Extension Climate/Extreme Weather Programming

● “There are probably more things that we could make available through various kinds of phone- based applications. Whether that’s access to maps and data or to educational materials, a very popular mode these days is story maps and making those sorts of things available… More and more students are wanting to interact through electronic means .” (R06) Qualitative Evaluation Metrics & Storytelling Interviewees spoke to the power of storytelling and the perspective that qualitative, long-term, big- picture impacts are or can be as valuable as documenting quantitative, short-term, individual impacts. Historical and experiential inquiry, particularly with agricultural audiences is seen as a very effective mechanism for “on-ramping” conversations about climate change and ultimately reaching on-farm strategies and solutions for climate adaptation. ● “ A qualitative way that we do track our outcomes is through success stories. Every year our university encourages us to think of some success stories and share those.” (R02) ● “With adaptation, I see a big opportunity in connecting peer communities so that they can share stories, leverage ideas and resources. ” [R06] ● “And really a lot of my impact reporting has been qualitative and telling stories about how I’ve seen farmers change practices, about how I’ve gotten reports of farmers receiving information, whether it’s through a workshop or a presentation or whatever it may be, and then actually making changes on the farm. That's fantastic. In terms of how to document that, in terms of the financial benefit or the resilience benefit, that is extremely challenging for me to do. So we have no quantitative data in that sense ... we do have lots of qualitative, anecdotal accounts .” (R09)

External Constraints Societal & Clientele Lack of Interest or Urgency to Act Among Extension partners, current and prospective clientele, and the general public as a whole, interviewees felt that there is a broad lack of interest in, unified messaging on, and/or consensus about the seriousness of C/EW challenges. This is coupled with a commensurate lack of urgency to act with climate mitigation and adaptation solutions.

Several respondents expressed extreme concern about the ramifications of inaction, insufficient response, and/or deferred action to confront what so many experts characterize as an existential threat to humanity. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.


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