Notes from USDA Climate Hub Webinar (July 19 at 1 pm EDT)
Webinar Q&A Notes from Dr. Wendy Fink, APLU:
How can universities get involved?
Hubs will be centers of activities but effective partnerships will be necessary to carry out
research and create information flow. USDA just recently increased its investment in research
on climate change: $60 million in 2008 to $100 million in 2012. Important component of hubs
Wil offices move or new duties be created?
No moving, but someone will have to be reassigned and their duties reorganized.
How can non-USDA folks get engaged?
One of first tasks wil be for hubs to develop plans of work and engaging stakeholders on
regional priorities. Listening session in each region. Hope to engage all stakeholders from
This will all occur within existing budgets. Currently spend $100 million a year on climate
change. We may need to reallocate $ to get hubs established. How can NIFA use their RFA’s in
2015 to reinforce the hubs? Asking LGU’s how they can better utilize their capacity funds to
deal with climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Wil there be international components?
There wil be opportunities for international col aborations with Canada and Mexico.
USDA will be working will tribal nations and using the 1994s could be important in getting
We are certainly interested in supporting efforts of states to mitigate and adapt climate change.
MOU signed in December and negotiating a sub-agreement under that MOU regarding drought
Are you receiving pushback from extension on climate science acceptability for using matching
No, there has been enthusiastic response. We are placing this in context of helping
stakeholders deal with climate vagaries.
Funding fol ows good ideas. If hubs meet stakeholder needs, funding wil fol ow.
Wil there be NRCS training to integrate hub information?
Only if USDA facility is on university campus.
How will hubs work with joint bioscience program?
Which region includes Guam, American Soma, and the Northern Marianas.
Insulars in Southwest region. Hawaii may be interested in Pacific subregion hub. Contact ARS
How can we find out which USDA facilities wil be applying? What if no one in my region wants
We finding strong interest internal to USDA. Two hundred individuals on similar call last week.
Could the hubs serve as a way to integrate data and information with respect to the region and
Yes, we hope they push data up to climate change assessment and other
national-level platforms and to build on expertise availability of one region to another.
How do regional hubs align with commodities and food production value change with value
We see this as closely aligning with those requests and needs. Dairy example given.
Where a hub may be located with NSF LTR or USGS Neon or NOAA RISA, there is obviously
Additional Notes from Dr. Steve Slack, OSU AES Director:
1. Presentation by William Hohenstein (USDA Climate Change Program Office, out of Chief
Economists Office) and Anne Bartuska. Over 100 on webinar call. Last week held USDA call-in; over 200.
2. Seven regions correspond to Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC); selected to match NOAA and other
3. Hub will need to established with an USDA facility (could be on a university campus as long as
the office is in a federal building on that campus). HUBS will be selected internally by USDA.
4. As Wendy notes, USDA currently commits $100M annually to climate variability/change. HUBS
will be operated by prioritizing current expenditures; no new money at least now. In ‘Q’ follow-up, the comment was made that ‘money follows good ideas’; also noted that AFRI prioritization and augmentation via capacity funds were being considered.
5. Emphasis is on building a comprehensive network (network of networks) where al 16 USDA
agencies, LGUs, and others can coordinate regionally; data can be handled regionally and ‘pushed up’. No regulatory functions wil be included.
6. MOUs to coordinate relationships will be encouraged. 7. They are looking to heavily involve the LGUs and desire both research and outreach capacities
of LGUs to contribute; Extension mentioned as critical for communication.
8. Some discussion on metrics but not defined; fundamental y, it wil be the adoption of
technology/practices to mitigate climate variability impacts/vulnerability of producers.
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