Bringing Together Cooperative Extension and NE CASC for Climate Adaptation

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As more NE CASC projects come to completion, the opportunity to share research-based outputs to an expanded audience of end users has increased. The translation and application of climate science data and products are paramount to effective on-the-ground adaptation.  Extension staff at land-grant universities have a translational role in providing guidance to municipalities, private landowners, farmers, and other practitioners making natural resource management decisions. They work closely with academics, nonprofits, and state agencies to deliver research-based information and approaches. This project will identify extension partners leading on climate adaptation in our region, provide insight on where and how some of these partners and their stakeholders are using NE CASC products, and deliver any new information. It will also propose next steps to strengthen extension connections within the NE CASC region through a community of practice or network model and allow for better science delivery moving forward.

  • Based on Phase 1/output 1 of project, there are a number of climate adaptation extension professionals who could be brought into closer collaboration through this project. There aren't that many explicit climate adaptation or reslience coordinator positions similar to mine. Extension Programs varied wildly across states. Many websites were scant and lacked basic information. Further investigation on existing regional and national networks and groups is needed (Phase 2 happening next).
    • Initial conversations with key stakeholders - USDA Climate Hub lead, UMass CAFE Director, UNH Extension counterpart.
  • Phase 2- Conversations with practitioners to date and research on existing related initiatives indicate: a breadth of NE CASC mission-relevant Extension efforts, great interest by practioners in learning about work of counterparts in other states and suggestions on how that might operate, existing related but not duplicative efforts that have climate practitioner participation, great potential to increase NE CASC visibility and sharing of products through these existing channels, and space for additional structure for science delivery and knowledge exchange among Extension climate practitioners working across topic areas from agriculture to coastal systems.
    •  Additional conversations/semi structured informal interviews with Extension climate practitioners from various Northeastern states, and with coordinator of USDA eXtension Climate Learning Network.
  • Phase 3 - Reviewed  relevant initiatives through Climate Hub and SeaGrant as well as NE CASC projects webpage. We recommend 1) developing stronger ties between Extension practitioners and the NE CASC such as through an outreach one-pager and targeted recruitment email and 2) building a community of practice/cohort of Extension climate practitioners across natural resource sectors to build capacity and knowledge exchange. I'm looking forward to collaborating on these!
    • Conversations/semi structured informal interviews continued including next steps with USDA Climate Hub Lead