Mapping Climate Corridors and Renewable Energy Potential Across the Great Lakes

Lansing, MI

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. 

Project Scope

  • Research & Analyses
  • Land Use Planning
  • Water Quality and Ecosystem Health
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Renewable Energy
  • Tool Development
  • Geographic Information System Support

TNC has several priorities for 2030, including reducing and storing greenhouse gas emissions; increasing resilience of people and habitats to cope with climate-related emergencies; conserving oceans, freshwater, and lands; and supporting capacity building for local stewards whose well-being and livelihoods depend on the environment. In support to these priorities, CIS is providing advisory and research services to TNC for two projects.

Anticipated Results

The first project is the Resilient and Connected Landscapes project. This project is the first study to comprehensively map resilient lands and significant climate corridors across Eastern North America. Released in October 2016, the study took eight years to complete, involved 60 scientists, and developed innovative new techniques for mapping climate-driven movements. CIS is providing assistance to TNC to expand this project to include coastal and Great Lakes landscapes.

The second project is the Siting Renewables Right Tool. This online mapping tool provides an analysis that combines more than 100 geographic information system (GIS) layers of wildlife habitat and land use data, helping to find areas where renewable energy development is most likely to avoid important natural areas, permitting delays, and cost overruns. This first-of-its-kind map puts the latest research and data on the best places to source renewable energy in the hands of companies and communities. The Site Renewables Right map spans 19 states, from Ohio to Wyoming. CIS is providing support with building out renewable siting data layers for the Great Lakes Region.


The Nature Conservancy


2023 – 2024