Interdisciplinary Research on Climate Change and PNW Agriculture Grant uri icon



  • The long-term environmental and economic sustainability of agriculture in the Inland Pacific Northwest (northern Idaho, north central Oregon, and eastern Washing ton) depends upon improving agricultural management, technology, and policy to enable adaptation to climate change and to help realize agriculture's potential to contribute to climate change mitigation. Projected changes in the climate of the PNW include increases in annual mean temperatures and precipitation, but with greater warming and reduced precipitation in the summer months. To address this a large interdisciplinary project has been established and funded, involving three land-grant institutions (Washington State University, Oregon State University and the University of Idaho). The team includes biologists, modelers, economists, sociologists, educators and extension personnel. The University of Idaho is the lead institution for this project (Regional Approaches to Climate Change = REACCH).

    This Hatch project has two parts, the first of which is devoted to key aspects of managing the project given the PIs role as director of REACCH. The second part focuses on projections of changing pressure from insect pests in wheat production under projected climate change. The approach employs models but will include close collaboration between the PI, other entomologists and specialists in pests, weeds and diseases of concern. Models will be used to help producers and other stakeholders anticipate approaches to pest and production system management.


    Part I: Management 1. Promote cross-disciplinary integration within REACCH to achieve the project's goals in research, education and Extension. 2. Work with the education lead and education coordinator to ensure graduate and undergraduate students or interns within the project are exposed to concepts and skills required for successful cross-disciplinary collaboration. 3. Work with the Extension leads and Extension specialist to ensure REACCH efforts are usable over the short and long term, accessible to and incorporate input from stakeholders 4. Work with university and ARS leadership to identify core elements established by or emerging from REACCH that will support continued regional efforts focused on complex issues relevant to sustainable agricultural systems in the region. 5. Work with leadership of other large climate change CAP projects to maximize efficient use of NIFA resources and to identify and follow up on leadership and project management principles applicable for these and other large, integrative projects.

    Part II: Entomology 6. Use downscaled climate models to project pressure and biotic interactions involving insect pests affecting wheat and cereal-based cropping systems under current and projected climate change in the inland PNW. 7. Use historical records of aphid flights from suction traps, and ongoing records from pan traps, sweep netting and other sampling methods to detect and project patterns of aphid movements and infestation under current and projected climates. 8. Examine interactions between abiotic stresses under objective 7 and biotic stresses including attack by other pests (wireworms) and pathogens (plant viruses).


    The first 4 objectives are concerned with managing a large integrated project concerned with climate change in wheat production systems of the Inland Pacific Northwest (REACCH PNA). In summary, these objectives will be met by establishing and maintaining appropriate management structures to facilitate coordination among project personnel working on different aspects of the project including education, extension.

    Objective 5 will coordinate activities of REACCH with those of two other large NIFA-funded Coordinated Agricultural Projects, one at Iowa State University and one at the University of Florida. Coordination will be limited to shared research on project management and facilitating interactions among project personnel The remaining 3 objectives concern projecting impacts of climate change on insect pests affecting wheat production systems in the region.

    Objective 6 will use downscaled climate modeling d in concert with degree-day based phenological models and ecological indexing to improve projections of pest pressures and pest dynamics under climate change. The first and principal target for this effort will be the Cereal leaf beetle CLB, Ouelema melanopus. The models inputs will include host plant availability and phenology, weather and climate data, potential impacts of biological control organisms.

    Objective 7 will use historical records of aphid movements in the Pacific Northwest and historic climate records to determine drivers of aphid movements leading to variable aphid infestations. The historical data will be used to project aphid movements and pressure under climate change using downscaled projected climate models.

    Objective 8 will create system wide models assembled from similar models of aphids and CLB along with others for fungal pathogens and weeds to project system wide responses of cereal system biotic stresses to climate change in the inland PNW.

date/time interval

  • July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2017

sponsor award ID

  • IDA01481