BLAINE – How should land grant universities prepare to respond to the impacts of globalization and climate change on agriculture, natural resources, and communities?

A daylong symposium on that topic will kick off the western region joint summer meeting of land grant universities, being hosted by Washington State University. The meeting will attract leaders from colleges of agriculture and natural resources, Extension, and agricultural research stations from 13 western states and four Pacific territories.

The symposium will be held on Monday, July 20, starting at 8:30 am, at the Semiahmoo Resort near Blaine, Wash., launching the three-day meeting.

The symposium will start with a discussion of global climate change and its impacts on the west presented by Philip Mote, Director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University. Formerly a research scientist at the University of Washington, Mote was one of the lead authors of the assessment report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As a result, he shared a Nobel Prize with thousands of other participating scientists.

Washington State Department of Ecology Director Jay Manning will then discuss public policy issues related to climate change, with special emphasis on agriculture and natural resource management. Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed Manning to lead her Climate Advisory Team that has recommended a number of public policy changes to address the issue.

The two speakers will then discuss the topic with a response panel and field questions.

At noon, the symposium will hear from Rajiv Shah, President Obama’s nominee to become U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary of Research, Education, and Economics and Chief Scientist. He will discuss the impacts of poverty, population growth, energy depletion and globalization in developing countries. Shah has been Director of Agricultural Development for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In that role he managed the foundation’s programs focused on reducing poverty and hunger by improving agricultural productivity.

At 1:30 p.m., Guy Palmer, director of the WSU School for Global Animal Health, will discuss the impacts on both human and animal health of climate change and increased human interaction. Palmer is a Regents Professor in the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine and serves as director of the infectious diseases training program for the National Institutes of Health.

The afternoon speakers will then continue the discussion with a response panel and take questions.

The cost to attend the symposium is $35 per person. Advance registration is available at https://www.regonline.com?eventID=703343&rTypeID=251313. For more information contact Joy Thompson at 509-335-4194.