Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center
The Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center is one of eight regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) under the Department of the Interior (DOI) managed by the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Climate Adaptation Science Center. The mission of the Centers and National CASC is to "deliver science to help fish, wildlife, water, land, and people adapt to a changing climate." CASCs provide the tools that managers need to develop and execute management strategies that address the impacts of climate change on natural and cultural resources.
The Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center (PI-CASC) was established in 2011 as a consortium hosted by the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and the University of Guam. Researchers work with managers and local networks to support sustainability and climate adaptation for communities across the Pacific Islands.
The PI-CASC covers the Hawaiian Island archipelago to the US-affiliated islands of the South Pacific - including Guam, Palau, Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and American Samoa. The Center’s region covers vast ocean expanses between isolated island groups and atolls, all of which are highly affected by climate change - including impacts such as coastal erosion and coral bleaching.
PI-CASC sponsors climate adaptation research, including:
- Modeling sea level rise projections across the Pacific, emphasizing inundation and coastal erosional hazards
- Assessing coral reef microbial communities in Hawai'i and Guam and developing tools to promote more resilient, sustainable coral communities
- Monitoring ocean chemistry near reefs, to inform understanding of global bleaching events and ocean acidification
- Engaging in novel cross-disciplinary projects, including socio-economic examinations of freshwater resources and ecosystem services on Maui, and vegetation studies in Hawai'i and the Marshall Islands to inform resource management
- U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)
- U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
- University of Hawaii
- University of Guam