Webinar to focus on climate change’s impacts on regional food systems

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Climate change and its implications for regional agriculture is the topic of a free web-based seminar being offered at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 25. The webinar is sponsored by the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, which is directed by Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

“There is growing interest among those in the agricultural community about how the temperature and precipitation changes that are forecast to occur over the next decades may affect food production in the Northeast region,” said Goetz, who will co-facilitate the webinar. “While yields for some crops may be adversely affected, new opportunities may also emerge for growing other crops that could not be grown previously.”

This 90-minute webinar will feature scientists whose research focuses on these issues. Art DeGaetano is a professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University and is director of the federally supported Northeast Regional Climate Center. DeGaetano, who describes his research as “applied climatology,” develops research methods and data sets that provide climatological information to decision-makers in a variety of fields.

David Fleisher is an agricultural engineer in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As a member of the ARS Crop Systems and Global Change Lab, Fleisher carries out research to improve the growth, yield and quality of crops in the face of climatic changes, through increased understanding of the mechanisms controlling response and adaptation to changes in CO2, light, water, temperature and soil chemistry.

The webinar will be moderated by Doolarie Singh-Knights, assistant extension professor of agricultural and resource economics at West Virginia University and the local and regional foods scholar at the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development. As the Center scholar, Singh-Knights organized this webinar to help identify current research, teaching and extension efforts that promote practical and profitable responses to climate change challenges. She also expects the webinars to promote regional collaboration in these areas.

“We organized this webinar series as part of the Northeast Center’s efforts to help build stronger networks among land-grant and related institutions in the Northeast,” said Singh-Knights. The webinar is the third in an occasional series organized by Singh-Knights that focuses on local and regional food systems. Previous webinars in the series are archived online.

Register for “Climate Change: Implications for Local and Regional Food Systems” online or contact Singh-Knights by email for more information.

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Last Updated April 17, 2014