Mission and Vision


Photo credit: James Lee on Unsplash


The Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS) is a program within the Arizona Institute for Resilience (AIR) at the University of Arizona (UA). AIR coordinates interdisciplinary programs and groups of faculty, students, and projects across the UA campus to develop practical, applied solutions that further resilience in our natural and human communities. UA and CCASS are nationally and internationally recognized for expertise in climate research, adaptation, and building practical, science-based solutions for managing risk. 

CCASS helps develop and link research-based knowledge with decision-making at multiple scales. The primary foci of CCASS are 1) supporting and building the internal adaptation community at the UA and 2) enhancing the off-campus visibility, on-the-ground impact, and effectiveness of UA adaptation programs, projects and faculty.

The mission of CCASS is to strengthen and support adaptation, risk management and resilience efforts at multiple scales by providing intellectual leadership, training, and engagement with a focus on solutions. Our vision is a more resilient world that incorporates science into sound management choices in the context of global change. 

The UA has a broad array of existing programs and capacities and a faculty that is widely recognized for its scientific excellence; CCASS provides a set of integrated adaptation services and tools that can support both science applications and further use-inspired research. The UA is uniquely positioned to provide support to decision makers in the public and private sectors as they work to connect rapidly evolving scientific understanding of a changing climate with management practices.

Adaptation: Includes the capacity to change institutions, infrastructure, behaviors, and relationships to respond to both current and unknown future threats or increase resilience in the environment. It requires skills and expertise across the disciplines to effectively plan, build, learn, communicate, legislate, engineer, and organize for the myriad of human and environmental systems at risk. 

Climate resilience: The capacity for a socio-ecological system to: (1) absorb stresses and maintain function in the face of external stresses imposed upon it by climate change and (2) adapt, reorganize, and evolve into more desirable configurations that improve the sustainability of the system, leaving it better prepared for future climate change impacts.

Mitigation: Climate change mitigation refers to efforts to reduce or prevent emission of greenhouse gases. Mitigation can mean using new technologies and renewable energies, making older equipment more energy efficient, or changing management practices or consumer behavior.

CCASS offers science-based, workable solutions and options by:

  • providing an overarching “umbrella of opportunity” that leverages and builds from existing adaptation projects, resources, and expertise;
  • linking and strengthening existing centers of excellence across the UA campus in a network of activities that build sustained relationships and create products and services;
  • collaborating with practitioners, decision makers, and scientists across the U.S. and internationally; and
  • conducting collaborative adaptation planning and implementation projects.