Extension Climate/Extreme Weather Programming

number of additional related national efforts, they do not explicitly focus on climate change and extreme weather. There could be a much more focused emphasis and increased coordination across states, regions, and nationally. 4 Opportunities 13. We note both from the interview data as well as our analysis of the entire data set that there is a sense of urgency to increase climate change and extreme weather programming broadly and within and across disciplines; we also note a need to increase investment in resources including professional development, salaried personnel (FTEs), dedicated specialist and coordinator positions, and related resources associated with climate change and extreme weather programming. 14. Program impacts are largely unknown ; while there are some attempts to document and evaluate program outcomes, we found few examples and even fewer standardized methods of gauging program success and growth potential. Both standardized and context-based evaluation templates could be collected, developed and shared. 15. There is great potential to share programming experience, knowledge and resources within and between states, regions, and nationally. While many states may offer several climate or extreme weather resources such as factsheets or webinars, few have coordinated programs linking the resources and the various people and departments working on them; we note the lack of coordination may be the result of poor communication across the state system, or a more concerted effort to not draw attention to climate change and extreme weather. 16. A locally-based approach can be used to better prepare Extension professionals about the science behind climate change, and how best to teach about it. The evidence suggests that the best objective approaches to increased understanding of climate change include those that focus on the practical implications using locally-based research results. 5 This opens an opportunity to examine and promote successful locally-based approaches, and hire climate change/science/communications agents and specialists in each state, particularly given the new USDA Climate 21 Project Transition Memo. 6

4 We note the ‘silo-effect’ often encountered in higher education can limit abilities to address major environmental issues facing our clientele. In reference to the Land Grant Extension system, Hill and Seger (2018) report “...our system-wide culture of autonomy and entrepreneurship can often lead to a silo effect - a general lack of cooperation and integration of information” (p.65). 5 Morris, Megalos, Vuola et al. (2014) propose a “tiered approach to effectively communicate climate change adaptation strategies to agriculture and natural resource Extension clients: Extension should provide climate science information to early adopters and emphasize risk management of specific threats to clients not convinced about climate change, focusing on local solutions and familiar management tools.” 6 Climate 21 Project United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): https://climate21.org/usda/


Powered by