Large-scale environmental changes are unfolding at an unprecedented pace, magnitude, and scale across the globe. These changes impact socio-ecological systems, including the natural capital that provides the goods and services which society depends on. Tribal entities are especially prone to such changes. The natural resources that they have rights to, and on which cultural norms may be dependent, are impacted by environmental stressors whose scale extend far beyond legal tribal jurisdictions.
The US Government (USG), through initiatives like the Climate Action Plan and the inter-agency National Climate Assessment, recognizes these challenges. The USG is also advocating better integration of US environmental observation assets (like the National Ecological Observatory Network, NEON) and making those data freely web accessible for science, education, and management. There is also widespread recognition that we should align climate-adaptation options with the best available science and data.
The Tribal Lands Collaboratory (TLC) is an Esri-NEON collaboration to assemble existing technologies into a web-based workbench that enables multidisciplinary teams to perform integration, analysis, and interpretation of environmental data. Teams may comprise students, scientists, natural resource managers, and even the general public. The value-chain of transforming data to information and knowledge is captured at each step to enable traceability and reproducibility.