Welcome to the Global Center for Understanding Climate Change Impacts on Transboundary Waters, a new international effort to strengthen the climate change resilience of vulnerable communities that span international boundaries and jurisdictions.
With a $5 million award from the National Science Foundation, the center, housed at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), will initially focus on climate change adaptation in the Great Lakes region—with an emphasis on Indigenous communities—and will later expand its work to other North American multinational watersheds and beyond. The knowledge developed by the center will have international relevance and be disseminated globally.
Led by SEAS Associate Professor and hydrologist Drew Gronewold as its principal investigator, the center’s interdisciplinary research team has expertise in the fields of climate change, ecosystem monitoring and modeling, and transboundary water science and governance and will work to understand and mitigate the intensifying water crisis by addressing regional needs for management guidance and preparing communities and ecosystems for the hazards that accompany climate change.
At U-M, affiliated researchers include co-principal investigator Kyle Whyte and Jon Allan of SEAS and co-principal investigator Richard Norton of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The U-M-based Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research is a collaborative partner.
Partners in the project include Cornell University, the College of Menominee Nation, the Red Lake Nation, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Canadian government is expected to provide additional funding for the project through a partnership with McMaster University, Toronto Metropolitan University, the Six Nations of the Grand River, Brock University, and Wilfrid Laurier University, bringing total center funding to $7.75 million (U.S. dollars) over the next five years. Altogether, roughly 20 researchers and dozens of students from the center’s universities and colleges are expected to be involved. An external advisory board comprised of globally recognized experts on Indigenous affairs, climate change, and water resources management and governance will inform the center’s research trajectory and engagement activities.