Extension Climate/Extreme Weather Programming

clientele when it comes to climate-related challenges, and what does Extension need in order to meet these challenges? These gaps suggest a number of necessary first steps, including: assessing climate change literacy and attitudes, both within Cooperative Extension and among Extension’s clientele; assessing current Extension programs and program areas for existing climate-related content; comparing notes within the region to identify areas of complementary endeavors. II. Capacity Building within Cooperative Extension . Extension professionals cannot pass along knowledge and tools to their clientele which they themselves do not possess. Implicit in a comprehensive approach to climate change within Extension is the need to establish (i) a substantial level of climate literacy, including the integrated nature of climate issues affecting the nexus of food, water, and energy, among Extension faculty and agents; and (ii) a collection of tools and resources upon which they can draw. Development of this base of knowledge and resources should occur in several stages: generalized training; specialized training; and development of resources to accomplish both. III. Interstate Extension collaboration and partnership development . There understandably exists variation among the needs of Extension’s clientele. Utah’s agricultural community differs greatly from California’s. But there also exists considerable overlap. Consequently, where it makes sense to share information and resources collaboratively, effort should be made to do so. One example of resources that will likely be highly transferable are basic Extension training tools, such as videos and websites. These could be developed collaboratively and widely shared. IV. Program content identification, development, delivery and assessment . As Extension moves from developing capacity within its own ranks, to delivering content to clientele, there will be a need to identify information and tools useful to different clientele; integrate these into existing programs; potentially develop new programs; deliver this content; and dynamically assess the efforts. Key in this endeavor will be collaboration among Extension specialists, faculty and agents, climate change experts familiar with the work that’s already been done, and leading organizations providing solutions using an integrated lens. In addition to the consensus reached at the UC Davis 2015 summit, the need to educate and include those within Extension was also highlighted in a Journal of Extension article, where the researchers found that despite the overwhelming scientific evidence of anthropogenic induced climate change, Extension is not adequately educating and preparing its clientele about the issue (Morris et al., 2014). In fact, in a study with 2,758 Extension professionals in the Southeast Region, less than 50% stated they either sometimes or often use the terminology “climate change” in any of their outreach, and under 35% in all Southeast states were participating in any climate change continuing education (Wojcik et al., 2014). The need to increase Extension C/EW programming combined with the urgency of climate change resulted in the 2019 development of the national administrative-level Climate Coalition and the Extension specialist and agent-led National Extension Climate Initiative (NECI). In just over a year since


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