Meat & Livestock News

CSU’s Innovative Climate Change Roadmap: Charting the Course for Future Research

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In a notable advancement for climate science, Colorado State University (CSU) has introduced a comprehensive National Climate Change Roadmap. This initiative, funded by a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, was unveiled at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities’ annual meeting on November 13.

The roadmap is the brainchild of Eugene Kelly, Deputy Director of the Agriculture Experiment Station at CSU, and Jan Leach, a University Distinguished Professor. Their year-long collaboration with 61 scientists from 51 institutions across the nation has culminated in a strategic guide for future climate science research.

A central theme of the roadmap is the concept of ‘co-created science.’ This approach, as Leach explains, involves engaging those directly impacted by climate change, including farmers, ranchers, and Indigenous communities, in the research process. Their active participation is seen as key to developing practical and applicable scientific solutions.

The document outlines seven pivotal research areas: system-based innovations, the integration of energy-efficient agricultural technology, climate-smart water and ecosystem management, sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices, and the socio-economic implications of climate policy research.

Kelly and Leach envision this roadmap as a catalyst for collaboration between scientists, policymakers, and agricultural practitioners. They stress the importance of a multidisciplinary approach and innovative thinking in tackling climate resilience challenges.

The roadmap is set to influence not only USDA-funded research but also to serve as a valuable reference for other funding bodies. Kelly expresses hope that it will spark new research ideas and proposals, bridging the gap between scientific inquiry and agricultural practice.

The team’s composition also includes Courtney Shultz, Associate Professor and Director of the Public Lands Policy Group; Becca Jablonski, Assistant Professor of Food Systems Economics; and Erin Jackson, a CSU doctoral student.

Over the coming months, Kelly and Leach plan to showcase the roadmap to various academic and research institutions, including the National Academy of Sciences and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. They regard the roadmap as a living document, one that will evolve with ongoing contributions and insights from its diverse user base.