Extension Climate/Extreme Weather Programming

intersectionality with BIPOC communities and lack of resources and opportunities addressing inclusion and climate issues, particularly those with a climate justice focus. 7. Several respondents described situations of Extension administrative and/or collegial censorship related to climate change programming . Threats or attempts to passively preclude or actively censor Extension professionals from engaging in science and evidenced-based climate and extreme weather programming is counter to common standards of academic freedom and, given the ‘objective and research-based’ foundation upon which Extension bases its programming, should be condemned and addressed immediately. 8. We heard several ardent criticisms of traditional Extension programming and inability to evolve and innovate. Specifically, there were multiple references to the ‘good ol’ boy’ mentality with administrative support structures resistant to working on climate change. Similarly, we documented several references to Extension’s relationship to industry and fear of jeopardizing funding. There were also references to a lack of leadership and commitment to serving the public trust. 9. The topic of climate change is often cited as polarizing and poses a challenge to Extension professionals, who often find the science, especially the uncertainty, confusing and the political atmosphere challenging. Further, support to address the politicization of the topic can be lacking from colleagues, partners and administrators. Respondents also described the potential political implications and concerns for retribution in providing particular aspects of science- based information. 10. Our interview respondents revealed ongoing challenges with communication, specifically terminology choice and message framing when working with certain audiences and clientele. Examples included being careful with word choice around supervisors or depending on the constituency particularly as it pertains to climate change. Certain words and concepts were avoided so as to not offend or alienate others. We note word choice is less about scientific knowledge and understanding associated with terms and concepts, but rather the political implications of what and how certain science was presented. The prevalence of this challenge among early adopters of climate and extreme weather Extension programs also suggests an unmet need for professional development in strategic climate communications and issue framing. 11. Climate change denial among Extension colleagues was also described as impeding the ability of Extension professionals to work with their colleagues or to feel that the environment was safe to plan and implement programs. 12. There seems to be little coordination between seemingly disparate programs . Specifically, collaboration between Land and Sea Grant institutions could be much further enhanced and coordinated. While there are some regional and national efforts, the only national initiative that attempts to draw in Extension educators across programs and deals primarily with climate change and extreme weather is the National Extension Climate Initiative. While there are a


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