The Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center is proud to welcome Nicole Herman-Mercer to the team as a Research Social Scientist!
Nicole joins the SW CASC from the USGS Water Mission Area (WMA) where she has focused on applying social science theories, methods, and analytical techniques towards increasing understanding of social-ecological-systems, including the social impacts of climate change on Indigenous communities across Alaska. During her 14 years with WMA, Nicole also served a detail with the USGS Office of Tribal Relations as an Indigenous Knowledge Coordinator, was a co-convener of the American Geophysical Union Chapman Conference on Solving Water Availability Challenges Through an Interdisciplinary Framework, and was the Acting Chief for the WMA Decision Support Branch. Prior to her career with USGS, Nicole received her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Master’s degree in Social Sciences (Society and the Environment focus) from the University of Colorado.
In addition to research, Nicole is the Co-Chair of the Indigenous Knowledge sub-working group. The sub-working group is housed under the Department of the Interior Climate Coordination Working Group and was created with the purpose of developing policy on the inclusion of Indigenous Knowledges in DOI activities. Within the sub-working group, Nicole is leading efforts to develop a companion guidance document.
In her new role, Nicole will continue to focus her research on furthering the understanding of resilience in underserved communities through participatory methods, the integration of different knowledge systems and disciplines, with the goal of supporting decision-making and adaptation. She is looking forward to developing new relationships with Southwest partners and producing actionable science within the SW CASC region. The SW CASC team is looking forward to working with and supporting Nicole in her new position. Welcome to the SW CASC, Nicole!