Recent forest dieback in Skagit County and other areas of western Washington has captured the attention of landowners and the general public. Droughts like the one that caused the dieback are expected to occur more frequently in the future, creating additional stress and more disturbances in forest ecosystems.
Climate has a profound influence on processes that shape the earth’s surface through changes in precipitation and runoff.
This Climate Dialogue focuses on how three scientists are examining river systems in this region to help understand how climate change may influent summer low flows, sediment movement and storage, and runoff.
Climate Dialogues: October 2020 — Spring 2021
The Skagit Climate Science Consortium (SC2) along with other partners will be hosting a series of virtual Climate Dialogues. Links to upcoming events will be added.
From the mountains to the sea, leading local scientists will discuss how Skagit fresh and saltwater fish are responding and likely to respond to a changing climate. There will be time for a moderated dialogue on fisheries research highlighted by the speakers and how SC2 can better serve the Skagit community.
SURGE: October 6, 2018 to January 7, 2019
Together with the Skagit Climate Science Consortium (SC2), the Museum of Northwest Art will host its third and longest presentation of Surge in the Fall of 2018.
Surge, an exhibition designed to draw attention to climate change and its impact on Northwest’s coastal communities, provides the forum for artists together with environmental researchers and educators to present the public with new perspectives on issues such as changes in glaciers, estuaries, and forests as well as sea level rise, ocean acidification and flooding. The relationships between scientists, artists, educators and community leaders have only strengthened since our first display of Surge, and public interest continues to build.
Surge Opening: October 6th from 2:00–3:30pm
Government and Resiliency Panel: October 13th from 1:00–2:30pm
Surge Open House: December 1st
11:00–12:30pm — Movement and Climate Resilience — Jasmine Ramgotra
1:00–1:30 — Artist talk by Suze Woolf
1:30–3:30 — Upcyled Book Art by Rachel Simpson
3:30–5:00 — Knit-a-long with the Tempestry Project
Artist and Scientist Panel: January 5th from 3:30–5:00pm
Smith/Aguero Trust Presentation on the Environment, Padilla Bay: June 2018
Dr. Dave Peterson and Roger Fuller gave an interactive talk titled “Climate change in forest and coastal ecosystems: Building resilience” to approximately 40 participants. Information relating to forest and coastal climate change impacts and adaptation opportunities was provided and there were multiple audience interaction points to stimulate participants to talk and express their own ideas and thoughts.
The joint talk is available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15dyoOtxCe5Bz2BjWlmFopgoAlkgM-gru/view?usp=sharing
Transition Fidalgo FutureFest: April 21–22, 2018
SC2 member Roger Fuller helped organize and support Transition Fidalgo’s FutureFest. SC2 hosted a table and worked with John Bowey of Transmedia Vision to develop a powerful video on the upcoming SURGE event fall of 2018. SC2 member Jon Riedel and Carol Macilroy spoke with participants about climate change and local impacts and provided materials and information.
La Conner Design Charrette: October 2017
SC2 helped the Town of La Conner host a design charrette to explore a variety of actions that could be taken to build the Town’s resiliency in the face of climate change and other factors. The predominant interest of the Town is to focus on the concerns related to Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge with secondary concerns related to changes in groundwater and river flood impacts. SC2 is working to help bring both state of the art local climate science alongside resiliency planning to bear in support of La Conner’s interest.
Skagit River Festival: September 9, 2017
SC2 hosted a table at the 2017 Skagit River Festival, sharing information about changes in glaciers, the Anacortes Water Treatment Plant, weather vs. climate, and other SC2 fact sheets and infographics. Over 130 people stopped at the table to discuss glaciers, flooding, and other climate inputs.
Transition Fidalgo Presentation: June 27, 2017
SC2 member Correigh Greene presentedon the changing food web of Puget Sound and what it means for salmon at a Transition Fidalgo event. Puget Sound supports one of the most productive and diverse food webs of all the large estuaries in North America, symbolized by iconic species like salmon and the orcas that eat them. Those icons are fed by an abundance of small forage fish, who are in turn fueled by a rich community of tiny plankton. But that food web is changing as key forage fish are declining and jellyfish are booming. Why is this happening, what does it mean for the species we value the most, and what can we do about it?
Transition Fidalgo Presentation: September 27, 2016
At the September 27 meeting of Transition Fidalgo, SC2 members Jon Riedel and Roger Fuller presented information on how the Skagit watershed’s water systems, from the North Cascades to the Puget Sound, will be affected by climate change. Transition Fidalgo is a nonprofit group working to share information about climate change. Over 90 people attended the presentation, which is the first in a monthly series being organized by Transition Fidalgo and SC2. More information can be found on the Transition Fidalgo web site. Roger Fuller’s presentation can be viewed here.
Surge Festival: September 17–25, 2016
Museum of Northwest Art in LaConner, WA
The Skagit Climate Science Consortium partnered with the Museum of Northwest Art on the Surge Festival, a week-long exhibition of art, science, and information centered on climate change and its impacts on Northwest coastal communities.
Artists included: Christine Awad Schmalz, Mary Coss, Heather Cromwell, Madeline Crowley, Alice Dubiel, Mona Fairbanks, Lauren Frugé, Cara Jaye, Theodora Jonsson, George Lee, Klara Maisch, Eve McCauley-Chomiak, Lin McJunkin, Colleen Monette, Jazz Morgan, Julie Morse, Yvette Neumann, Richelle Potter-Kypuros, Heather Thomas, Suze Woolf, and Jennifer Yates.
At the Surge Festival, Steve Moddemeyer gave a presentation on Implementing Resilience Thinking in a Time of Accelerating Change: Action, Joy and Mystery.
Salish Sea Conference: April 2016
The Skagit Climate Science Consortium participated in the 2016 Salish Sea Conference, presenting at two different sessions. Carol MacIlroy and Ilon Logan presented on Telling Stories: Designing Effective Data Visualization and Climate Change Communication Tools. Carol MacIlroy and Larry Wasserman presented on Using Local Polling to Provide Relevant Science.
Surge Festival: September 25–26, 2015
MoNa in LaConner, WA
The Skagit Climate Science Consortium partnered with the Museum of Northwest Art and other local partners to host the first Surge Festival from September 25–26th, 2015 at MoNA in La Conner, Washington. The Surge Festival was designed to encourage the public to explore issues such as flooding, storm surge, risk, resiliency and climate change through art and participatory art activities.
Climate Change and Flooding In the Skagit Basin
The Skagit Climate Science Consortium hosted a workshop on November 28th, 2012 focused on the combined impacts of projected long-term increases in river flooding and sea level rise/storm surge in the Skagit basin. Presenters included Dr. Alan Hamlet, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group; Dr. Jon Riedel, National Park Service; and Dr. Eric Grossman, United States Geological Survey. Videos and PDFs of the presentations available here.
Climate Change and Skagit Salmon Habitats and Populations
On October 17, 2012 the Skagit Climate Science Consortium, in partnership with the Skagit Watershed Council, hosted a workshop on Climate Change and Skagit Salmon Habitats and Populations. Over 60 people attended the event. The intent of the workshop was to: 1) Improve the collective understanding of how climate change is likely to affect the salmon habitats and populations of the Skagit River; and 2) Provide guidance to members of the Skagit Climate Science Consortium on what additional information would be most useful to the Watershed Council sponsors as it considers its strategic approach, and also to individual member organizations as they take actions in support of salmon recovery in the basin. The presentations are available here.
Response to KCTS July 18, 2012 Airing
Although the KCTS 9 piece that aired on Wednesday (July 18) was well done overall, in terms of accurate reporting of scientific information on climate change impacts to salmon, this piece was quite dismaying in several regards. With the help of regional experts (including members of the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group and the Skagit Climate Science Consortium), the writers did a good job of identifying and correctly describing the most of the important climate change impact pathways for salmon in the Pacific Northwest, and many of the basic impacts (increased risk of flooding, intensified low flows, and increasing water temperature).
That said, the credibility of the piece is repeatedly undermined by frequent misstatement of fact, and the injection of “sound bites” in the narration that attempt to paint the impacts of climate change on Pacific Northwest salmon in black and white terms. More details can be found here.
Skagit Climate Change Discussion:
June 21, 2012
Skagit County Administration Building,
1800 Continental Place, Mount Vernon
Dr. Alan Hamlet, Research Assistant Professor with the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, led a presentation highlighting the findings of the “Skagit River Basin Climate Science Report.” This report was developed for Skagit County and the Envision Skagit 2060 project. The report is available at under the “Reports” tab on the left side of the Envision Skagit Home page. The PDF of Dr. Hamlet’s Powerpoint presentation is available here.
Fall 2011 Workshop for Elected Officials and Planning and Public Works Directors
In the fall of 2011, the Skagit Climate Science Consortium hosted a workshop for the City and County government elected officials and the planning and public works directors. The workshop also included Skagit tribal elected officials or their representatives. The day long workshop covered global climate models, down-scaling of climate models to regional and local scales, changes in temperature and precipitation, hydrology, glaciers, sediment, and sea level rise. The PDF of the Powerpoint presentation is available here.