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Mountain West Climate Services Partnership

Let's imagine you live in a community nestled in the arid west between the Sierra Mountains to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east. Your water, one way or another, mostly comes from snow. But these days there seems to be less snow, or it disappears more quickly. The streams run lower. Weather patterns are more atypical. It’s harder to predict the future of the critical resources your community will depend upon and what other hazards may emerge.

You notice these changes and anticipate the need to prepare, but you don’t know who to talk to in order to make sense of and manage the changes. You also know you’re not the only one experiencing these problems – you’ve heard stories of other Mountain West towns battling similar challenges like drought, wildfires, and flooding. How do you reach them? How do you learn from what they’ve already tried? At the very least, who are they?


Shared risk, meet shared opportunity

Climate change is happening now and will continue to present challenges to towns and regions throughout the Mountain West. Many of these challenges are related to water: drought, wildfire, and flooding bring significant impacts to communities in unique ways, yet still have underlying similarities. To facilitate shared learning and capacity building between these communities, the Mountain West Climate Services Partnership is a network of researchers and local champions working to increase access to information, tools, and other resources to help small and medium-sized communities throughout the Mountain West region prepare for climate change.  

Working in partnership with and for communities that seek to understand and respond to climate risk, our goal is:

To develop and share knowledge that communities can use to build a more resilient Mountain West                

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What We Do

The Mountain West Climate Services Partnership is designed to serve three functions.

  1. We work to expand access to and use of existing information and tools that can help communities prepare for climate change impacts, such as drought, wildfire, and flooding.
  2. We work with small and medium-sized communities—individually or in partnerships—to identify and respond to unmet information needs.
  3. We leverage our network of organizations and individuals to identify and mobilize financial and other resources to support climate adaptation planning and implementation.

Our aim is to increase efficiency: to connect and leverage existing resources and capacities to deliver the information and tools that matter to you. We capitalize on the power of networks—in particular, those managed by Partnership members—to provide the information that you need to plan for a thriving future for your community.


How it Works 

  1. You ask a question or tell us a need that relates to how climate impacts your community. (For example: how do I plan for less snowfall in my region by the year 2050?) Send your question to
  2. We draw on our network of scientists and practitioners to work with you to help address your need. We help identify where resources already exist, or help you make a plan to develop new resources. In cases where financing is required, we work to combine philanthropic, Federal, and community-based resources to reduce costs and make sure knowledge generated gets shared with Mountain West communities facing similar needs. 
  3. We work collaboratively with you and your community through the process, in an effort to create well-designed solutions and to learn from you so that we can better address the needs of your and neighboring communities in the future. 

Two key strengths of the Partnership are:

  1. Using science to inform solutions for real climate challenges that towns face.
  2. Our understanding of and connections to a diverse landscape of potential funders of adaptation and implementation projects. Federal and state governmental agencies, large private foundations, regional and community foundations, and local municipalities, organizations, and individuals all have a potential role to play in contributing to the effort. 

To learn more about how the Partnership can help you and your community, contact us here


Current Initiatives

We are just getting started. Please check back soon to learn more. Have an idea? Please contact us!

Climate Change & Aspen. AGCI and research partners have supported the City of Aspen in their climate change planning. View results on both AGCI and City of Aspen websites.

Expanding Water Sector Climate Preparedness in the Intermountain West. Beginning September 2018 with support from NOAA SARP, Mountain West Climate Services Partnership members will work to:

  • Identify communities with shared climate risks to facilitate meaningful and transferable resource sharing and learning;  
  • Foster peer network learning and exchange among communities with common profiles of climate risk; and 
  • Lay a foundation for sustained partnerships that advance both climate services delivery and water sector resilience.


Who We Are

Dr. Seth Arens, Western Water Assessment 
Specialty: Assessment of climate risk, climate change adaptation

Dr. James Arnott, Aspen Global Change Institute 
Specialty: Climate change adaptation

Dr. Benét Duncan, Western Water Assessment
Specialty: Assessment of climate risk

Dr. Corrine Knapp, University of Wyoming
Specialty: Climate change adaptation

Ashley Perl, City of Aspen
Specialty: Urban planning, environmental health

Dr. Colin Quinn, Chair of the Carbondale Environmental Board
Specialty: International development; climate change adaptation

Dr. Missy Stults, City of Ann Arbor, MI
Specialty: Urban planning; climate change adaptation

Dr. Julie Vano, Aspen Global Change Institute
Specialty: Hydrology; water sector preparedness

Dr. Cameron Wobus, Lynker Technologies
Specialty: Hydrologic impacts of climate change 



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