SERCH Marks First Anniversary

UGA's Calvin Perry (l.) and Gary Hawkins (r.) demonstrating a soil moisture instrument that transmits data to a remote sensor that in turn informs a precision irrigation system as part of SERCH field tour. Photo by Steve McNulty.
As part of SERCH field tour, UGA’s Calvin Perry (l.) and Gary Hawkins (r.) demonstrate a soil moisture instrument that transmits data to a remote sensor that in turn informs a precision irrigation system. Photo by Steve McNulty.

The Southeast Regional Climate Hub (SERCH), established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to deliver science-based information, tools, and technology on climate variability and change to farmers, ranchers, and forest land managers in the Southeast, is celebrating its first year and success in growing a network of producers, educators, and researchers. This network is helping develop and deliver the tools and strategies needed to address climate-related challenges such as drought, heat stress, excessive moisture, longer growing seasons, and changes in pest pressures.

In its first year, SERCH:

  • Hosted a series of twelve stakeholder webinars and calls to learn about current needs and priorities;
  • Launched the SERCH website and joined the North Carolina State University Global Change Forum online;
  • Collaborated on a project with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to connect conservation concerns and practice standards with climate variability and change;
  • Attended dozens of meetings and working groups with landowners, producers, and extension partners to understand how southern farms and forests are preparing for and responding to climate variability and change with adaptive management practices;
  • Initiated and leads the coordination and development of the national Tools Database project;
  • Expanded engagement with tribes and other minorities through outreach with 1890 land grant universities and tribal networks at multiple conferences and events; and
  • Conducted outreach with deans of land grant universities and extension leaders across the Southeast to learn about research and outreach efforts and pave the way for future collaboration.

SERCH also started the SERCH and FIND newsletter, designed to provide periodic updates about the Hub’s activities, and SERCH LIGHTS, an alert service that couples interesting, useful information with a map-based subscription service. SERCH LIGHTs sends an alert based on the user’s location and sector. The first alert product focused on how drought impacts different sectors such as agriculture and forestry, notifying subscribers about information and tools are available in their locations. The goal of this unique service is to provide science-based information that is locally useful and delivered in time for strategic and operational decisions.

For more information, email Jennifer Moore Myers at jmooremyers@fs.fed.us

Visit the SERCH website to sign up for SERCH & FIND and SERCH LIGHTS.

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