Climate and Societal Interactions Division

A CSI-funded researcher interviews a rancher in Hawai’i to better understand the impacts of drought on her ranch operations. Credit: V. Keener

A CSI-funded researcher interviews a rancher in Hawai’i to better understand the impacts of drought on her ranch operations. Credit: V. Keener

The Climate and Societal Interactions (CSI) Division’s mission is to improve resilience and preparedness in diverse socio-economic regions and sectors throughout the US and abroad through the use of climate knowledge and information. Our research advances the nation’s understanding of climate-related risks and vulnerabilities across sectors and regions, and the development of tools to foster more informed decision making. These efforts support NOAA's vision to create and sustain enhanced resilience in ecosystems, communities, and economies.

Science for Adaptation

CSI-supported research seeks to generate the knowledge, tools, and institutional networks that enhance society’s capacity to anticipate, plan for, and adapt to climate impacts. By supporting partnerships between scientists and stakeholders, CSI enhances the capacity of decision makers to effectively co-produce and utilize climate information in risk management, adaptation, and sustainable development. Our focus complements the work of the physical science research and development portfolio across NOAA by using insights from social science research to interpret, synthesize, and apply climate data, analysis, and observations.

Building Capacity and Partnerships

The establishment of partnerships with other agencies and organizations to jointly support these goals is an important element of our work. CSI staff play a critical role in brokering both knowledge and partnerships to support the mission and objectives of the Division, contributing to efforts such as the US Global Change Research Program, the National Climate Assessment, the President’s Climate Action Plan, and numerous other interagency and scientific efforts focused on resilience and adaptation. Finally, CSI plays a pivotal role in supporting research and development activities for the Coping with Drought initiative of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).

CSI comprises the following programs:

Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA)

RISA supports regional research teams across the U.S. that conduct innovative, interdisciplinary, stakeholder-driven, and regionally relevant research that informs resource management, planning, and public policy.

Contacts: Caitlin Simpson, Chelsea Combest-Friedman

The Adaptation Sciences (AdSci) Program

The AdSci Program goal is to foster widespread, science-based adaptation by: (a) developing an understanding of key drivers and conditions that shape and enable adaptation across multiple temporal and spatial scales (e.g., socioeconomic considerations and adaptive behaviors, risk perception, public awareness and education); and (b) identifying key aspects of and promoting opportunities for the use of scientific information to best support preparedness and planned adaptation of high value to social and economic goals.

Contact CSI

P: (301) 734-1245
F: (301) 713-0518

Contact Adaptation Sciences (AdSci)

Dr. Nancy Beller-Simms
Lead, Climate Program Office Water Risk Team AND Climate and Societal Interactions - Water
Program Manager, Adaptation Sciences

P: (301) 734-1205
F: (301) 713-0518

Bhaskaran Subramanian, Ph.D.
Program Manager, Adaptation Sciences
P: (301) 660-4630

Lisa Vaughan
Program Manager, International Adaptation Sciences
P: (301) 734-1277
F: (301) 713-0518

Jennifer Dopkowski
Program Manager, Climate and Fisheries Adaptation (CAFA)
P: (301) 734-1261

Amanda Speciale
Program Specialist
P: (410) 212-8742

Contact RISA

Dr. Chelsea Combest-Friedman
Social Scientist, Program Director (Acting)
P: (301) 734-1240

Caitlin Simpson
Program Manager
P: (301) 734-1251

Dr. Ariela Zycherman
Social Scientist, Program Manager
P: (301) 734-1244

Sean Bath
Program Specialist
P: (301) 734-1294

Genie Bey*
Program Specialist (UCAR)
P: (435) 610-0161


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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.