Two project partners standing next to spring on the Navajo Reservation

About This Project

Native Climate

Native Climate supports climate adaptation efforts in Native American communities of the Southwest and Northern Plains regions by building new connections between Native wisdom and western scientific data. Through two-way information-sharing and relationship-building, Native Climate aims to make climate data more accessible and useful to Tribes in Northern Plains and Southwest Hub regions, and to build awareness nationally about climate impacts and resilience on Native lands.

The project is led by the Desert Research Institute in partnership with the Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP), University of Nevada, Reno Tribal Extension, University of Montana, Montana State University, University of Arizona Extension, and the USDA Climate Hubs. The project team works closely with Native American natural resource, agriculture, and climate leaders; Tribal Extension personnel (FRTEP and Tribal Colleges and Universities); the research community working in Indian Country; Climate services (USDA, USGS, NOAA, State Climatologists); and Native American advisors. 

Native Climate is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and builds on the work of the Native Waters on Arid Lands project (2015-2022).

Native Waters on Arid Lands logo

What are the USDA Climate Hubs?

USDA Climate Hubs

USDA Climate Hubs work across ten regions of the U.S. to support agricultural producers and professionals by providing science-based, region-specific information about climate change and climate adaptation strategies. The Climate Hubs can fill a critical gap to enhancing climate resiliency in Indian Country by delivering timely climate-related information and resources to Native agricultural producers, educators, and resource managers. The Native Climate project targets closing this gap by creating sustainable relationships among Climate Hubs, Tribal Extension professionals, and partner organizations in the region.

More information: https://www.climatehubs.usda.gov/

Map of USDA climate hubs

The Native Climate project team will primarily work with the Southwest and Northern Plains climate hubs.

How will Native Climate help?

Project Goals

Native Climate will build relationships and strengthen climate agroecosystem resilience among tribes in the intermountain west by:


Supporting Communication

Creating two-way communication pipelines that allow climate information to flow from the Climate Hubs and partner organizations to tribal ag-producers and educators and for traditional knowledge about climate adaptation to flow back to the Hubs and other partners.


Building Capacity

Capacity-building in needed areas of agriculture, climate data, and education. A Native Climate Agriculture Fellow will work to identify climate needs of Native American farmers and ranchers. A Native Climate Data Fellow will enhances climate monitoring and data services on tribal lands. A Native Climate Teaching Fellow will create place-based climate modules for Native teachers.


Increasing Awareness

Building awareness nationally about climate impacts and resilience on Native lands. A team of Native Climate reporter interns will tell the story of climate change in Indian Country by reporting on climate impacts and tribal resilience on their reservations.