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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Climate Change Discussed at Community Events

Kansas NSF EPSCoR is playing an important role in determining how Kansas farmers and policy makers can mitigate the effects of climate change.  Part of the process is interacting with the public to discuss the relevance of their work.  Several recent community events featured the expertise of KNE researchers on the topic.

Chasing Ice

Two CCM team members were included in a panel discussion on climate change sponsored by Kansas Climate Action, working with Sierra Club Southwind Group at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, KS.

Event poster
The discussion featured three perspectives:
  • THE POLITICAL: Kansas Representative Dennis Hedke, Geophysicist with Hedke-Saenger Geoscience, Ltd. and author of The Audacity of Freedom
  • THE FARMER: Donn Teske, Executive Director of the Kansas Farmers Union
  • THE SCIENCE BASED: Charles W. Rice, University distinguished professor, Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University and Johannes J. Feddema, Department of Geography, University of Kansas, both KNE lead researchers
The July 13 panel discussion was moderated by Carol Barta, Librarian with the North Central Kansas Libraries System and followed a screening of the documentary film Chasing Ice.


2013 Summer High Plains Drought Outlook and Assessment Forum

Dr Charles Rice, also CCM Project Director, moderated a panel session on crop and soil management for water at the 2013 Summer High Plains Drought Outlook and Assessment Forum. His presentation included conservation practices to mitigate and adapt to drought conditions. The Forum was presented by the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), Kansas Water Office, NOAA Regional Climate Services and National Drought Mitigation Center on July 24th in Colby, Kansas. Eighty-nine participants including researchers, managers, extension, and producers from Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska came together to discuss the evolution and outlook of the drought, issues of concern, and management practices relative to the multi-state region.
Stunted wheat in Logan County, Kansas
Photo by Larry Schwarm. Used by permission.

The Forum was part of a series of events and informational webinars held since the beginning of the current drought. The morning session focused on the evolution and outlook of the drought, including presentations from those involved in monitoring, assessing and predicting our climate. The afternoon session featured panel discussions on issues of concern and management practices relative to the multi-state region.

Another Drought Forum is planned for January 9-10, 2014 to be held in Garden City, KS.  For more information contact Bethany Perry at Bethany.perry@noaa.gov or 816-268-3133.


Climate Change and Its Local, Regional and International Implications

Dr. Johannes Feddema was also one of several panelist at an event addressing questions of “What are the facts?” about climate change, “What can we do about it?” and “Where do we go from here?”

Gathering data on wild wheat samples, Saline County, Kansas
Photo by Larry Schwarm. Used by permission.
At once one of the most talked-about, yet misunderstood, issues in American life, climate change is already having some significant impacts—here in Kansas, regionally, and around the world. The panel discussion was held to bring good, fact-based information about how the issue is affecting us now, and how it will continue to affect our lives and our society in the future.  Feddema elaborated on the science of climate change while others covered its effect on national security, Kansas agriculture and rural life, and faith and moral issues.

College Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita hosted the event on October 13.  It was sponsored by Southwind Group of Kansas Sierra Club and Kansas Interfaith Power & Light.

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