Climate Services at the Local Scale

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Thursday, 21 January 2010: 12:00 PM
B212 (GWCC)
Nancy Selover, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

State Climate Offices provide climate services at the local and regional level, frequently one person at a time. While many State Climate Offices are associated with sea or land grant institutions, where outreach and community service has been institutionalized in cooperative extension programs, others do not enjoy such broad support for outreach activities. In this time of budget cuts and shrinking staff, the emphasis is on delivering climate products and services through the Internet. This leaves many people un-served for two reasons. First, there are still many people who do not have Internet access, and second, the information sought by many people is not yet the subject of extensive research and climate product development. Similar to orphan drugs, there are orphan climate products; those that meet the needs of relatively few individuals. The Arizona State Climate Office is not associated with a land grant university, and benefits from an association with the southwest RISA, CLIMAS, and the Western Region Climate Center. We direct users to WRCC or CLIMAS products when they exist, and we create products when we have multiple requests for the same product. Most of our users are not groups with funds available for research or analyses, so we perform simple analyses at no charge for non-commercial users. Commercial users are charged for our time and complex analyses require research funding through the University, often in collaboration with CLIMAS or WRCC. The strength of the Arizona State Climate Office is in knowing where to find the answer to a climate question, and the one-on-one personal communication with our users.