Working Groups

NECI Working Groups are essential to any and all of our accomplishments as an Initiative. They address specific topics. 

Interested in joining a Working Group? Sign up here! For more information about the Working Groups and how you can get involved, please contact the appropriate Chair listed below or our NECI Executive Committee Chair David Kay at

Each working group holds separate meetings and will post updated information on their respective NECI Connect Extension forums found at:

Communications: Facilitate internal and external communications; Connect to learn from and partner with existing climate communication experts; Investigate strategies to develop communications with new stakeholders.
Chair: Sabrina Drill,

Curriculum Development: Coordinate the development of existing and new climate-based curricular materials; Work with partners like Federal level employees, USDA Climate Hubs, etc. to develop and promote new materials (ex. national youth climate stewards curriculum); Work to develop community programs on energy literacy, green workforce development, volunteer corps, etc.
Chair: Jennifer Wightman,

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee: Investigate strategies to engage with marginalized populations to address meaningful and impactful change; Work with other committees on developing resources to educate about and empower allyship in Extension climate justice work; Investigate strategies for shifting away from information exchange and harness knowledge of different world views to build relationships engaging diverse knowledge forms as the foundation for driving action. Chair: Paul LaChapelle,

Professional Development: Organize NECI’s monthly professional development webinars and additional PD opportunities. Inventory, design and/or implement professional development trainings for everyone in Extension; Implement regional conferences/meetings between USDA Climate Hubs and state Extension employees.
Chair: Hans Schmitz,

Extension Policy: Identify, strengthen, and develop new relationships, partnerships, and pathways to leverage and grow current work on climate change; Facilitate compensation of expertise; Encourage land grant universities/administration to support climate programming by identifying or designating state-level Extension specialists/faculty points of contact; Improve willingness to act throughout the system.
Chair: Roslynn McCann,

Evaluation/Survey Committee: Develop a unified tool/set of indicators to measure/assess climate progress and impacts and increase accountability of Extension programs and leaders; Conduct national needs assessment of what major stakeholders need to know with regards to climate change. Chair: Wendy Hamilton,