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Mountain West Climate Services Partnership

Record drought. Oppressive heat waves. Runaway wildfires. Climate change already affects Mountain West communities, and more drastic changes are anticipated in the future. 

The Mountain West Climate Services Partnership works to inform and support efforts to prepare communities for climate change across the Mountain West region.

Turning shared risks into shared opportunities

Communities Seeking Support

Whether you are looking to get started or searching for more advanced support to prepare for climate change in your community, the Mountain West Climate Services Partnership provides several ways to engage:            

Our goal is to expand access to existing knowledge, tools, and peers you can learn from. By listening to what you need, we also strengthen how we better serve communities region-wide. In some cases, we might suggest connecting with a Partnership member or another consulting service provider, depending on needs and resources required.

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Climate Service Providers

A growing number of communities across the region are beginning to prepare for climate risks. While each community faces unique challenges and vulnerabilities, there are opportunities to share the costs and the benefits of that work. This is why the Mountain West Climate Services Partnership formed in 2017. Rather than create a new organization or program, the Partnership links and shares climate services capacity and resources across the region.

The Partnership has a broad goal to identify, (co-)produce, and exchange information, strategies, and other enabling resources that communities can utilize to reduce climate risk. In particular, the Partnership aims to expand access to and use of climate services, particularly in small- to medium-sized communities.

The Partnership focuses on three main areas:

  1. Expanding access to and use of existing scientific information and tools that can help communities prepare for climate change impacts, such as changes to snowpack and water availability, aridification, and wildfire risk.
  2. Providing guidance on the processes and strategies that can help leaders and practitioners in Mountain West communities assess vulnerabilities, prepare action plans in response, and communicate and engage on these efforts with diverse stakeholders, decision-makers, and the public.
  3. Leveraging our network of organizations and individuals to identify and mobilize financial and other resources to support climate adaptation planning and implementation.

Each of these focal areas is pursued by one or more types of activity. These include:

  • Seeking Opportunities: Partner members work in collaboration with each other and with communities to anticipate and fulfill needs that may not yet be widely perceived or in demand.
  • Responding to Requests: Partnership members respond to, or forward on to other service providers or networks, requests for technical assistance or other forms of support.
  • Fostering Peer Learning: Periodic virtual and in-person exchanges within and between researchers, service providers, and local community leaders build region-wide capacity by fostering coordination and knowledge sharing.

Planning for climate change does not require starting from scratch since many researchers and organizations with expertise in climate change planning are already informing or assisting Mountain West communities. The aim of the Partnership is to foster coordination and collaboration across this landscape of effort while also helping to institutionalize innovative approaches that can rise to the overall challenge at speed and scale. We invite you to get involved. Reach us at

Partnership Members

Participating Individuals

  • Seth Arens (Western Water Assessment)
  • James Arnott (Aspen Global Change Institute)
  • Aparna Bamzai-Dodson (North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center)
  • Benét Duncan (Western Water Assessment)
  • Daniel Ferguson (CLIMAS)
  • Katherine Hegewisch (UC Merced)
  • Corrie Knapp (University of Wyoming)
  • Ben McMahan (CLIMAS)
  • Daniel McEvoy (Desert Research Institute)
  • Sascha Petersen (Adaptation International)
  • Colin Quinn (Town of Carbondale, USAID)
  • Missy Stults (Aspen Global Change Institute & City of Ann Arbor)
  • Erin Towler (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
  • Jason Vogel (Climate Impacts Group)
  • Julie Vano (Aspen Global Change Institute)
  • Tamara Wall (Desert Research Institute)
  • Cameron Wobus (Lynker)

Participating Organizations

  • Adaptation International
    • Focus regions: Western US & Worldwide
    • Services: Climate impacts and vulnerability assessment; climate adaptation planning
    • Contact: Sascha Petersen
  • Applied Climate Science Lab, UC Merced
    • Focus regions: CONUS & Worldwide
    • Services: Climate data portals; climate data analysis
    • Contact: Katherine Hegewisch
  • Aspen Global Change Institute
    • Focus regions: Western US & Worldwide
    • Services: Vulnerability assessment; climate science and hydrology assessment; stakeholder engagement
    • Contact: James Arnott
  • Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington
    • Focus regions: WA, OR, ID
    • Services: Climate impacts and vulnerability assessment; adaptation and decision support; climate science translation; climate justice and equity. Specific expertise in: flooding and hydrology, water resources, fire, sea level rise, ecology, tribal climate concerns, community-based adaptation
    • Contact: Jason Vogel
  • CLIMAS, University of Arizona
    • Focus regions: AZ, NM
    • Services: Regional climate analyses; climate adaptation decision support; local to regional scale collaborative research. Specific expertise in: applied climatology; paleo climate; human dimensions of climate variability and change; climate and human health; climate and water resources; collaborative approaches to Indigenous community research
    • Contact: Ben McMahan
  • Geos Institute
    • Focus regions: US
    • Services: Vulnerability assessment; climate adaptation planning
    • Contact: Tonya Graham
  • North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center
    • Focus regions: MT, WY, CO, ND, SD, NE, KS
    • Services: Climate impacts; adaptation science for natural and cultural resource management
    • Contact: Aparna Bamzai-Dodson
  • Western Regional Climate Center & Desert Research Institute
    • Focus regions: Western US
    • Services: Regional historical climate data; climate monitoring; climate reports and assessments; decision support tools; public and technical presentations; user engagement; climate impacts; user inspired physical and social science research. Subject matter expertise: drought, wildland fire, climate change, mountain climate, regional climate, precipitation, normals and extremes, air quality
    • Contact: Tamara Wall
  • Western Water Assessment, University of Colorado
    • Focus regions: CO, UT, WY
    • Services: Climate adaptation; climate science assessment; hydrology
    • Contact: Benét Duncan

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Members of the Partnership have produced or recommend the following resources relevant to accessing and using climate information for climate change planning in the Mountain West region:


Other Projects