AMES, Iowa -- The North Central Region Water Network’s Climate Intersections Conference will be held July 12-14 in Duluth, Minnesota. The theme is “Taking Care of People, Water and the Land,” and will feature emergent research and key programming that can facilitate solutions for resilient and equitable agricultural systems, communities and watersheds throughout the North Central Region and beyond.
Specialists from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will present on their findings from the inaugural “Conservation Practitioner Poll,” conducted in 2021 and designed to regularly collect data on the needs and recommendations of conservation practitioners on a wide variety of topics.
The poll was led by the Soil and Water Conservation Society in collaboration with Catherine DeLong, water quality program manager with ISU Extension and Outreach; J. Gordon Arbuckle, professor and extension sociologist at Iowa State; and Chris Morris, graduate student in rural sociology and sustainable agriculture, with support from the Walton Family Foundation.
The conference is a unique opportunity to gather in person with water, climate and natural resource professionals from across the North Central region. Conversations will focus on how professionals connect with the communities in which they live and work and how they can foster equitable solutions to the ways climate change impacts our water, work and way of life.
Kyle Whyte, a professor of environment and sustainability at the University of Michigan, is the keynote speaker. Whyte is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and will discuss Indigenous peoples and climate justice and the types of relationships needed to coordinate action to adapt and mitigate climate change.
On July 14, participants will hear from four panelists on “Approaching climate change from all angles: Exploring climate mitigation and adaptation at different scales.” The discussion will focus on how each person can work to address climate change.
Concurrent sessions will focus on solutions for creating resilient agricultural systems, helping communities adapt to extreme weather, and working in watersheds in times of change – regardless of scale.
The conference will also feature a cross-cutting symposium that will bridge all three conference tracks on the Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu, a collaborative effort that recently received the 2022 Minnesota Collaborative Adaptation Award and provides a framework to integrate Indigenous and traditional knowledge, culture, language and history into the climate adaptation planning process.
Attendees will also have an opportunity to get to know Duluth with a walking tour of downtown to see how the city is putting their Climate Action Work Plan into action. The two-hour, multi-stop tour will take place on July 12 and start at the conference venue, the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The $20 tour fee is separate from conference registration.
Although early registration has passed, attendees can still register online at https://northcentralwater.org/climate-intersections-conference/