About Us

The National Extension Climate Initiative 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 is:

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.

Our Steering Committee is tasked with oversight of the Initiative and is open to any participant of the NECI network; current members of the Steering Committee include:

  • 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
  • Melissa Ocana, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • 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.