The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

Oregon State Univ.

Climate change altering wetlands, affecting bird migration in the American West

Summer Lake Wildlife Area

The Summer Lake Wildlife Area is a wildlife refuge in south-central Oregon. Photo by Susan Haig, U.S. Geological Survey. CC BY-SA 2.0

CORVALLIS, Oregon, USA. – New research shows that recent climate change is having profound effects on wetlands across the American West – affecting birds that use these wetlands for breeding, migration and wintering.

According to a study published today in the journal Scientific Reports, long-term trends towards higher temperatures and less precipitation have altered environmental water quality and reduced waterbird habitat, creating clear winners and losers in bird species and potentially threatening the integrity of the Pacific migratory flyway for many species. The study, which began in the mid-1990s, is the result of a research collaboration between scientists at Oregon State University, U.S. Geological Survey, University of California, Merced; and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation.

Study co-author John H. Matthews, Executive Director of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation, said, “Migrating, breeding, developing and post-breeding birds need water, but they also need good quality water. This is one of the first studies globally to show that climate change is altering water quality. If shifts in climate can alter water quality for birds, then climate change can alter our water quality too. These bird populations are the canary in the coal mine for all of us.”

The researchers examined more than a century’s worth of temperature and precipitation data across the Great Basin, which spans nearly all of Nevada, much of Oregon and Utah, and portions of California, Idaho and Wyoming. They compared the data with more than 50 years of results from the U.S. Geological Survey Breeding Bird Surveys, which began in 1968.

The research focused on waterbirds, which are species that include shorebirds, ducks, geese, swans, herons and rails. The Great Basin is a major part of the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south route for migratory birds in North America. During spring migration, more than 2 million waterfowl pass through the southern Oregon-northeastern California region of the Pacific Flyway.

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AGWA-led Course at Oregon State University

AGWA's Coordinator Dr. John Matthews will be teaching an upcoming course on "Climate-Resilient Resource Management." The one-week immersive course at Oregon State University will run from 25-29 June, 2018 at the Corvallis, OR campus (USA). It is a graduate level course designed for current grad students or professionals seeking additional training in the latest climate adaptation trends and perspectives.
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Attend the premier continuing education event for natural resources graduate students and professionals.

Oregon State University’s Natural Resources Leadership Academy (NRLA) is a unique opportunity to enhance your leadership skills through hands-on experience in engaging course work and an off-site field study, preparing you to solve complicated natural resources problems.

Spend a week – or two – on the Oregon State campus with internationally renowned faculty and industry leaders studying natural resources issues. These one-week intensive learning experiences will enhance your leadership skills and prepare you to solve complicated natural resources problems. Tracks can be taken for professional development (noncredit) or graduate credit to be applied to a graduate certificate or a master’s or Ph.D. degree program. Courses take place June 18-23 and June 26-30 in Corvallis, Oregon.

Week one offerings:
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
  • Social Aspects of Sustainable Natural Resources
  • Sustainability Assessment
  • Water Conflict Management and Transformation

Week two offering:
  • Resilient and Robust Resource Management

If you are interested in learning about the Water Cooperation and Diplomacy Joint Master's Programme, continue reading below.


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AGWA-U Returning Soon with Three New Courses

AGWA is a network designed to provision tools, partnerships, and technical assistance to improve effective decision making, action, governance, and analytical processes in water resources management, focusing on climate adaptation and climate change relevant scales. As a way of carrying out AGWA's vision, we have begun offering graduate-level courses in sustainable resource management and climate adaptation through an effort known as AGWA-U. The inaugural course took place in June 2016 at Oregon State University's Natural Resources Leadership Academy (NRLA). Following the success of the first course, AGWA-U is returning this year through three courses over the next few months -- two at UNESCO-IHE and one at OSU's NRLA.
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What's AGWA's Graduate Course All About? | AGWA-U

Still unsure if you are interested in AGWA's upcoming graduate level professional development course? Oregon State University's NRLA has come up with a great video overview for the class. It's definitely worth two minutes of your time to take a look!



Fore more on AGWA-U, including the course at UNESCO-IHE, visit http://agwaguide.org/agwau/.
Fore more on OSU's Natural Resource Leadership Academy, visit http://summer.oregonstate.edu/nrla/. Read More...
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AGWA Graduate Level Professional Development Course | AGWA-U

Interested in earning graduate level credit while expanding your knowledge on climate adaptation? You can do so through the Natural Resources Leadership Academy. They are hosting a free webinar on Tuesday, March 15 at 12-1 pm (UTC -7) for those wanting to find out more. Register here to attend.

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Oregon State University's Natural Resources Leadership Academy (NRLA) brings together professionals and graduate students from across the world to establish connections, enhance leadership skills and learn from experts on timely, relevant topics in today's changing world.

The NRLA is a one-stop-shop for participants to enhance their leadership skills through hands-on experience in engaging coursework and field trips, preparing them to solve complicated natural resources issues. Participants receive continuing education credits for their profession or receive graduate credits in an accelerated one-week format.

This year AGWA will be teaching a course on Resilient and Robust Resource Management. The course will run 20-24 June and registration is now open.

Knowledge around climate adaptation is inherently interdisciplinary, and we will draw from scientific, engineering, economic and finance, and governance and legal viewpoints about topics such as assessing vulnerability, defining performance indicators and developing adaptation plans. The course will draw from an international set of expertise. Emphasis will be given to those aspects of climate adaptation most important to practitioners and professionals.

You can find out more on the AGWA course by visiting here or the Natural Resources Leadership Academy here. Read More...
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AGWA-U: Supporting Education in Climate Change Adaptation

As a way of carrying out AGWA's vision of mainstreaming effective climate change adaptation practices, we have begun offering graduate level courses in sustainable resource management and climate adaptation. These courses, available beginning April 2016, are being offered on two different campuses -- UNESCO-IHE and Oregon State University. Registration is now open for both. The courses are designed for students in water-related disciplines as well as water professionals seeking to develop their climate adaptation experience.

AGWA is starting with these two initial courses with the goal of expanding into a more standard AGAW-U format that can be used at other universities across the globe. Visit the new "AGWA-U" website to find out more about each course, including details on dates, registration, and content. Read More...
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