Midwest-wide Climate Research Agenda

Prepared by Abigail Aderonmu
June 2021

Seeking Part-time Involvement in Midwest Climate Research Knowledge Synthesis
Contact: Abigail Aderonmu – aabigail@wustl.edu 


Washington University in St. Louis is seeking to collaborate with graduate students, professional students, or postdocs who are familiar with, and interested in, climate related research in the Midwestern United States. The goal is to combine knowledge and solutions on climate research in this specific region and prioritize strategies for climate mitigation. 


The American Midwest plays an important role across several economic sectors on local, regional, and global scales, contributing about 18% to the US gross domestic product (GDP).  This region is mostly recognized as an agricultural hub, but also provides services in manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, forestry, and tourism. It is home to about 60 million people who depend on the intersection of natural and socioeconomic processes for sustenance. These processes are influenced by the climate variables of temperature and precipitation. While some of the impacts of changing temperature and precipitation trends could be positive, the natural and socioeconomic processes are increasingly threatened by the projected increase in negative impacts associated with climate change and variability. Our knowledge of the current research on the interactions between climate and the environment in the Midwest is an important first step in identifying key climate research priorities, for the purpose of understanding how systems can be sustainable and resilient in the face of climate change and variability.

Aims & Objectives

Beginning with a focus on the sectors highlighted in the Midwest chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment Report, this collaborative project aims to:

  • Synthesize what is already known about climate impacts and solutions in the Midwest. 
  • Identify and define immediate and long-term climate research priorities for the Midwest. 
  • Prioritize strategies that can inform and accelerate climate mitigation and adaptation.
  • Report and disseminate findings of work. 
  • Scientific publications that highlight this interdisciplinary, community-engaged process and key findings.
  • Identify research priorities presented in a written report to be distributed to stakeholders (Universities, Corporations, Non-Profits, and Government Entities) across the Midwest with the aim to catalyze cross-institutional efforts to address these questions.
Benefits for post-doc and graduate students
  • Experience working on an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional team.
  • Interaction with a variety of climate experts from across the Midwest. 
  • Co-authorship on publications.
Participation and Time Commitment

The project-based time commitment is roughly 6 hours per week. The work will include searching, reviewing, organizing, and analyzing literature based on pre-determined selection criteria, discussions/meetings with project coordinator and other team members, as well as contributing to writing papers and reports. Project scope and timeline will be determined jointly between student/postdoc and project coordinator.  Student/postdoc institutional advisors will sign off on the time commitment required to execute scope.


Required expertise from potential collaborators include knowledge/experience in at least one of the following: research methods, statistical and geospatial analysis, and technical writing. 


Currently, we are unable to provide financial support to collaborators.  We anticipate that graduate students or postdocs will be able to include this project to their existing work portfolio. We are happy to talk with and coordinate with research advisers as needed.