Climate Training for Native Tribes of Louisiana and New Mexico

Funding Amount and Duration:

$86,180 from August 15, 2015 - August 14, 2017

Funding Source:

US Geological Survey

Principal Investigators:

Kristine DeLong, Louisiana State University (LSU)

Cooperators & Partners:

  • Barry Keim & Hal Needham, LSU and SCIPP
  • Kevin Robbins, LSU & SRCC
  • April Taylor, South Central CSC
  • Boyd Nystedt & Margaret Chavez, ENIPC Office of Environmental Technical Assistance
  • Linda Langley, Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana
  • Wanda Janes & Steve Terry, United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc.
  • John Tirpac, Gulf Coast Plains and Ozarks LCC
  • Bill Bartush, Gulf Coast Prairie LCC
  • Robert Doudrick & Jeff Williams, Southern Research Station, US Dept. of Agriculture

About:

Tribal nations are one of the most vulnerable populations to climate change in the United States, because of their reliance upon the natural environment to sustain traditional ways of life and current lack of training and resources to respond to climate change impacts. This project seeks to increase south-central U.S. tribes’ basic knowledge of climate science, connect them with tools to assess their communities’ vulnerabilities, and build their skills to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies. Researchers will conduct multiple two-day climate training sessions for Native American tribes in Louisiana and New Mexico. The trainings will emphasize regionally specific scientific and social scientific aspects of climate change that are relevant to the tribal nations’ land management and planning decisions. By participating in these training sessions, participants will gain knowledge that will help them better manage their resources in the context of a changing climate.

Identifying Tribal Vulnerabilities and Supporting Planning for Extreme Weather Events

Funding Amount and Duration:

$21,466 from August 1, 2014 - July 31, 2015

Funding Source:

US Geological Survey

Principal Investigators:

Dawn Jourdan, Texas A&M University College of Architecture

Cooperators & Partners:

  • John Harris (Co-PI), University of Oklahoma Division of Regional and City Planning
  • Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center (HRRC) at Texas A&M University
  • Chickasaw Nation

About:

Download Final Report

Climate change is poised to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events – such as tornadoes, flooding, drought, and snowstorms – which may damage buildings and other structures, cause economic hardship, disrupt plant and wildlife communities, and endanger people’s physical and emotional health.

The purpose of this project was to enhance the knowledge of local tribal environmental professionals in Oklahoma related to planning for extreme weather events as a result of climate change. Researchers hosted a one-day workshop at the University of Oklahoma (OU) that was attended by professionals representing at least five tribes, as well as interdisciplinary scholars and students engaged in climate change research. Participants were provided with background information on climate change, led through a simple process for identifying their community’s vulnerabilities, and pointed toward data sources available to support planning efforts.

This workshop was a vital part of increasing local tribes’ knowledge regarding planning for climate change. In addition, Division of Regional and City Planning faculty and students were introduced to tribal communities’ planning needs related to climate change. The workshop was used to leverage funding from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for OU’s Planning Division to work with five tribes (Citizen Potawatomie Nation, Kaw Nation, Otoe-Missouria Tribe, Fort Sill Apache Nation, and Wichita and Affiliated Tribes) interested in pursuing a deeper understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on their communities and lands.

Inter-Tribal Workshops on Climate Variability and Change

Funding Amount and Duration:

$55,407 from July 1, 2012 - December 1, 2013

Funding Source:

  • U.S. Geological Survey

Principal Investigators:

  • Laurel Smith, University of Oklahoma

Cooperators & Partners:

  • Renee McPherson, Randy Peppler, & Rachel Riley, University of Oklahoma 
  • Wayne Kellogg, Chickasaw Nation
  • Dana McDaniel Bonham, Choctaw Nation
  • Kim Winton, USGS
  • Filoteo Gomez

About:

Final Report

Documentary: Listening for the Rain

New partnerships among tribal nations and members of the climate science and conservation communities call for multicultural conversations about climate change, risk, and variability. To contribute to the goal of mutual understanding, this project will develop and implement a series of workshops that will (1) educate tribal representatives across the region about climate science and climate adaptation practices, (2) document climate impacts on the tribal nations and their peoples, lands, resources, and economies, and (3) extend, enhance, and foster dialogue among tribal representatives, climate scientists, and conservation leadership. By blending educational outreach with preliminary research on how tribal members know and conceptualize weather and climate, as well as how they have historically struggled with adapting to new climate conditions, this project will facilitate the design of products that tribal decision makers can use, help monitor climate change in the field, and provide lessons about adaptation that are useful for both tribal and non-tribal communities and businesses.