Climate Change and Agriculture: Food and Farming in a Changing Climate (Senate briefing)

Wed, 16 Jun 2010 14:30:00 GMT

Agriculture will be one of the industries most affected by climate change. Changing rainfall patterns and intensities, air temperatures, and cropping seasons will require the development of new, adapted agricultural systems. On June 16th, experts on climate modeling, cropping systems, crop breeding, and agriculture and natural resource economics will present information about how agriculture can adapt to a changing climate.

  • Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist; NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • Dr. Cesar Izaurralde, Laboratory Fellow; Joint Global Change Research Institute
  • Dr. Paul Gepts, Professor of Agronomy and Geneticist; U.C. Davis
  • Dr. Gerald Nelson, Senior Research Fellow; International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society of Agronomy, Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

For questions or to RSVP please contact Phillip Chalker at or 202-326-6789.

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig is a Senior Research Scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies where she heads the Climate Impacts Group. She has organized and led large-scale interdisciplinary regional, national, and international studies of climate change impacts and adaptation. She is a co-chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change and co-led the Metropolitan East Coast Regional Assessment of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change. She was a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Working Group II Fourth Assessment Report observed changes chapter, and served on the IPCC Task Group on Data and Scenarios for Impact and Climate Assessment. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she joins impact models with climate models to predict future outcomes of both land-based and urban systems under altered climate conditions. She is a Professor at Barnard College and a Senior Research Scientist at the Columbia Earth Institute.

Dr. Cesar Izaurralde is a laboratory fellow at the Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI), a collaboration of the University of Maryland with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). He is also an adjunct professor in the departments of Geography and the Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture. Dr. Izaurralde is a soil scientist with more than 30 years of research experience in agronomy, soil science, and ecosystem modeling. His current research focuses in the areas of modeling the impacts of climate change and variability on terrestrial ecosystems and water resources and carbon sequestration in and greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils. Before joining PNNL in 1997, Dr. Izaurralde served as Chair of Resource Conservation in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta, Canada. In his native Argentina, he studied at and later joined the Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias at Universidad Nacional de Cardoba. Dr. Izaurralde is Fulbright Fellow and a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.

Dr. Paul Gepts is professor of agronomy in the Department of Agronomy and Range Science at the University of California, Davis. His research and teaching program focuses on the evolution of plants under domestication and relies on a combination of genetic and genomic analyses, coupled with field work in centers of crop domestication, principally Latin America and Africa. Recent research conducted in Mexico has emphasized gene flow between wild and domesticated Phaseolus beans. He has taught courses on crop germplasm in Argentina and Italy, is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society of Agronomy, has published some 70 research papers and 40 review papers or book chapters, and has edited one book. Dr. Gepts was a member of an Ecological Society of America (ESA) task force that wrote an ESA position paper, Genetically Engineered Organisms and the Environment: Current Status and Recommendations. He co-authored a background chapter assessing the effects of transgenic maize on maize diversity in Mexico for the NAFTA Commission on Environmental Cooperation.

Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Nelson is a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He is an agricultural economist with over 30 years of professional and research experience in the areas of agriculture, policy analysis, land use and climate change. As co-leader of IFPRI’s global change program, he is responsible for developing IFPRI’s research in climate change modeling and spatially explicit assessments of potential adaptation and mitigation programs and policies. His previous professional activities includes leading the drivers of ecosystem services efforts of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, undertaking research that combines biophysical and socioeconomic data in quantitative, spatially-explicit modeling of the determinants of land use change, and understanding the effects of agricultural, trade and macroeconomic policies on agriculture and land use. Before joining IFPRI, Dr. Nelson was a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1985-2008) and an Agricultural Development Council specialist at the University of the Philippines, Los BaƱos. He received his PhD from Stanford University in 1982.


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