Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan
15 July 2024

Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan Climate Fellow

Two months ago, I’d never heard of an INRMP or CMIP5 or RCP5-8.5, but these terms and many other acronyms have quickly become part of my daily vocabulary. As an Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan (INRMP) Climate Fellow with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the learning curve has been steep yet rewarding, especially in regard to climate change modelling. In short, my role is to help develop climate profiles (describing the projected impacts of hazards such as extreme heat and precipitation) for Army installations in the Northeast region.

To briefly introduce myself, my name is Caroline Weiss and I'm living in Framingham, MA for the duration of my fellowship. I work a hybrid schedule with one day a week at the FWS’ regional office in Hadley, MA. I earned a BA in Environmental Studies and Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh (2022) and a Masters in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland (2024). In the past, I have completed a few virtual environmental internships while residing in Lancaster, PA; I am thrilled to embark on my first full-time position with this fellowship. 

Since orientation in early January, I have visited the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (pictured above; a beautiful hiking area, but I don’t recommend driving there in the snow!) to set up my federal computer and learn more about the FWS refuge system. I have begun working in the FWS Hadley office, where I have my first cubicle and met the kind and knowledgeable Northeast Science Applications staff. After a few weeks of getting oriented and familiar with the context of our project, the four other Climate Fellows and I have created our first few climate profiles for priority Army installations. I read the INRMPs for Fort Drum, Camp Edwards, and Fort Devens, then assessed each installation’s vulnerability to climate change hazards through utilizing various online tools. These tools include web applications created by other federal agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Key hazards I’ve analyzed include air temperature, drought, precipitation, riverine and coastal flooding, wind, and wildfire.

While gaining a deeper knowledge of climate change projections can at times be discouraging, I am thankful to have the opportunity to engage in climate science and action with such a positive, supportive community. The other fellows, our supervisors, and my co-workers in Hadley have made me feel welcomed and equipped to help tackle such a massive issue. I look forward to learning over the next ten months and building my future career around climate action!

MANO Project
is an initiative of Hispanic 
Access Foundation.

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