Tribal Working Group

The Climate Science Alliance safeguards natural and human communities in the face of a changing climate through leading activities and creating partnerships which increase awareness of climate change impacts, promote solutions, and facilitate action. The Climate Science Alliance began collaborating with southern California Tribes in 2015 to identify ways to safeguard their lands and cultures from the threat of climate change.   

In 2017, the Climate Science Alliance facilitated participation by 190 attendees representing 49 Tribes at a Southwestern Tribal Climate Change Summit. At the summit, an explicit partnership was formed out of a desire to regularly collaborate and we established a Tribal Working Group that focused on ways to build resilience for Tribal natural resources and communities. 



San Diego County is home to 18 federally recognized Tribes, more than any other county in the US. The County is also home to more plant and animal taxa than any other in the US, 200 of which are state- or federally- listed as threatened or endangered.

Data suggest the region will experience significantly warmer temperatures, more variable precipitation resulting in occasional high intensity flooding and more frequent and prolonged droughts, and more destructive fires due to drought and increased ignitions/fuel availability. These changes already threaten Tribal food security, public health, and culturally and ecologically significant natural resources - highlighting the urgency for resources and capacity to adequately address impacts. 

Since 2017, the Tribal Working Group has convened bi-monthly with 20+ members representing 17 Tribes.

Members developed the following Mission Statement:

Through the use of education, environmental programs, and traditional ecological knowledge, and a focus on community priorities, local ecosystems, and holistic management, we collaborate to safeguard the lands and cultures of southern California’s Indian tribes from the threat of climate change.

Tribal Working Group Chair:

Shasta Gaughen

Environmental Director/Tribal Historic Preservation Officer

Pala Band of Mission Indians



Please note the Tribal Working Group is a space for Tribal staff and members with the goal of focusing on Tribal-specific issues. As such your request will be reviewed by the TWG and you will receive a formal invitation once approved.


Fill out a Climate Science Alliance Partner Form and let us know you’d like to join the Tribal Working Group in the Additional Comments section.

For questions, please email us at:

Climate Science Alliance logos Final-01.

 “To safeguard natural and human communities in the face of a changing climate.”

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The Climate Science Alliance is fiscally sponsored by the California Wildlife Foundation (Tax ID: 68-0234744).

© Climate Science Alliance 2019