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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

IFAS receives award for work in reducing climate change

A UF-led group of scientists and researchers across the Southeast have received national recognition for their outreach in reducing climate change.  

The Southeast Climate Extension project was awarded the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Multistate Efforts. The partnership award recognizes groups and organizations for their contribution to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s mission to improve agricultural science.

The Southeast Climate Extension organization is a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded climate extension project. It was founded in May 2011 at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The group hopes to increase the awareness of climate science, develop and conduct workshops, and produce educational material across the Southeast.

Clyde W. Fraisse is an associate professor at UF and the program director of the project. He worked on the development and implementation of AgroClimate, an information and decision support system that helps the agricultural industry reduce climate risks in the Southeast.

Fraisse said the award should establish the project’s  leadership in climate and agricultural science in the U.S.

The project consists of 19 members from six universities: UF, University of Georgia, Florida State University, Auburn University, Clemson University and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Nine of the members are from UF. 

“I think my favorite parts are learning from farmers about their challenges and helping to find and promote the management solutions to deal with these challenges,” said Daniel Dourte, the project coordinator and a UF post-doctoral research associate.

Within the project, Dourte helped develop a web-based tool designed to give specific estimates of water consumed in agricultural production. Working long distance has created some challenges, including overcoming communication problems and finding ways for everyone to contribute, he said.

But he said the award will shed light on the significance of the researchers participating in the climate extension project.

“This is an emerging field, and I think it reflects really well on University of Florida to be home to this important project,” he said.

[A version of this story ran on page 9 on 11/7/2014]

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