Climate Change in California Cooperative Extension
University of California
Climate Change in California Cooperative Extension

Integrating Climate Change in California Cooperative Extension Programs Workshop

Background: The University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) has worked with Californians for more than 100 years to solve problems in agriculture, natural resources and food systems. Climate change compounds these problems, making it more difficult for UC ANR to achieve its vision for a thriving California in 2025.

UC ANR academics and staff are mobilizing to address the threat of climate change. For example, the ANR leadership supported the establishment of a climate change program team in 2015, with the primary goal of building capacity within Cooperative Extension to better serve the public in addressing climate change impacts and adaptation challenges.

Survey results on climate change: As one of the its first activities, members of the program team distributed an online survey in early 2017, reaching out to approximately one thousand UC ANR faculty, specialists, advisors, and staff to evaluate interests and experiences in incorporating climate change science into research and extension programs. The results (published in Cal Ag) indicated:

  • There is an overwhelming agreement on the importance of addressing climate change.
  • At the same time, fewer than half of the respondents currently incorporate climate change in their extension programming in some way.
  • Many respondents also had a low level of confidence in their current ability to incorporate climate change in their extension programming.
  • Perceived barriers included lack of access to climate information relevant to their extension programs and clientele, limited familiarity with climate science fundamentals, and fear of alienating clientele by taking about a contentious topic.

Next steps - RREA workshop: In part as a response to these survey results, the program team submitted an RREA proposal to develop a pilot professional development opportunity for UC ANR academics and staff to increase our capacity to integrate climate change into extension programming. The workshop was held February 6 & 7, 2018 at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, CA

Workshop Report, Agenda and Materials

2018 Integrating Climate Change in California Extension workshop report draft

2018 Report on the Workshop on Integrating Climate Change in California Extension Executive Summary

February 6, 2018 

10:30-11:30 Climate Change and Cooperative Extension - On the Front Lines in a Warming World Mike Crimmins, Extension Specialist, University of Arizona

11:30am-12:30 State of the state: Climate change in California 

1:30pm-2:15pm Lightning talks: Current projects in climate extension in UC ANR ?

2:15-3:45pm The Art and Science of Climate Communication, Faith Kearns, UC ANR

February 7, 2018: 8:30-9:30am

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