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USDA-FAS & USAID Delegates Visit the California Climate Hub

The University of California, Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences recently hosted the USDA California Climate Hub and a delegation of professionals from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to discuss how the Hub leverages its resources to support the academic community for the benefit of California’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other land managers.

Davis, CA

Six researchers from UC Davis joined the delegation to share how the California Climate Hub has supported their work. 

  • Assistant Professor Mark Cooper discussed the Multifaceted Pathways to Climate-Smart Agriculture project, a collaboration between UC Davis and the California Climate Hub funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Cooper, a co-principal investigator on the award, highlighted the project’s work developing an undergraduate extension service-learning course designed to develop a climate-ready agricultural workforce.
  • Assistant Professor Elisabeth Forrestel presented on her collaboration with the California Climate Hub to develop a rigorous review of the effects of extreme heat events on California’s perennial crops, which has led to continuing research on the relationships between irrigation practices  and vineyard health during extreme heat events.
  • Professor Yufang Jin shared details of a project, funded by Western SARE and supported by the California Climate Hub, focused on developing decision support tools for California ranchers and rangeland managers using high resolution satellite data.
  • Professor Isaya Kisekka highlighted the California Climate Hub’s assistance in establishing the UC Davis Agricultural Water Center and continued contributions to the Southwest Groundwater Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) project. The USDA NIFA funded project brings together researchers from across the Southwest and aims to alleviate groundwater overdraft and water quality deterioration.
  • Associate Professor Vikram Koundinya, an external evaluation specialist, shared how he has been able to utilize large datasets provided by the California Climate Hub to develop and improve methodologies for needs assessments, evaluations, and surveys.
  • Professor Emeritus Mark Schwartz, who has a long history of collaboration with the California Climate Hub, presented on a report released last year on the management of cultural resources in climate refugia in which Schwartz and Hub staff served as authors alongside scientists from USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station and UC Santa Barbara. Currently, Schwartz is working with the Hub to develop tools for forest management and reforestation.

This delegation was a part of the ongoing establishment of the USDA International Climate Hub. Modeled after the USDA’s ten regional Climate Hubs, the International Climate Hub was established to deliver tools, resources, and expertise in support of climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices to a global audience. The California Climate Hub hopes that the delegates left with a greater understanding of the versatile support that Climate Hubs can offer the academic community and how that support can aid in the mission of the Climate Hubs to promote climate resilience in America’s natural and working lands.