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Preparing Farmers for a Changing Climate

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 | 06:00 PM

Burke Auditorium, Kroon Hall | 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT
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Please join us Tuesday, October 29, for a conversation with William Hohenstein, Director of USDA’s Climate Change Program Office.

Please join Please join the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy (YCELP) and the Yale Climate & Energy Institute (YCEI) on Tuesday, October 29, for a conversation with William Hohenstein, Director of the Climate Change Program Office for US Department of Agriculture.

His talk, which offers an overview of how USDA is helping producers with climate change adaptation and mitigation planning, begins at 6:00 PM in Kroon Hall's Burke Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

The talk is part of a semester-long speaker series titled From Mitigation to Adaptation: Regional Responses to Climate Change. With efforts to mitigate climate pollution floundering or, at best, moving forward only incrementally, adaptation strategies are increasingly important. Following Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, which made plain the vulnerability of the U.S. coasts, President Obama’s climate policy speech in summer 2013 gave climate adaptation policy equal billing with climate mitigation. The series, co-hosted by YCELP and YCEI, highlights regional and local approaches to climate adaptation, and how those strategies fit within the larger context of climate change mitigation.

Other speakers in the series include Rohit Aggarwala, former director of long-term planning and sustainability for New York City and currently special advisor to Michael Bloomberg in his role as chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Fran Ulmer, chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and the former Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, and Professor Maxine Burkett of the University of Hawaii, an expert in Pacific island adaptation and relocation.

William Hohenstein is the Director of USDA’s Climate Change Program Office, within the Office of the Chief Economist.  The Climate Change Program Office provides coordination and policy development support for the Department’s climate change program.  It serves as the focal point for all support to the Secretary of Agriculture on the causes and consequences of climate change, as well as strategies for addressing them.  In this role, Mr. Hohenstein chairs the Department’s Global Change Task Force which is made up of representatives of thirteen USDA agencies and offices.  Mr. Hohenstein serves on United States delegations to international negotiations on climate change.  He has also has been a United States representative to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Mr. Hohenstein is also currently serving as the Acting Director of the USDA Office of Environmental Markets, also within the Office of the Chief Economist.  The Office of Environmental Markets (OEM) was established in direct response to provision of the 2008 Farm Bill. OEM’s central mission is to facilitate the participation of farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners in emerging environmental markets.

Efforts within OEM focus on the development of technical guidelines and science-based methods to quantify environmental benefits, and guidance for use in developing environmental benefit registries.

Before arriving at USDA, Mr. Hohenstein served as a Division Director in EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics.  Mr. Hohenstein has a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Cook College, Rutgers University and a M.E.M. in Resource Economics from Duke University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

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