A climate science center at the University of Oklahoma was recently given a major award by the Department of Interior.
The South Central Climate Science Center is on OU’s Research Campus. It was named a recipient of Dept. of Interior’s 2015 Environmental Achievement Award for “Climate Science and Partnerships—Increasing the Tribal Capacity for Climate Change Adaptation.”
The University of Oklahoma says the SCCSC received the award because of, “… its partnerships with other agencies to develop programs for building tribal capabilities and conducting climate science research. The Center is a consortium codirected by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Oklahoma. Consortium members include OU, the Chickasaw Nation, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab, Louisiana State University, Oklahoma State University and Texas Tech University.”
I asked Kim Winton, the director of the South Central Climate Science Center, what this award means. She says, “This award recognizes a Departmental individual or team that has shown consistent leadership in identifying the impacts climate change will have on the Department, acting to integrate that information into their work, and sharing their experience to help others prepare.”
The award recognizes what’s being done to work with Oklahoma tribes to spread awareness and prepare for climate change. Winton says the SCCSC provides training for tribes, “…Vulnerability Assessments, and Adaptation Planning. We also do lots of things for school age children such as classroom activities, festivals etc. and provide hands-on demonstrations of how CO2 makes things warmer, and how tree rings tell us about the climate history.”
Winton says Oklahoma’s native tribes can help with climate change by doing what everyone needs to do such as, “…decrease fossil fuel use, build using sustainable materials, etc.”