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           June 1st, 2016

Dear <<First Name>>,

The Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture (CICCA) Quarterly Chronicle summarizes announcements, upcoming events, news/past events, and highlights some of our constantly-developing resources, tools, and videos. Please spread this newsletter far and wide to whomever you believe would find it useful.

                                                                                                - Jonathan, Allison, and Mike


What's New at CICCA?

Climate Smart Farming Decision Tools

The Cornell Climate Smart Farming (CSF) Program, an interdisciplinary program of CICCA, has developed a new website and suite of climate-based agricultural decision support tools, aimed at helping farmers make more informed decisions in the face of increasing climate variability and change. Specific tools were developed based on the major climate impacts to agriculture in the Northeast, and through collaboration with the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC) at Cornell. The initial CSF tools are now available for use on the site, and include a Growing Degree Day (GDD) Calculator, Freeze Risk Tools, and an Irrigation Scheduler. Other third-party tools such as a drought monitor, seasonal forecasts, and greenhouse gas accounting tools are also available on the site.
For further information on the tools and how to use the CSF Website, you can watch an online webinar sponsored by the USDA Climate Hub, and given on May 18th by Dr. Allison Chatrchyan (CICCA Director) and Dr. Art DeGaetano (NRCC Director). 

New tools will be updated regularly on the site, and the CSF team is planning for additional CSF decision tools. It is also important to note that the CSF tools are very new to the site, so some users may experience slight difficulties on certain browsers. However, we are constantly updating the usability of the tools, so please check back for new updates!

Additionally, the site features information about our CSF Extension Team, trusted resources and best management practices, an online forum to interact with other agricultural professionals, and our CSF videos and other multimedia.

Executive Director Visits Vietnam

CICCA Executive Director, and Vietnam War veteran, Mike Hoffmann, traveled back to Vietnam this year to gain a perspective on how the coastal nation is responding to the threat of climate change. Dr. Hoffmann traveled with Dr. Chuck Geisler, Professor in Development Sociology, and will also be returning next year with Dr. Thuy Tranviet via a new course entitled "Climate Change Awareness and Service Learning in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam," which is part of the push toward "internationalizing Cornell's curriculum." The trip was also highlighted in an article in the Cornell Chronicle.

CSF Exhibit: New York State Farmers in Their Own Words

On May 5th, the CSF Program's exhibit entitled "New York State Farmers in Their Own Words" opened with a reception at Mann Library's 2nd floor Gallery on the Cornell campus. Special Guests included Dale Stein (Stein Farms), Paul King (Six Mile Creek Vineyard), and Glenn Evans (Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station), who spoke about their experiences with extreme weather and climate change, and how they are adapting to increase their resiliency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The exhibit is up through August, and features museum-quality photos, high resolution videos, and an oversized interactive touchscreen for exploring the CSF website. Another event associated with the exhibit is scheduled during Cornell Reunion Week for Friday, June 10th at 10:00 AM, where Professor Toby Ault will speak on the topic of megadroughts, and anticipating the extremes of a changing climate. Following the talk, there will be a reception with Mark Doyle (Fishkill Farms) and Thor Oechsner (Oechsner Farms), two farmers whose climate-smart initiatives are being featured in the exhibit.

Building Climate Literacy

In honor of this year's Earth Day celebration, CICCA participated in two separate events to promote climate literacy throughout the Cornell and Ithaca community. CICCA was a co-sponsor of Cornell's annual Springfest on Friday, April 22nd, and also set up a table at this event, which attracted participants ranging from elementary students to University professors. The following day, CICCA took the display table, along with the "trivia wheel of climate literacy" to the inaugural Climate Solutions Fair in Press Bay Alley in Downtown Ithaca. Connecting with the local community through outreach events and promoting a climate literate community is one of CICCA's core goals.

Helping CICCA Grow

With the help of undergraduate research assistants Amanda Vargo and Rachel Erlebacher, CICCA has set up a platform for accepting donations. CICCA and the CSF Program were kickstarted through the backing of a few small grants and foundations, but we still need and welcome your support to continue to build out tools and training for farmers, municipal leaders, natural resource managers, youth, and policymakers. Money raised in the past has gone toward developing decision tools, our resource clearinghouse of best management practices, and the CSF forum, and will continue to support these projects. CICCA accepts tax-deductible donations on our website (and by clicking on the picture to the right).


4-H Career Explorations

The 4-H Career Explorations Program is aimed at providing junior-high and high-school students with first-hand exposure to various academic fields and career opportunities, and introducing youth to a college setting and Cornell University. This year, Jonathan Lambert will host the first climate change career explorations session at the event, which will hopefully serve as a template and catalyst for development and pilot testing with 4-H. This year's Career Explorations event will be held at Cornell University from June 29 - 30th. 

Empire Farm Days

Each year, CICCA attends the annual Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls, NY. This year's event is from August 9 - 11th, and we look forward to sharing the latest information about our Climate Smart Farming program at the largest outdoor ag trade show in the Northeast. Members of the Climate Smart Farming Extension Team will also be available to answer any questions about climate adaptation and mitigation on your farm.

Climate and Agriculture Focus Groups

CICCA is interested in producers' experiences with the impacts of extreme weather or other changes in climate on their farms, and is in the process of conducting a cutting edge social science research project to better understand farmer views and adaptations to climate impacts. We have already conducted a number of focus groups with specialized groups of farmers, and will continue to conduct these throughout the summer.

These focus group discussions enable farmers to learn more about how their peers are responding to climate impacts, and will help universities and the USDA develop new information and tools to support farmers to adapt and thrive in a changing climate, and become more energy efficient. Participation is completely voluntary and confidential, but feedback is very important to the project. 

The next focus group will be held on Tuesday, June 28th at the CCE St. Lawrence County Office in Canton, NY, with dairy producers, and will include FREE dinner. If you know of a dairy farmer who is interested in this opportunity, please email us! We will also be holding additional focus group sessions later this summer with tree fruit and grape producers, and farm consultants, so please stay tuned.

Climate Change Seminar Wraps Up

Earlier this month, the Cornell University Climate Change Seminar wrapped up for the semester, after a total of 12 talks from climate change experts at Cornell and visiting experts from New York University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Topics covered included the science of climate change and climate change models, the implications for agriculture, ecosystems, and food systems, as well as important topics in economic, ethics, and policy insights on the climate change. The seminar was organized and co-sponsored by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture, and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. Plans are in the works to continue the series in the spring of 2017. Talks and abstracts can be viewed on the seminar website, and by clicking on the flyer to the right.

Recent Conferences and Events

CICCA has been represented at a number of meetings and has given various talks over the past months. These events allow the Institute to broaden its reach, and gain insights from stakeholders, policymakers, and the general public. A list of our events attended is below:
  • Association of American Geographers Conference in San Francisco, CA (Joana Chan)
  • Rotarians District Annual Conference in Ithaca, NY (Mike Hoffmann)
  • Cornell Connecticut Alumni Association in Hartford, CT (Mike Hoffmann)
  • USDA Climate Hub Webinar Training on Climate Smart Farming Website (Allison Chatrchyan and Art DeGaetano)
CICCA is planning on attending several meetings and conferences over the next few months. Please email us if you would like us to speak at an event you are organizing.

Your Seasonal Forecast

Every month, The NOAA NWS Climate Prediction Center releases a 3 month seasonal outlook for the upcoming months. This is the best available prediction for what the climate will be like in the next few months, and is also available on the CICCA Tools webpage. For the summer months from June to August, it looks like a higher chance for a warm summer here in the Northeast, with New England looking at a higher chance of a rainy summer too.

CICCA Team Spotlight

Each quarter, we highlight members of our CICCA team, including those working in Ithaca, and those working throughout New York State. In this edition, we highlight CICCA advisory board member, Dr. Art DeGaetano, and Climate Smart Farming Extension Team member, Dr. Darcy Telenko.
Faculty Advisory: Dr. Art DeGaetano is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell. He is also the Director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC) and Associate Chair of Earth and Atmospheric (EAS). Art serves on the CICCA Campus Advisory Committee, and has been instrumental in the development of the climate-based decision tools, which are now available.  He also gave a lecture on the basics of climate science at the Cornell University Climate Change Seminar, and supports CICCA in many other ways at meetings, conferences, and other events. Art has been at Cornell since 1991, but was previously an Assistant Professor at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. focusing on Climatology and Horticulture from Rutgers University.
CSF Extension Team: Dr. Darcy Telenko is a regional vegetable extension specialist for the Cornell Vegetable program. She currently serves twelve western New York counties, where she focuses on fresh market vegetable productions, weed management, and climate change resiliency. She brings a broad experience base to CICCA, beginning with a B.S. from Cornell, an M.S. in plant and soil science from Southern Illinois University, and a Ph.D in plant pathology and crop sciences from North Carolina State University.  Her post-doctoral work includes studies in weed management of turf grass and agronomic crops at the University of Florida and disease management of agronomic crops at Virginia Tech.

Multimedia Spotlight

Climate Smart Farming Story: Adaptation and Agriculture

Adaptation & Agriculture

CICCA's 13 Climate Smart Farming videos capture farmers’ perceptions of risk from extreme weather and climate variability in the Northeast, and the practices they are putting in place to adapt to these changes and reduce their GHG emissions. In the video featured here, various New York farmers and Cornell University researchers discuss observed changes in extreme weather and climate variability on their farms and what specifically is being done to mitigate and adapt.

Additional Resources

Latest Climate Change Information Housed on New Website
This Cornell Chronicle article featuring CICCA Advisory Member, Art DeGaetano, introduces the New York Climate Change Science Clearinghouse website, which provides climate change data and information specific to New York.

WRFI Radio Interview with CICCA Director, Allison Chatrchyan
Esther Racoosin, from Ithaca's local WRFI station speaks with CICCA Director, Allison Chatrchyan, about the Climate Smart Farming: New York State Farmers in Their Own Words exhibit currently in Mann Library.

Cooling Cows to Improve Calf Health and Long-Term Productivity
Dr. Kim Morrill, a member of the CSF Extension Team, and Regional Dairy Specialist, has written this article about heat stress and cow cooling in the dairy industry, and how these impact productivity.

Food Security Interventions are a Vehicle for Climate Change Mitigation
A team of researchers at Cornell (including Dr. Johannes Lehmann, a member of the CICCA Advisory Committee) and Jimma University (in Ethiopia) produced this short document and graphic.

For additional news about climate change and Cornell's response, see the Cornell Climate Change website.  And, for supplementary information to this newsletter, please visit the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture website and the Climate Smart Farming Program website.



CICCA’s research, education, and outreach work is made possible through funding from several grants, including USDA NIFA Federal Capacity Funds (Hatch and Smith Lever funds), the USDA NE Climate Hub (through an Agricultural Research Service, Cooperative Agreement), and through the insightful funding from the New World Foundation, Local Economies Project. We gratefully acknowledge our funders' support.

Thank You

Thank you very much for supporting the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture!
Let us know if you have any feedback or further ideas for CICCA by emailing us here.

If you are not subscribed, please consider joining our subscriber list for quarterly CICCA and Climate Smart Farming updates, and send us an email if you have anything you would like considered for the next issue!
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