Cooperative Extension (CE) has over 100-years of experience in delivering science-based decision support to clientele from multiple sectors. The CE structure enables a high level of connectedness and awareness of local issues and provides opportunities to assess local and multi-sector climate services needs. We will to work through CE offices to capture snapshots of local climate science and services needs across rural areas of AZ and NM. Since CE agents in these states work closely with both private land owners/producers (e.g. ranchers and farmers) and state/federal natural resource managers, we will be able to assess both the needs and interconnections between private and public resource managers, consistent with the ‘nested matrix’ concept of assessing climate change impacts and responses at multiple scales.
This project is part of the US National Climate Assessment (Assessment) coordinated by the US Global Climate Research Program.
The Assessment's purpose is to synthesize, evaluate, and report on what we presently know about the potential consequences of climate variability and change for the US in the 21st century. It has sought to identify key climatic vulnerabilities of particular regions and sectors, in the context of other changes in the nation's environment, resources, and economy. It has also sought to identify potential measures to adapt to climate variability and change. Finally, because present knowledge is limited, the Assessment has sought to identify the highest priority uncertainties about which we must know more to understand climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and our ability to adapt. This project is part of a more comprehensive assessment led by CLIMAS that includes: “Knowledge Exchange and Needs Assessment on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Colorado River”, “Poverty and Climate Change in the Southwestern U.S.”, and “Climate Mitigation and Agriculture: Public Policy Education”.
These projects seeks to build upon CLIMAS’s well established network of stakeholders and collaborators to: 1) broaden the scope of our existing work into new domains (e.g., urban poor populations), emerging challenges (e.g., impact of mitigation policies on agriculture in the Southwest), and underrepresented parts of our region (e.g., the Rio Grande river basin); 2) make critical linkages amongst ongoing adaptation efforts across the region, and 3) expand the reach of CLIMAS’s network (e.g., by directly engaging the Cooperative Extension service on climate adaptation needs and capacity). Collectively, these projects will contribute tangible inputs to the US National Climate Assessment effort (e.g., new analyses of climate vulnerabilities and implications of mitigation policies, catalogs of ongoing and planned regional adaptation and mitigation efforts, and locally focused understanding of adaptation and mitigation needs and capacity). In addition to these product-based inputs, these projects will also help develop critical knowledge network infrastructure in support of the explicit desire for this National Climate Assessment effort to build a robust and enduring process.