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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Sustainable Agricultural Water Systems Research » Research » Research Project #444458

Research Project: The USDA Climate Hubs – Supporting Natural and Working Lands Resilience by Co-Developing and Communicating Research-Informed Agro-Climate Practices

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Water Systems Research

Project Number: 2032-12610-002-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jun 15, 2023
End Date: Jun 14, 2028

The USDA California Climate Hub program will enable climate-informed decision-making through the successful development of science-based, region-specific syntheses, information products, decision support tools and technologies for agricultural, forestry and natural resource managers, and where possible provide assistance to enhance adoption and implementation of the same. The aforementioned will be accomplished through investments via three primary pathways: (i) data and information syntheses; (ii) tool and technology development, curation and implementation support; and (iii) convening to support technical assistance, training and information exchange. The work will be conducted as the California USDA Climate Change Hub (CACH) and will be coordinated with ARS, NRCS, USFS broadly and locally, and other USDA and non-USDA organizations in accordance with guidance found in the USDA Climate Change Hubs Charter, and Terms of Reference. The focus of these activities will be the regions natural and working lands, inclusive of all farms, ranches, forests and other production and natural systems however with special attention to agro-climate applications in specialty crop and forestry contexts. Objective 1: Enable climate-smart decision-making by developing science-based, region-specific information, tools and technologies for agricultural and natural resource managers, and provide assistance where possible to enhance adoption and implementation of the same. Objective 2: Expand and enhance each Hub’s research and communication capacity and ensure integration of ARS research outcomes from across the region into Hub outreach assets. Objective 3: Provide capacity to expand and enhance the hub’s climate-science, social-science, and economic-science resources and tools via enhanced collaboration with ARS research teams and other research partners to ensure impactful integration of ARS research outcomes from across the region into Hub outreach assets.

The CACH program will co-develop and produce science-based syntheses to elucidate expected climate impacts, stressors and/or disturbances using largely readily available climate and weather data. These outputs will lead to products to report and communication climate-linked impacts to natural and working land interests and assets that are place- and/or resource-based including climate scenarios (forecasts) and vulnerability assessments. Efforts will also include the translation of climate and weather data to communicate current conditions, extreme events and lookout forecasts. The program will also support and/or co-develop products resulting from novel frameworks, stakeholder need (or barrier) assessments, technologies or techniques leading to the advancement of practices founded in climate adaptation and mitigation science. Products may include but are not limited to peer reviewed, government, trade or technical assistance papers, reports, bulletins or articles. Investments and products that result from synthesized information sets or tools leading to an improved interpretation of and/or new understanding of changing natural and working land management systems in context of climate change in the form of decision support tools, toolkits, dashboards, factsheets, agriculture or forestry alerts will remain a core program focus. Generally speaking, this can include outputs akin to agro-climate or other climate informed agriculture or forestry decision support systems or web-based applications. These products will provide a better understanding of climate change information (literacy), facilitating improved management practices to both adapt and mitigate the effects associated with climate change. Designing, developing and organizing opportunities for information exchange, content appropriate/specific conferences, workshops, symposia, dialogs, field days, site demonstrations, trainings through convening of focused groups of managers, practitioners, scientists, technical assistance provider’s etc. Additionally, we will regularly produce, develop and disseminate information products in the form of newsletters, blogs, etc. using a variety of media including social, trade and popular outlets. CACH staff will contribute and serve on advisory and steering committees, give lectures, webinars, presentations to audiences that support the broader mission and function of the USDA Climate Hub program and needs and requests of stakeholders. We will also continually evaluate (assess) and communicate the needs of producers and managers to the science community as well as sharing science-based knowledge and applications to those that can act on that information.