Grass-Cast: a grassland productivity forecast to inform rangeland management decisions in the Great Plains & South West

The North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (NC CASC) is hosting Dr. Dannele Peck (Director, USDA NPCH) to present about the Grassland Productivity Forecast or "Grass-Cast" during their monthly webinar, 11 am MDT Thursday, May 13.

The Grassland Productivity Forecast or “Grass-Cast” uses over 30 years of historical data on weather and vegetation growth—combined with satellite NDVI data and seasonal precipitation scenarios—to predict if rangelands in individual ~6 mile x 6 mile areas are likely to produce above-normal, near-normal, or below-normal amounts of vegetation. Grass-Cast can help public and private rangeland managers throughout the Great Plains and Southwest adaptively manage lands by providing early warning of drought-induced vegetation shortages. It was first released to the public in 2018 for the Northern Great Plains, then expanded to the Southern Great Plains in 2019, and most recently to the Southwest states of New Mexico and Arizona in 2020. Originally developed to inform rangeland livestock management decisions, Grass-Cast can also be relevant for management and modeling of wildlife populations that depend on grassland habitat. As a member of the Grass-Cast science and outreach team, Dr. Peck looks forward to the unique opportunity this webinar provides to share Grass-Cast with a ecosystems and wildlife-oriented audience—to discover, together, its potential applications beyond livestock.

About the speaker:
Dr. Dannele Peck is Director of the USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub, based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. The Hubs connect working-land managers with science-based resources and partners to empower climate-smart decision-making. Prior to joining USDA Agricultural Research Service in 2016, Dr. Peck was an Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Wyoming. She specializes in decision-making under uncertainty, including agricultural drought preparedness and response, and disease management at the livestock-wildlife interface. Raised on a dairy farm in upstate New York, Dr. Peck is a first-generation college student and proud alumna of the McNair Scholars Program. She holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics, both from the University of Wyoming, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural & Resource Economics from Oregon State University.

Event Description
Grass-Cast: a grassland productivity forecast to inform rangeland management decisions in the Great Plains & South West
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