Oswego, NY Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Science can be exact and it can create a lot of Ã¢â‚¬Å“what ifs?,Ã¢â‚¬Â as with the possible impacts of climate change. David B. MacNeill of New York Sea Grant, Oswego, NY, is participating with a NOAA Ã¢â‚¬Å“Climate EngagementÃ¢â‚¬Â mini-grant project that will communicate the uncertainties of climate change to coastal communities in New York and in states from Maine to Virginia.
NOAA has provided funding to underwrite the climate change education outreach training of NOAAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s North Atlantic Regional Team and Sea Grant extension educators.
MacNeill is among the Sea Grant extension educators who will attend an April 12-14 workshop at the University of Rhode IslandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Coastal Institute in Narragansett, RI. After that Ã¢â‚¬Å“train the trainerÃ¢â‚¬Â session, MacNeill will participate in developing educational workshops for coastal citizens, business and community leaders, and other stakeholders.
Developing strategies for communicating the uncertainties of science to stakeholders is a long-term interest of MacNeill, a Fisheries Specialist with New York Sea Grant, Oswego, NY. MacNeill, brings recent expertise in communicating the factors that affect fisheries in Great Lakes ecosystems to this climate change project.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I will be working with educators throughout the Great Lakes and national Sea Grant networks to develop ways to help our coastal communities understand and adapt for potential climate change impacts,Ã¢â‚¬Â MacNeill said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“New York Sea Grant is currently the only Sea Grant program in the U.S. actively engaged in climate change outreach coordination in both Great Lakes and coastal marine environments,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Jim Ammerman, Director of New York Sea Grant. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is an important service that we can provide both for NOAA and our New York coastal communities.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In 2009, MacNeill helped co-organize and moderate climate change workshops in Charleston, South Carolina, for more than 90 Sea Grant specialists, communicators, program leaders and NOAA staff.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“These workshops created a baseline foundation for assisting community leaders, planning agencies and coastal businesses with adaptive planning for climate change impacts,Ã¢â‚¬Â MacNeill said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“For example, here in New York State this type of education takes a proactive approach to developing resources for dealing with such issues as flooding, erosion and storm surge along our Great Lakes shoreline.Ã¢â‚¬Â
NOAA National Sea Grant College Program Director Leon Cammen, Ph.D., said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Since our Sea Grant researchers and extension agents serve the local coastal communities in which they live, Sea Grant is well-suited to connect NOAA science to the needs of local coastal communities. Issues related to climate change are a Sea Grant priority.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Sea Grant is a nationwide network of 32 university-based programs that work with coastal communities. The National Sea Grant College Program engages this network of the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training, and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources.
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit: http://www.noaa.gov and http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov.
New York Sea Grant has worked with Cornell University and NOAAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s northeast Regional Climate Center to develop the East Coast Winter Storms Climatological and Forecasting Web site at http://nywinterstorm.org. Additional information is available at http://nysgextension.org.