Webinar Archive

Climate Tools from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center

February 2024

The Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) provides high-quality climate data, tools, interactive maps, and customized services for the Midwest and the nation. This webinar, featuring Melissa Widhalm, showcased various free products and services offered by the MRCC to support agricultural production and water resources management in the north-central US. Featured products included a soil temperature climatology, a custom chilling hours tool, and a first/last freeze date trend tool.  

Climate Change and Agronomics (Illinois Indiana Climate Webinar Series)

December 2023

In this webinar, we joined the Illinois Indiana Climate Webinar Series. This webinar featured Jeff Volenec of Purdue Agronomy. Volenec’s research aims to understand how crop plants adapt to stress, including climate change, and to explore how genotype x environment x management interactions might be used to enhance plant productivity and resilience. His work encompasses perennial plants that must endure the heat and drought of summer, but also must survive stresses associated with winter and still thrive.

Adapting to Change…with Marilyn Thelen

October 2023

This webinar featured Marilyn Thelen, who retired from MSU Extension after serving as the associate director for the MSU Extension Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute. In her presentation, she looked back over her career and discussed the adaptations that allowed her to gain knowledge, understanding and leadership skills. She discussed her journey with climate and how our changing climate impacted both her career and farming operation. Finally, we discussed how extension can play a role in affecting producers’ understanding and adaptation to a changing climate.

Drought Monitoring and Seasonal Forecasting

August 2023

Hydroclimatology is a field which encompasses both the terrestrial and atmospheric components of the hydrologic cycle. This webinar featured Dr. Zack Leasor an assistant professor in climate science at the University of Missouri where he serves as the Missouri State Climatologist and Director of the Missouri Climate Center, who explored how hydroclimatic data can be used to better understand land-atmosphere interactions and improve climate prediction and drought monitoring.

Climate Action

June 2023

In this talk, building on the recently published The Climate Action Handbook: A Visual Guide to 100 Climate Solutions for Everyone, Dr. Heidi Roop, Director of the University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership and an Assistant Professor of Climate Science and Extension Specialist at the University of Minnesota, showcases the many opportunities we each have to leverage our strengths, skills, and passions to chart an impactful climate solutions journey. Climate solutions surround us. Where will your climate solutions journey take you?

A Buried Bond: The connection between healthy soil and healthy communities

April 2023

In this talk, Brenda Hoppe, environmental epidemiologist, climate resilience researcher and proud descendent of Wisconsin dairy farmers, discusses 1) the state of knowledge around the soil health-human health nexus, 2) the advantages of public health for soil science research and stewardship, 3) considerations of farmers and ag-based economies, and 4) opportunities for advancing cross-disciplinary research, public awareness campaigns, and climate resilience actions to save our soils and fortify public health.

Integrating climate change research and outreach in the Midwest: lessons from the social sciences

February 2023

Adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change is a technical, social, and political challenge that will require significant changes across all aspects of society. This is particularly the case in the Midwest, which is expected to receive an influx of climate refugees over the coming century. In this talk, Stuart Carlton, Assistant Director of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program, reviewed his research to share lessons on climate change beliefs, communication, to discuss how scientists, policymakers, and outreach and Extension personnel can work together to build a climate-ready future.

National Climate Assessment and Climate Tools 

December 2022

The last North Central Climate Collaborative webinar of the year covered slightly different topics, both in the realm of climate.  Dr. Aaron Wilson provided a brief introduction to the draft version of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), now available for a 12-week public review and comment period and Dr. Laura Edwards discussed climate tools available for use in the Midwest, with a focus on mesonet capabilities in South Dakota.

Enhancing Soil Health – Opportunities for Climate Mitigation & Adaptation 

October 2022

Soil health has received heightened interest because of its association with long-term agricultural sustainability and ecological benefits. Yet, questions remain regarding soil health’s role in climate mitigation and adaptation within row-crop agriculture. This webinar featured Christine Sprunger, Assistant Professor of soil health in the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. Dr. Sprunger explored three key aspects of soil health and climate change: 1) Soil health in the context of climate mitigation via soil carbon sequestration, 2) Soil health responses to climatic stress and 3) Insights into best management practices for enhanced soil health and climate adaptation.

Managing Nutrients and Water in a Changing Climate

August 2022

In the middle of the North American continent, Minnesota sits in an interesting and dynamic climatic region. At the edge of the humid-to-dry climate transition, and with long, harsh winters that are warming faster than almost anywhere else in the United States, it faces some unique challenges and opportunities as the climate changes. In this webinar, University of Minnesota Extension Educator Greg Klinger discusses some of these potential challenges related to agricultural management of water and nutrients.

The power and perils of partnership: volunteer monitoring histories as complex spatial networks

June 2022

In powers and perils of partnership Liam F. Bean, a Master’s Student at Montana State University, discusses the life cycle and network development of three different volunteer water monitoring programs in the state of Montana. This webinar highlights how trust in volunteer data are formed and how data are used (or ignored) in the complex water governance processes in a headwaters state. Liam presents his actor network theory inspired approach to unpacking the complexities surrounding the development of trust in science beyond the deficit model of science education.

The Strength in Numbers: Assessing the Impact of New and Emerging Field Crop Diseases

April 2022

Changes in climate and production practices have led to new and emerging diseases in corn and soybeans. Assessing the impact of new diseases across a broad geography has traditionally taken extensive time. However, the formation of the Crop Protection Network, a multinational group of university research and extension pest management specialists, has created a platform for information exchange about these diseases. The Network has developed interactive yield loss tools to assess the impact of new diseases and more effectively link causal issues, such as climate, to these losses. This webinar features Kiersten Wise, Professor in the department of Plant Pathology at the University of Kentucky, who explores these tools.

Climate Change 2021: A Summary of the IPCC’s 2021 Physical Science Basis Report

October 2021

This webinar summarized some of the key take-aways of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” with Dr. Heidi Roop. Roop is the Director of the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership and an Assistant Professor of Climate Science at the University of Minnesota. Heidi discusses the broader global picture, discussed the scientific advances made since the 2013 5th Assessment report, and explores the regional implications of this report for the United States, with a focus on the Midwest and Northern Great Plains.

Drought Decision Calendars for Specialty Crops

December 2020

This webinar highlighted a recent project engaging specialty crop growers in the Midwest to better understand the seasonality of their decisions and drought information needs. The project has resulted in graphical decision calendars for grape, apple, cranberry, and irrigated potato production. Decision calendars describe the timing of management practices and decisions that are made throughout crop planting, growing, harvest, and dormant seasons, along with the climate-related concerns that impact the outcomes of management decisions. Decision calendars can help identify opportunities for inserting climate information into a decision process. This webinar discusses how decision calendars can be used to communicate and improve the usability of drought/climate monitoring and prediction science.

Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate

October 2020

The Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate (AACC) project was conducted with the goal of building capacity among Extension professionals and other livestock advisors to address climate change issues. The AACC project team learned some pivotal lessons early during the multi-regional project that were foundational to the development of key products and delivery of regional and national programs to over 1400 professionals. This webinar highlights lessons learned along with program deliverables and impacts. It also discusses the issue of methane production in beef cattle and some specific techniques that either increase or decrease production per day, per body weight, and per production outcome (like weight gain).

Weather-Ready Farms:  An Extension Resilience Resource

August 2020

The University of Nebraska Extension has developed a program in which farmers are certificated at different tiers for their use of practices science knows to promote resilience to extreme weather events.  This webinar featured a discussion of the development of that curriculum, current issues, and related resources for use by those in other states.

Conservation Drainage: Managing Water for the Future

June 2020

Tile drainage is widespread throughout the Midwest.  As weather patterns continue to shift toward more precipitation outside of the growing season and less precipitation during the growing season, water management will need to continue to adapt to provide resilience. Conservation drainage is a concept that incorporates methods of storing water or treating water in the landscape or edge-of-field to increase resilience and improve water quality while maintaining the agronomic benefits of tile drainage.  This webinar will cover some of the recent research in conservation drainage, how they can be incorporated into new and existing practices, and what the future of conservation drainage might look like.

Bioenergy and Ecosystem Services – What’s Next?

April 2020

COVID-19 has drastically impacted our nation’s people, economy, and politics.  This webinar features David Ripplinger of North Dakota State University Extension who discussed the current social, economic, and political situation as it pertains to biofuels and ecosystem services and what you can expect moving forward.

Missouri River Basin Flood Outlook

February 2020

2019 saw record-setting flooding across many parts of the North Central Region, and many areas are continuing to deal with excess water. This is especially top of mind as we head into the spring. This month’s webinar featured Kevin Low, river forecaster for the National Weather Service’s Missouri Basin River Forecast Center, who summarized the operations of the National Weather Service Missouri Basin River Forecast Center and provided a briefing on the 2020 Spring flood risk across the basin.

Climate for Cities: Increasing the Capacity for Cities to Effectively Plan for Climate Change

December 2019

Rising temperatures, greater variability, shifting precipitation patterns, and more extreme rain events due to climate change pose current and future challenges for cities. Impacts permeate across many aspects of municipalities – infrastructure, health, recreation, utilities, emergency operations, etc. Proper adaptation requires a knowledge and understanding of climate projections and how future changes will influence specific municipal concerns. This webinar featured Dr. Martha Shulski of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and discusses the Climate for Cities program which aims to enhance decision-making and increase capacity of both small and large communities to effectively plan for change.

Climate Change’s Impact on Field Crop Diseases 

October 2019

This webinar featured Daren Mueller, Associate Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist at Iowa State University. Mueller is the coordinator of the ISU Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program which, among other things, develops several publications about field crop pests, leads the ISU Field Extension Farm and is involved in several STEM education projects. In this webinar, Mueller explores how climate change and changing management practices can affect corn and soybean diseases.

Adaption Resources for Agriculture: A tool for assisting agriculture producers in adapting to climate variability and change

August 2019

This webinar featured Mike Wilson, Senior Scientist at NRCS and one of the authors of Adaptation Resources for Agriculture, a publication by the USDA Climate Hubs (USDA Hubs Publication). The workbook is designed to allow extension specialists, technical service providers, and others to guide producers through a five-step process to better understand the short and long-term impacts of climate on their production system and how they can meet their land management goals while considering climate variability.  Processes in this workbook are key to creating an open dialogue for discussing producer motivations and developing an action-based response.

Why Climate Matters to the Health of People in the Northern Great Plains 

June 2019

Dr. Jesse E. Bell is the Claire M. Hubbard Professor of Health and Environment in the Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. His research explores the relationships of climate and extreme weather on natural and human processes. He served as a lead author for the U.S. Global Change Research Program report “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment” that was released by the White House in 2016.

Understanding and Interpreting Climate Outlooks

April 2019

In this webinar we hear from Jon Gottschalck of NOAA’s, National Weather Service (NWS) Climate Prediction Center. Jon provides an overview of the types of information included in the Climate Prediction Center’s long lead climate outlooks, how these outlooks should be used and interpreted as well as some of the science used in preparing these operational products and services.

Climate Change and Human Health

February 2019

Whether it is heat stress, air pollution, or the risk of vectorborne diseases, changes in climate and an increased frequency of extreme weather events impact public health. Tune in to our February webinar and hear from Elena Grossman with the UIC School of Public Health and Colleen Moran of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as they discuss the connection between human health and climate change. Elena and Colleen will overview the CDC’s Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (or BRACE) Framework for helping communities prepare for the health effects of a changing climate, and explore various tools and resources helping local communities prepare for extreme weather events.

Highlights from the 4th National Climate Assessment

December 2018

This webinar features Martha Shulski, one of the Contributing Authors on the Northern Great Plains chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which was recently released on November 23rd. Martha serves as the State Climatologist for Nebraska and is an Associate Professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Starting the Conversation at Home: The Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment

October 2018

Melissa Widhalm of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center (PCCRC) discusses how scientists and decision makers from across the state are working together to elevate the conversation about climate change issues through the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment (IN CCIA). Widhalm explains the assessment’s process and participants, including their approach to involving stakeholders and dissemination efforts.

The Impact of Wind Energy on Rural Communities

August 2018

Sarah Mills of the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, presents data from surveys of 3,200+ landowners in 10 Michigan townships with windfarms to provide insight on the effects of wind turbines on local communities — not just on how the landscape looks, but the effects of wind turbines on farm incomes, local government services, and relationships with neighbors.

Understanding Climate Information’s Impact on Farm Decision-Making

June 2018

Tonya Haigh, Rural Sociologist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, discusses the results of a farmer and advisor survey administered across the US Corn Belt on the climate information’s influence on farm decision-making.

Understanding Climate’s Impact on Soil

April 2018

South Dakota State University Extension Soil Field Specialist Anthony Bly discusses the climate’s impact on soil properties and what this means for producers, educators, and advisors.

Regional and Local Climate Services through Partnerships Across the North Central Region

February 2018

Doug Kluck, NOAA Regional Climate Services Director for the Central Region, overviews regional and local climate services across the region and outlines current and future opportunities for information delivery and engagement.