News that Secretary Salazar announced that the DOI was going to help fund a Climate Research Center in Alaska. In another article right next to this one was an announcement that the Department of Commerce was also planning on starting a Climate Research Center in Alaska through NOAA. Why are we doing duplicative facilities. As a tax payer I don't find this acceptable. My idea is to drop the funding for the DOI facility and let the folks that deal with climate anyway (NOAA) construct a climate research center if one is needed.


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    /Open [Interior Moderator]
    ( Moderator )

    I have a query in about that now. I should be able to get an answer for tomorrow.


    I'll also need to move this conversation to off-topic, as it's not about creating the Open Government Plan.

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    /Open [Interior Moderator]
    ( Moderator )

    Hi Tami,

    Here's the scoop on the Climate Science Centers in Alaska: Although NOAA and Interior have both used the same name for initiatives, there's less overlap than we might imagine.

    First: There are no new facilities (buildings) at Interior CSCs, so no redundant construction expenses. Interior is partnering with universities, other federal agencies (including NOAA), states, Tribes, NGOs and other already-existing entities.

    Second: NOAA and Interior have different expertise in climate science. NOAA scientists tend to focus on atmospheric chemistry and the causes that are driving climate change. Interior scientists tend to focus more on the impacts of climate change on land, water, wildlife, and other natural and cultural resources, and on developing management strategies to respond to these impacts.

    One thing they're doing to ensure coordination between Interior and NOAA scientists is to co-locate them, even if technically they're working with different CSCs.

    I hope this answers your question. This isn't quite my area of expertise, so I've paraphrased from a series of responses from folks here at Interior.

    With any luck, tomorrow I'll see if I can have the website updated to include a more formal explanation, for folks who have similar questions after we close the IdeaScale tool.

    Thanks for your input.