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Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

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SEMINAR – Climate Change and Agriculture: Views from the Farm

October 19, 2015 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

SPEAKER: Meredith T. Niles, Assistant Professor, Department of Food Sciences and Nutrition, University of Vermont

*See below a list of suggested readings to accompany this seminar.

Agriculture is both a potential victim and contributor to climate change. Ensuring food security in the future while minimizing environmental impacts from agriculture will fundamentally involve farmers who can be a key asset. But what do farmer’s think of climate change and how might they respond? Is climate change a perceived threat? This talk examines farmer perspectives of climate change, concerns for the future, potential behavior changes, and support for climate change policies among farmers.

Dr. Meredith Niles is an assistant professor in the Department of Food Sciences and Nutrition with affiliation with the Food Systems Initiative at the University of Vermont. Meredith’s work focuses on environmental/ sustainable decision-making and behavior change among farmers and land-users. Specifically, her current work engages with farmers to understand their perceptions of environmental issues and regulations, adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices, and the adoption of integrated crop and livestock systems. She completed her PhD in Ecology at the University of California at Davis and her post-doctorate in sustainability science at Harvard University.

Meredith has been recognized for a number of academic and advocacy efforts, receiving several National Science Foundation fellowships and a Switzer Foundation Fellowship. Meredith is passionate about public service and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Public Library of Science (PLOS) (2014-2018) and previously served on the External Board for the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis and as the Director of Legislative Affairs on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS). She received the 2014 Next Generation Leadership Award from the Right to Research Coalition, 2010 Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences and was named 2013 Board Member of the Year from NAGPS. She has a diversity of consulting experience working with agricultural industry, non-profit, and farmer organizations on environmental conservation, climate, and food systems projects. Prior to graduate school she worked at the US State Department and an environmental non-profit in Washington D.C. She holds a B.A. (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in political science with honors in environmental studies from The Catholic University of America.

Suggested Readings:

  • Hayes, Denis and Gail Boyer Hayes. Cowed: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America’s Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment. 2015. 400pp. FPBC
  • Kline, David. Great Possessions: an Amish Farmer’s Journal. 1990. (235p) FBPC
  • Klinkenborg, Verlyn. The Rural Life. 2002. (224p) FPBC
  • Teale, Edwin Way. A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm. 1974. (268p) FPBC
  • Savage, Candace.   Prairie: A Natural History. 2006. (320 p) FPBC
  • McNeill, John Robert. Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World. 2000. (416p) FPBC

FPBC=Fields Pond Book Club List


October 19, 2015
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


107 Norman Smith Hall
Mitchell Center - UMaine
Orono, ME 04469 United States
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Mitchell Center
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