Annamarie Rutledge

Annamarie Rutledge serves as a Research Scientist (Outreach Specialist) with Michigan Technological University, supporting NIACS and the USDA Forest Service. She joined the NIACS team in 2020 after completing her M.S.

Climate Change Response Framework


There is no single solution for how natural resources managers and landowners should adapt to climate change. Every manager and landowner has different goals and information needs, as well as a range of tolerances for risk. Through the CCRF, we work side-by-side with people across the land management community to help them consider how climate change may affect their lands and how they can meet their goals while responding to changing conditions.

Chris Swanston

Chris Swanston has served as director of NIACS since 2008 and played an active role in most of the Institute’s major efforts, including directing the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub. Chris is also project leader for NRS’ Climate, Fire, and Carbon Cycle Sciences group. He holds a PhD in forest science from Oregon State University. Chris embraces his home in the upper Midwest through snowshoe running (moving for warmth), and trail running (running from mosquitoes). Chris does not like cooked vegetables or mushrooms, because they’re gross.

Patricia Leopold

Patricia coordinates the Mid-Atlantic and Central Appalachians Climate Change Response Framework, where she is actively expanding partnerships, creating resources, and promoting implementation of adaptation actions in inland and coastal forest ecosystems, and at scales ranging from state agency planning to on-the-ground projects. In her personal time, Patricia enjoys skiing, hiking, and exploring natural areas.

Maria Janowiak

As the Deputy Director of NIACS since 2016, Maria manages many of the day-to-day operations of the productive and busy NIACS team. She also works with a variety of natural resource professionals and land management organizations to integrate climate change considerations into their management and coordinates Climate Change Response Framework activities in New England and northern New York. In 2020, Maria spent much of her time at home establishing a new vegetable garden, fruit orchard, and tree nursery.