May 9-11 Meeting Launches Climate Change Research Project

Thursday, May 5 2011


Written by Bill Loftus

MOSCOW, Idaho – Scientists and farmers from Idaho, Washington and Oregon will gather on the University of Idaho campus May 9 to 12 for the official launch of the $20 million, five-year project to study the effects of climate change on the region.
The project, Regional Approaches to Climate Change in Pacific Northwest Agriculture, is led by Sanford Eigenbrode, an entomologist in the University of Idaho's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. It is the largest competitive grant in the institution’s history.
Eigenbrode will provide a public presentation and overview about the project Monday at 3:30 p.m. followed by a reception and poster session at 4:30 p.m. in the University of Idaho Commons Clearwater and Whitewater rooms.
"Most importantly, we want to share the vision for the project with the academic and the civic community," Eigenbrode said. The meeting will feature an exhibit displaying 57 posters showing research by project scientists and others.
The poster session will focus on research that applies to climate variability and agriculture in the region.
Much of the meeting will be focused on business aspects of the project, ranging from communicating with different audiences to using new research tools and methods.
The project team includes some 30 scientists from the University of Idaho, Washington State University, Oregon State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Research will focus on how climate change may affect wheat and barley production, which generated $1.5 billion in sales in the three states in 2009.
"The meeting will provide background on two critical pieces of cross-cutting technology that the project will rely on," Eigenbrode said.
"One is the application of new GIS tools for climate research and the other is an introduction to all of the economic frameworks that we'll be using," he said. "These are two pieces that are so important and integrated in the project we wanted to educate ourselves on those."
The farmers attending serve on the project's stakeholder advisory committee. "That component is critical for project execution and will set the pattern for stakeholder interactions," Eigenbrode said.
Learn more about the grant and the research team online: reacchpna.uidaho.edu/reacchpna.