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           Feb 28th, 2016

Dear <<First Name>>,

In this edition of The Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions (CICSS) Quarterly Chronicle, we want to highlight the annual Cornell University Climate Change Seminar, which can be viewed online from anywhere in the world. We also provide details on a few important developments here at CICSS and in the Climate Smart Farming (CSF) program since the new year.

As always, we will be back with another edition of the newsletter in the next few months. Until then, enjoy reading and please feel free to reach out with any feedback.

                                                                 - Jonathan, Allison, Mike, and David

P.S. We have updated our social media profiles below to reflect our name change and broader scope. For the latest on the Institute and other updates, follow our NEW facebook and twitter.


Cornell University Climate Change Seminar!

Perspectives on the Climate Change Challenge

This seminar series, which is free and open to the public (register in advance to view the webinar online), provides important views on the critical issue of climate change, drawing from many perspectives and disciplines. Experts from both Cornell and other universities will present an overview of the science of climate change and climate change models, the implications for agriculture, ecosystems, and food systems, and provide important economic, ethical, and policy insights on the issue. The seminar is organized and sponsored by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

The seminar series will run from February 6th to May 8th on Mondays from 2:55-4:10 P.M. in Warren Hall B25. Click on the flyer to the right for even more details on speakers and topics.


Quick Project Updates

Apple Freeze Risk Tool

As we send this newsletter, temperatures are 20-30 degrees above average in many parts of the Northeast. With climate change, warm spells such as these are becoming more common, which can cause apples to come out of dormancy earlier, putting them at increased freeze risk. In order to proactively respond to this phenomenon and give farmers the resources to mitigate their risk, the Cornell Climate Smart Farming program, through collaboration with the Northeast Regional Climate Center, has created the Apple Freeze Risk Tool (see below), focusing on apple stage and freeze damage probability. The tool depicts percent damage temperature versus observed temperature for 3 different apple varieties, over a specified date range, and also estimates the stage of development. The tool is usable for the entire Northeast region from West Virginia to Maine, and provides a 6-day forecast, as well as a view of the entire season to date. Click on the graph below to navigate to the CSF Tools website, where you can interact with this tool as well as many others!

New CICSS Postdoctoral Fellow

CICSS welcomes David Lane to our team as our new Social Science Postdoctoral Fellow. David comes to us from Oregon State University, where he received his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences, Ed.M., B.S., B.A., and Certificate in Applied Ethics. His research has focused on reframing environmental problems in order to better address complex issues such as climate change. David is also a linguistic enthusiast, and has taught Spanish and English. He is looking forward to getting to know Upstate New York through mountain biking, hiking, gardening, and research. He will be working with CICSS on two main projects: 1) assessing and building capacity for Climate Smart Farming decisions among agriculture and natural resource managers through focus group meetings, communication, and information exchange (partnering with the USDA NE Climate Hub, Penn State, and the University of Wisconsin), and 2) understanding agricultural stakeholders perceptions of weather and climate information and enhancing their understanding through education and dissemination of research outcomes through means such as cooperative extension. We are excited to be expanding the CICSS team and are glad David can help us grow as an Institute.

Winter Updates

CICSS has been very busy since the new year!
  • Online Course - The Climate Smart Farming Program, spearheaded by Jonathan Lambert and Allison Chatrchyan, along with support from the CSF Extension Team, has just finished its first online CSF course, in which over 50 students participated. The course was entitled BF 107: Climate Smart Farming, and was run through the Cornell Small Farms Program. Keep a look out for announcements regarding the second offering of the course, which will likely be scheduled to run in early 2018.
  • Climate Change in Vietnam - In January, Mike Hoffmann (Executive Director, CICSS), along with Senior Lecturer in Asian Studies, Thúy Tranviet, brought 10 Cornell students to Vietnam as part of a service learning course entitled "Climate Change Awareness and Service Learning in the Mekong Delta," which you can read more about in the Cornell Chronicle.
  • Social Science Research - Allison Chatrchyan (Director of CICSS, and Senior Research Associate) recently represented CICSS at the International Studies Association conference in Baltimore, and will be traveling to additional conferences throughout the year to share her research on climate change beliefs and decision making in agriculture and through decision tools.
  • Winter Producer Meetings - Every member of the CICSS team, including members of our faculty advisory committee, has come together to represent the Climate Smart Farming program at multiple regional winter meetings this season, including: the New York State Ag Society Forum, the Empire State Producers Expo, the Northeast Organic Farming Association meetings in NY and VT, and the Southern Tier Nursery and Landscape Education Day.
  • Drought Survey Research and Policy Brief - CICSS affiliated postdoc, Shannan Sweet, has developed a Research and Policy Brief summarizing the results of her and Dave Wolfe's drought survey from this past summer in New York. This will be available within the next few weeks on the CICSS Publications Page, so please check back if you are interested.

Resources of Interest

In this section, we share a few useful resources/events from internal (at Cornell) and external CICSS partners:
  • View the "USDA Adaptation Resources for Agriculture: Responding to Climate Variability and Change in the Midwest and Northeast," a useful guide produced by the USDA Regional Climate Hubs
  • CICSS Advisory Committee member, Johannes Lehmann, is excited about the upcoming "Carbon Farming and Biochar Workshop" on May 20th in Romulus, NY.
  • Check out the Guide to USDA Sustainable Farming Programs, which has a wealth of information on types of loans for farmers, as well as other useful programs.



CICSS 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 Smart Solutions!
Let us know if you have any feedback or further ideas or funding sources for CICSS by emailing us here.

If you are not subscribed, please consider joining our subscriber list for quarterly CICSS 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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