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USDA California Climate Hub Receives USDA Forest Service Region 5 Partnership of the Year Award

The California Climate Hub responded to the needs of USDA Forest Service partners to develop and deliver climate literacy and web-based climate tools trainings.

Sacramento, CA

The USDA Forest Service Region 5 recently awarded the California Climate Hub the 2023 Honor Award for Partnership of the Year for their efforts increasing the climate literacy of USFS R5 employees and key external partners through a series of trainings. The trainings familiarized participants with relevant information on climate and climate models and gave them hands-on experience using two web-based climate data tools: Cal-Adapt and Climate Toolbox

Lauren Parker, Steven Ostoja, and Jennifer Smith (left to right) hold their USFS Region 5 2023 Honor Awards.

This tools-focused approach provided interactive opportunities for participants to visualize climate projections and assess potential impacts to forests and natural resources. Hub Program Manager Jennifer Smith, who led the trainings, said, “​​Our partnership with Region 5 allowed us to bring these trainings to each of the region's zones and tailor the content to the climate-related issues that are top of mind for the managers in each. Giving participants dedicated time to practice using these resources themselves, with people on hand to troubleshoot and discuss questions, seemed like a crucial step.”

A parallel training effort delivered workshops focused on the use of cross-jurisdictional geospatial data to reduce wildfire hazard and increase forest resilience. These workshops also used an interactive approach and gave participants hands-on experience applying the data.

Hub Director Steven Ostoja and Hub Program Managers Jennifer Smith and Lauren Parker received the award in December at the Regional Forester and Station Director Honor Awards in Sacramento. The Honor Awards recognize, “employees and partners who represent diverse approaches, while sharing the same commitment to restoring, enhancing, and sustaining forest lands in California, Hawai’i, and the Pacific Islands.”