A Growing Interest 2

On March 21-22, 2012, IGES convened the A Growing Interest 2: Climate and Economic Impacts on the Plant Sector workshop. Set in the scenic North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, N.C., the meeting brought together a diverse group of representatives to examine the physical and economic impacts of climate change on the plant sector and how numerous entities, such as public gardens, landscape architects, and horticulturists, are preparing to adapt in the future.  

Workshop participants heard from NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) experts on the latest climate change science while also sharing observations and data on the impacts of climate change in their specific communities. A follow-up to the first A Growing Interest workshop, which took place in 2008, the meeting served as a forum to assess what has changed since then in the climate and climate change literacy of the different communities, as well as to identity the  long-term forecasting information priorities of this critical sector and how improved communication and cooperation can enable NCDC to meet these needs.

The A Growing Interest 2 final report captures key themes that resonated throughout the discussion as well as the observations of the group on pressing challenges and solutions. The conclusions identified in the document include: 

  • Monetizing the value of plants is a game-changer.
  • Climate data and information are still relatively unknown and, as a result, not accessible to most users.
  • The plant sector is uniquely positioned to engage the public in climate change issues.
  • More research is needed to identify and define the specific needs of the plant sector. 
Click here to download the full report.The agenda as well as speaker presentations are included below. 




8:30    Registration & Networking

NCDC Director Tom Karl.

9:00    Welcome & Introductions

Nancy Colleton, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)

George Briggs, Director, North Carolina Arboretum  (Workshop Chair)

9:15    Opening Remarks: Climate Trends and the Latest

Science  (Presentation

Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D., Director, NCDC, NOAA 

10:15  State of the Industry: An Update (Statement)

Robert S. Hayter, Principal, The Hayter Firm 

10:45  Overview of NCDC Sectoral Engagement

Tamara Houston, Sectoral Engagement Coordinator, NCDC, NOAA

Learn more at User Engagement Activities at the National Climatic Data Center

11:00  Break

11:15  Communication: Plant Sector Challenges                                       

Mary Pat Matheson, Casey Sclar and Robert Hayter discuss communication strategies.

Mary Pat Matheson, Executive Director, Atlanta Botanical Garden

11:45  Working Lunch: Overview of Climate Services

and Climate Data Records (Presentation

Jeffrey L. Privette, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Climate Data Records Program, NOAA, NCDC

L. DeWayne Cecil, Ph.D., Program Manager, NCDC Climate Data Records Program, Global Science & Technology, Inc. 

1:00    Sector Presentations 

During this portion of the agenda speakers addressed the current thinking of their organization and/or sector with respect to climate science, observed changes, impacts, and adaptation. 

Gardens: Casey Sclar, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, American Public Gardens Association (APGA); Plant Health Care Leader, Longwood Gardens (Presentation)

Nursery and Landscape:  Warren Quinn, Vice President for Operations, American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) (Presentation)

Horticulture:  David Ellis, Director of Communications & Editor, American Horticultural Society (AHS)

Botanicals:  Greg W. Cumberford, President, Bent Creek Institute (Presentation

Tami Houston talks about NCDC’s sectoral engagement activities.

Forestry:  Danny C. Lee, Ph.D., Director, Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC), USDA Forest Service 

Click here to download the Southern Research Station Global Change Research Strategy 2011-2019, released in March 2012.  

Click here to learn more about ForWarn, a satellite-based monitoring and assessment tool that provides a near-real-time national overview of potential forest disturbances, which was developed by EFETAC and its academic and government agency partners.

To access ForWarn, visit: http://forwarn.forestthreats.org/fcav/  

3:45     NCDC’s Product Development Branch: Overview

Russell Vose, Chief, Product Development Branch, NCDC, NOAA

4:00    Summary

George Briggs, Director, North Carolina Arboretum (Workshop Chair) 

4:30    Adjourn

6:15    Dinner 



8:30    Registration

9:00    Tasks for the Day         

Greg Cumberford discusses climate change and the botanicals sector.

Nancy Colleton, President, IGES

9:15    What Lies Ahead: Trends (Presentation)

Thomas C. Peterson, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, NCDC, NOAA 

10:00  Considerations for Adaptation (Presentation

Casey Sclar, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, APGA; Plant Health Care Leader, Longwood Gardens 

10:30  Break        

10:45   Next Steps: Information for Adaptation

This session featured a group discussion on adaptation and on the strategies that can help NOAA better serve the needs of the plant sector.

George Briggs, Director, North Carolina Arboretum

11:45  Summary

Tom Karl, George Briggs and Nancy Colleton.

Nancy Colleton, President, IGES 

12:00  Adjourn