About Us

The National Extension Climate Initiative (NECI) was formed in 2019 by Extension faculty and staff, concerned that a more concerted effort was needed within and between states and regions and at the national level to coordinate and manage climate outreach activities, share resources, provide networking opportunities, and promote professional development. 

The Initiative welcomes participation by any interested Extension professional as well as professionals involved or interested in higher education climate education outreach and research.  In early 2021, we engaged our members in drafting a Vision Statement. 

The Vision Statement of the National Extension Climate Initiative
We envision a future in which Cooperative Extension recognizes the urgency of the climate crisis and is actively engaged in creating communities that ensure environmental and human health, social equity and justice, and economic vitality for all generations.

NECI’s Operating Guidelines and Executive Committee
In 2023 the NECI Steering Committee is transitioning to an Executive Committee after writing and adopting NECI’s Operating Guidelines. (Read the NECI Operating Guidelines.) More details and opportunities to contribute to NECI are coming soon.
Jennison Kipp, University of Florida Extension, NECI Co-Chair
Paul Lachapelle, Montana State University, NECI Co-Chair
Sabrina Drill, University of California, Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles County
Wendy Hamilton, New Mexico State University (Emeritus Professor)
David Kay, Cornell University
Ros McCann, Utah State University
Tracy Morgan, Washington State University
Betsy Newman, Western Rural Development Center
Eric Norland, USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Travis Burke, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Katy Hintzen, University of Hawaii
Shibu P. Kar, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Cynthia Nazario-Leary, University of Florida
Hans Schmitz, Purdue Extension
Rick Schumann, UF/IFAS Seminole Extension

The National Extension Climate Initiative serves to link climate change-related education and research across Extension program areas and associations. This effort is open to all professionals with the following objectives:

  • Promote climate education and research throughout the extension system.
  • Communicate regularly through inclusive and transparent practices.
  • Represent and coordinate participating Land and Sea Grant Universities, national associations, and related committees, organizations and partnerships.
  • Pursue active learning and collaborative efforts that enhance professional development.