Extension Climate/Extreme Weather Programming

● “ A big challenge is community capacity . A lot of times we're working with volunteer board members. And so how much bandwidth do they have to take on a project or, you know, staff is limited. They're wearing a lot of hats.” (R01) ● “Even if the grants are out there, if there's not really the capacity at the local county level to go after it [the grant], then that also is definitely an impediment to doing climate work.” (R02) ● “ I have only been able to do what I can do with my limited time and funding. And similarly with Extension out in our counties, there are very few of our county staff who have grant funding to work on climate. So the way it’s been able to work is by being creative, to do as much as we can with the funds we have and making good connections with people [locally].” (R11) Politicization of Climate Science & Conflicts of Interest Politicization of climate science and issues has

constrained Extension’s role in, funding invested, and external support for C/EW programs. Furthermore, regardless of whether they believe the science of human- induced climate change, there are broad swaths of traditional Extension partners and audiences who feel they’ve been singled out and blamed for the problem. Extension’s connections with industry, reliance on private-sector funding in many cases, and conflicting interests were also identified as difficult political challenges for increasing Extension C/EW programs.

Photo by Graeme Abraham on Dreamstime.

● “[A challenge] is just the varying beliefs about climate change. Some people believe in it and believe that it’s human caused. Some people don’t believe in it at all. Some people have kind of

in-between beliefs. And then not only that, it’s what their priorities are. At Extension we're promoting research- based factual information, but that doesn't always align with what people believe. And so that, I think, is always the biggest struggle. Right now for my programming, I would say it's definitely trying to get people to be more open minded about things” (R02)

Photo by NOAA on Unsplash.


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