Climate Change Education: A Cross-cutting Issue in Natural Resource Extension Programing

Date & Time (Eastern): 
Apr 29 2021 - 1:00pm

Webinar Summary: 
The Renewable Resources Extension Act provides a framework and funding for Extension Programing that promotes healthy and productive forest and rangeland ecosystems.  Yet, a rapidly changing global climate has created uncertainty about the future of our natural resources and sowed disagreements over the science of climate change. While some Forest and Rangeland stakeholders may acknowledge climate change as an issue, many are skeptical of the science, and others completely deny the scientific evidence. Still, the sustainability of our forests and rangeland ecosystems depends on the ability of managers to adopt climate resilient practices. How can Extension professionals best engage stakeholder groups that hold a wide spectrum of views and successfully incorporate climate resilient practices into their programing?  


Resource Materials:

Disasters Happen: Identifying Disaster Management Needs of Cooperative Extension System Personnel 

Disasters Happen: We Can and Will Be Prepared

Building Climate Change Resilience in California through UC Cooperative Extension


This webinar will highlight: 

Dr. Paul Lachapelle is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Montana State University-Bozeman.  His teaching and research spans many disciplines and practices including community climate change resiliency, diversity and inclusion, and social justice topics.  His publications include the edited book, Addressing Climate Change at the Community Level (Routledge 2019) and Community Capacity and Resilience in Latin America (Routledge 2020), as well as journal articles on energy impacts in communities, democratic practice and local governance, and community visioning and leadership.  He earned a Ph.D. (Forestry) at the University of Montana's College of Forestry and Conservation with a focus on natural resource policy and governance and serves as Editor of the Community Development Society Current Issues Book Series and member of the Board of Directors (and past-President 2016-2019) of the International Association for Community Development. Dr. Lachapelle’s presentation is titled: The National Extension Climate Initiative: Providing Critical Leadership in the Anthropocene.

Susie Kocher, has been a forest advisor for the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) in the Central Sierra Nevada for 24 years, doing applied research, outreach and education on forest and fire ecology and management. Current projects focus on helping landowners increase their forests’ resilience to wildfire, drought, and climate change by developing forest management plans and conducting prescribed fires. Within UC ANR she is a co-chair of the Climate Change Program Team and the Fire Work Group, and a co-founder of the Disaster Work Group. She has an MS in Natural Resource Sociology from the University of Washington and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Iowa. She is a member of the California Governor’s Forest Management Task Force and a Registered Professional Forester. Ms. Kocher’s presentation title is: Climate-related Disasters Keep Happening: Working with Clientele and Extension Colleagues to Increase our Capacity to Prevent, Respond, and Recover from Them.

Dr. Mike Crimmins is on the faculty of the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona and is an Extension Specialist in Climate Science for Arizona Cooperative Extension. He has been in this role for 15 years working with ranchers, farmers, and natural resource managers across Arizona to integrate climate information in their planning and decision making and assisting them in developing strategies to adapt to a changing climate. Dr. Crimmins’ presentation is titled: Rain Gauges for Range Monitoring: Co-developing tools and best practices for ranch-scale drought direction.

Join the discussion

From Pam Knox during the webinar: Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network -

Here is the Recovering from Wildfire - Guide for California Forest Landowners publication I referred to

Supported By

This work is supported by the Renewable Resources Extension Act Program [grant no. USDA-NIFA–EXCA-005457] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

United States Department of Agriculture
The project to update the 2012-2016 RREA Strategic Plan was awarded to The Rangelands Partnership in 2016.