New Climate Change Resource - WICCI Launches New Website

June 18, 2020

The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI), led by the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), is unveiling a new website as a part of its outreach efforts.

The website contains resources to help Wisconsin policymakers and citizens understand the impacts of climate change as well as science-based solutions. It will also serve as a catalyst to improve scientific understanding of climate impacts while enabling better planning, investment, and adaptation as it relates to climate change.

The new website will also aid WICCI as they participate in the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change. The task force, which was launched last fall through Executive Order #52, is an effort to better understand the impacts of climate change on Wisconsin. This task force, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, will provide recommendations to the Governor beginning in fall 2020.

“The new website improves our ability to engage with the public during this opportune time as the Task Force develops its recommendations to the Governor,” said Steve Vavrus, co-director of WICCI and a senior scientist at the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research (CCR).

The Executive Order also directed the DNR to make scientific data available to the task force. WICCI leaders will be preparing research briefs and updating their 2011 climate assessment report, Wisconsin’s Changing Climate as a part of these efforts. “We are so pleased the State is taking climate change seriously and highlighting science in policy making,” said Vavrus. “WICCI’s new website is an important educational tool and we hope our scientific findings will be useful in guiding the Task Force with its recommendations. “

To aid in the communication of task force findings, WICCI recently welcomed science writer and editor, Dea Larsen Converse to the team. Converse will be working this summer to synthesize information from WICCI’s working groups into documents that provide scientific guidance to the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change. Converse’s work will also lay the groundwork for materials to be incorporated into the next WICCI climate assessment to be released next year. WICCI appreciates the support from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and donors Ed and Patty Neumueller, whose gift made this position possible. 

“WICCI has responded to evolving needs around the state by enhancing our focus on environmental justice, and by developing new working groups that focus on Infrastructure, Great Lakes, and Tourism and Outdoor Recreation,” said, Dan Vimont, co-director of WICCI and director of the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research. “WICCI also recognizes that climate change affects Wisconsin’s diverse communities in unique ways, so we also need to listen to the needs and concerns of these communities. We’re hoping this new website allows us to communicate these evolving needs so WICCI can work for ALL of Wisconsin.”