92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012
Stakeholder Engagement in the U.S. Central Region for Improving Regional Climate Services and Climate Change Education
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Natalie Umphlett, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE; and M. Shulski

The ongoing request among various users for timely and usable climate information as a decision-making aid has never been greater. From community groups to educators to agricultural sectors, there are specific needs in the type, format, and delivery of climate information and climate data products. The NOAA Regional Climate Center (RCC) Program has a 25-year history of providing tailored climate services to a diverse set of stakeholders (DeGaetano et al., 2010). There are several ongoing projects at the High Plains RCC, in cooperation with other groups, in which specific user groups are being targeted for study. A user needs assessment is underway in which local agricultural producers and agribusiness clients are being surveyed to find out their use of weather and climate information. Preliminary results through focus groups and one-on-one telephone interviews in the High Plains indicate systematic differences as a function of user group and decision type. Local results are feeding into a newly-funded U.S. Department of Agriculture project for the north-central U.S. spanning a 12-state region in which agricultural crops contribute $150 billion annually to the U.S. economy. This project will ultimately produce agricultural decision support tools related to climate variability and change. In order to provide our stakeholders with the most useful climate change information and tools, a pilot project recently funded by the National Science Foundation will gauge stakeholder knowledge and attitudes towards climate change. The baseline data collected from this project will be used to develop a strategic plan for creating relevant and effective climate change educational programs and resources.

Supplementary URL: