Category Archives: Event Announcements

ANNOUNCEMENT: NCRC Community Grants Program – Call for Letters of Interest

Header for the Community Grants Program, with description of what the program funds (also in text) The Northwest Climate Resilience Collaborative is accepting applications for funding of climate resilience projects through its Community Grants Program. The Resilience Collaborative, a program of the Climate Impacts Group, seeks to fund justice-focused, environmental and climate projects that advance community-centered resilience priorities. Nonprofits, community organizations and Tribes in Washington, Idaho and Oregon that serve frontline communities are eligible to apply. Letters of Interest for the Community Grants are due February 28, 2023.   Continue reading

Exploring the Nexus of Solar Energy and Agriculture: How Do We Invest in Climate-Friendly Energy While Ensuring the Future of our Food Supply?

By Addie Candib and Chantel Welch, American Farmland Trust

Series of solar panels over bare ground

By 2050, 90% of solar energy is expected to come from utility-scale projects in rural communities (Ardani et al. 2021). Photo: Camille Seamann/Solutions Project under CC BY 2.0

Given ambitious state and federal goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the pace of solar energy development is accelerating rapidly in the Pacific Northwest, placing significant pressure on the region’s agricultural land and its stewards. According to a US Department of Energy study, by 2050, 90% of solar energy will come from utility-scale projects in rural communities (Ardani et al. 2021). Our team at American Farmland Trust (AFT) recently looked specifically at solar development as a contributor to farmland loss (Hunter et al. 2022). In addition to the nearly 200,000 acres at risk of conversion to urban and low-density residential development, Washington State could lose as many as 86,000 acres to solar development by 2040 (Figure 1).  We estimate that about 80% of that development – or 68,800 acres – will occur on agricultural land. While this may not sound like a lot given Washington’s vast agricultural landscape, it’s equal to or more than the total acreages used by some flagship crops: barley (70,000 acres), hops (43,000 acres), cherries (39,000 acres), or onions (19,000 acres).

 The opportunity to lease land to solar developers may have considerable appeal for a farmland owner given the many challenges that face our region’s producers: unstable commodity markets, rising property values, labor shortages, climate change, and lack of successors, just to name a few. But solar leases also carry significant risk for the landowner and for the land. Here we discuss two approaches AFT is taking to help ensure that the interests and values of agricultural lands and landowners are equitably considered at all levels of decisions around solar development. Continue reading

ANNOUNCEMENT: Water Year Impacts Survey

Evening sky, with a center pivot over an agricultural field in the foregroundHappy 2023 Water Year! Now that the wet and dry swings of water year 2022 are complete, we want to hear from you! How was the Pacific Northwest Impacted?

We encourage you to fill out the Water Year Impact Survey. The goal of this survey is to gather information about impacts and response actions that were implemented during the 2022 water year (October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022) due to either abnormally dry or abnormally wet conditions.

The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete and your responses are vital for informing both the Water Year meeting and PNW Water Year Impacts Assessment.

We greatly appreciate your contributions!

If you are interested in learning more about the Water Year and the results from this survey, we encourage you to register for this year’s virtual Water Year meeting on October 25th and 26th.
Full Survey Link: https://forms.gle/U6NsdVsEYGygGhYw7

A Cornucopia of Opportunities for Domestic Produce

By David I. Gustafson, Adjunct Research Faculty at Washington State University

This article is part of a series, Climate Friendly Fruit & Veggies, highlighting work from the Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains: Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Opportunities (F&V CAMO) project, a collaborative research study co-led by investigators at the University of Florida and the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute. Other collaborators include researchers at the University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services, and Washington State University. This project seeks to identify and test climate adaptation and mitigation strategies in fruit and vegetable supply chains.

A pile of fresh vegetables, including carrots, potatoes, leafy greens and leeks

Eat your fruit and vegetables. Can farmers grow the necessary produce for all Americans to each five servings of fruits and vegetables daily? Photo: Shiela Sund under CC BY 2.0.

Most of our moms urged us to “eat our fruits and vegetables,” and multiple studies confirm this motherly advice. For instance, the U.S. National Institutes of Health recently reported that consuming more fruits and vegetable results in reduced mortality. Unfortunately, the same report tells us what we already know: most Americans don’t consume anywhere near the five servings a day needed for maximum health benefits.

But what if we did? Could America’s farmers grow all of that additional produce? Continue reading

ANNOUNCEMENT: SoilCon is Returning in February 2022! Register Today

Logo. SoilCon: Washington Soil Health Week, February 22-23, 2023 #WASoilConThe Washington State Soil Health Initiative, with support from Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, is proud to announce that SoilCon is returning in 2022. This virtual conference will bring research, extension, and production together to discuss soil health parameters at a local, regional, and global scale. The conference will be held February 22nd & 23rd, with sessions from 8:00am-12:00pm PST each day.

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Announcing NCA5 Public Engagement Workshops

By Holly Prendeville, USDA Northwest Climate Hub

The National Climate Assessment is a major U.S. government report on how climate change affects people and places in the United States. In January and February 2022, there are a number of public engagement sessions for each chapter of the 5th National Climate Assessment. At these workshops, you will have an opportunity to share your thoughts on the climate change-related issues most important to that chapter (see chapters at this link). The U.S. Global Change Research Program and the chapter authors will be present to collect your thoughts related to the chapter and they will use this information to decide which topics to cover in the chapter of the 5th National Climate Assessment.

Consider attending one or more of these workshops and sharing this information with your colleagues, partners, and networks. The full list of workshops and registration links can be found on USGCRP’s website. Here are a few key events relevant to the Northwest Climate Hub region (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington):

January 11 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Human Social Systems Register

January 11 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity Register

January 12 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Energy Supply, Delivery, and Demand Register

January 12 | 8:30 AM –1 PM AKST Alaska Register

January 18 | 10 AM–2 PM ET Sector Interactions, Multiple Stressors, and Complex Systems Register

January 18 | 11 AM–3 PM ET Land Cover and Land-Use Change Register

January 18 | 11 AM–3 PM ET Air Quality Register

January 18 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Tribal and Indigenous Peoples Register

January 25 | 1 PM–5 PM ET Oceans and Marine Resources Register

January 26 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Coastal Effects  Register

January 28 | 1 PM–5 PM ET Agriculture, Food Systems, & Rural Communities Register

January 31 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Economics Register

February 1 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Forests Register

February 1 | 9:30 AM–2 PM PT Northwest Register

February 1 | 2 PM –6 PM ET Transportation Register

February 7 | 11 AM–3:30 PM ET Adaptation and Resilience  Register

February 7 | 1 PM–5 PM ET Mitigation Register

February 9 | 10 AM–2 PM ET Climate Effects on U.S. International Interests Register

February 9 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Water  Register

February 11 | 11:30 AM–3 PM ET Human Health Register

 

 

https://www.globalchange.gov/content/nca5-engagement-workshops

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources at Washington State University is Hiring!

Washington State University logo

Are you interested in integrating research, extension, and communication to help build more resilient and sustainable agricultural systems in Washington State, the Pacific Northwest and beyond? Join our team as a new, full-time Assistant Applied Scientist! Our active projects are developing tools to forecast, assess and manage current and future water resources for agriculture and other multiple purposes, including municipal uses and flows for fish and hydropower. They also include projects to explore more resilient dryland cropping system strategies, and projects that use advanced data and robotics to improve perennial crop management. Continue reading

Save the Date: 2021 Columbia River Basin Long-Term Water Supply & Demand Forecast Workshops

Header with photo of Columbia RiverJoin us to learn about the draft results of the 2021 Columbia River Basin Long-Term Water Supply & Demand Forecast!

The Washington Department of Ecology in conjunction with Washington State University is preparing the 2021 Columbia River Basin Long-Term Supply and Demand Forecast.

As part of the process we’re getting ready to share the report with stakeholders who rely on water supplies in Eastern Washington. Comments on the report will begin June 2 and run through July 2, with online meetings planned for June 8 and June 17.  Today we’re inviting you to put this on your calendars and to pre-register for one of the meetings (see details below).

Issued every five years, the Long-Term Water Supply and Demand Forecast provides a generalized, system-wide assessment of how future environmental and economic conditions are likely to change water supply and demand by the 2040s across Washington’s Columbia River Basin. Changes are evaluated for four spatial layers: the entire Columbia River basin, Eastern Washington’s watersheds, Eastern Washington’s aquifers, and Washington’s Columbia River mainstem.

The Washington Water Research Center at Washington State University leads this effort in close collaboration with Ecology’s Office of Columbia River. The Forecast results inform water supply planning efforts, and help OCR strategically fund water supply projects by improving understanding of where additional water supply is most critical for meeting water needs, now and in the future.

Register at https://ecology.wa.gov/2021Forecast to join us at one of two upcoming virtual meetings to learn about the preliminary Forecast results and comment on the draft report:

  • 2:30-5:30 pm, Tuesday, June 8 
  • 8:30-11:30 am, Thursday, June 17

If you can’t attend a meeting, you will still be able to review the draft report and comment once the draft Forecast is released on June 2. When it is ready, the draft Forecast will be available at https://ecology.wa.gov/2021Forecast. The website will also include links and contact information for commenting.

If you have further questions, please contact Jennifer Stephens at jennifer.stephens@ecy.wa.gov or (509) 575-2396.

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Climate Change in Extension: Elevating and Amplifying Action

Hillslope covered in trees, with fog or smoke in the background, and the title of the conferenceWhat is the current state of affairs and where are we headed with regard to climate change programming in Extension? Discover more by joining “Climate Change in Extension: Elevating and Amplifying Action,” a virtual national action forum hosted by the National Extension Climate Initiative April 19-21, 2021. There is no fee to participate and all are welcome. Below is the agenda and link to register.

Agenda: https://nationalextensionclimateinitiative.net/events/ and below.

Register here: https://forms.gle/XnWZZW6mpdSE5Urd6

Continue reading

ANNOUNCEMENT – SOILCON, Washington’s Soil Health Week

Don’t forget to register for this upcoming event!

SoilCon logoWashington State University’s Soil Health Initiative with sponsorship from Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education will bring together soil experts from around the world to discuss soil health. This virtual event will occur during the week of February 8-12, 2021 with sessions from 9:30-11:00 AM and 1:00-2:30 PM (PST) each day.

Our understanding of soil health’s role in agro-ecosystem productivity, sustainability, and product quality is evolving. “SoilCon: Washington Soil Health Week” will bring together worldwide experts on soil health in an engaging virtual setting.

 Topics include:

  • Status of Soil Health in the United States and Washington State
  • Soil Health Indicators
  • Soil Health Specific to Washington’s Production Systems
  • Lessons Learned from Long-term Soil Health Research

These topics will be relevant to producers, consultants, agricultural professionals, University faculty and students, policy makers, conservation districts, and interested members of the general public.

Attendance is free and open to all.

 For more information and to register: https://pheedloop.com/wasoilcon/site/home/