UMaine experts among leaders in new Climate Adaptation Fellowship – I. Fernandez

The Climate Adaptation Fellowship, a peer-to-peer learning program designed to build climate resilience across farms, forests and communities, has launched its official website. According to a news release about the initiative, the Climate Adaptation Fellowship provides “a curriculum designed to give farmers, foresters, and advisors the information they need to adapt to climate change, bring climate change into their outreach programs, and talk about climate change with peers and colleagues.”

Ivan Fernandez, UMaine professor of soil science and Distinguished Maine Professor in the School of Forest Resources, Climate Change Institute, and School of Food and Agriculture, is a project co-principal investigator on the Climate Adaptation Fellowship leadership team. He also is on the four-member advisory committee and a content contributor on the forestry team.

Glen Koehler, who has directed the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Tree Fruit Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program since 1988, also is a Climate Adaptation Fellowship co-PI, and is lead author for the tree fruit curriculum module.

Other UMaine experts contributing on curriculum module teams are Lily Calderwood, UMaine assistant professor of horticulture and Cooperative Extension wild blueberry specialist, vegetable and small fruit team; and Rick Kersbergen, UMaine Extension professor, the dairy module lead author.

The Climate Adaptation Fellowship grew out of the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, a collaboration of United States Department of Agriculture agencies, with partnerships with the University of Maine and 11 other regional land grant universities.

Based in Durham, New Hampshire, the USDA Northeast Climate Hub is one of seven regional hubs nationwide formed to address increasing climate and weather-related risks to agriculture, broadly defined to include farms and forests. The partnership is focused on creating a network of information sharing designed to provide stakeholders with resources to both mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the challenges of a changing climate. The universities are active partners in developing, implementing and evaluating materials that describe how to best cope with increasing weather variability and longer-term trajectories of change in the climate system.

Fernandez serves as the UMaine point of contact for the USDA Northeast Climate Hub.