Aaron Wilson presenting a climate poster

Building weather and climate connections within extension through tools and education

Aaron B. Wilson, an Atmospheric Scientist at The Ohio State University, is committed to raising awareness and making connections between our changing climate and water-related impacts throughout Ohio and the Midwest. Wilson holds a unique position with OSU having appointments at both the Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center and OSU Extension which  allows ample opportunities to engage communities on the impacts of increasing rainfall and extreme rain events on production agriculture, erosion, and water quality. These frequent engagements provide rich discussions on climate adaptation and mitigation measures, using soil and water health as a foundation to building resilience to future climate change.

Aaron is an active voice throughout for the Midwest and North Central region. He is a frequent contributor to the USDA Midwest Climate Hub’s Midwest Agricultural Climate Team, the North Central U.S. Monthly Climate and Drought Summary and Outlook webinars, the U.S. Drought Monitor, and Midwest Drought Early Warning System. By representing Ohio within the region, Aaron is able to provide quick communication on regional climate issues and improve the lives of Ohioans and Midwesterners alike. Aaron also represents Ohio on North Central Climate Collaborative, the Network’s climate team comprised of Extension professionals from across the region who are dedicated to increasing the adoption of climate-smart practices and improving water management while maintaining profitability.

Recently, Aaron and State Climate Office of Ohio developed the Field Application Resource Monitor or FARM to provide precipitation information to farmers concerning their applications of fertilizer and manure to avoid nutrient runoff and remain compliant with regulations in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Seen as a best management tool for the state, FARM was developed with user engagement throughout the process to help increase the likelihood of widespread adoption by Ohio producers.

Aaron presenting at the Climate Smart Worskhop

Aaron presenting at the Climate Smart Workshop in July.

Earlier this year roughly 130 farmers, ag lenders, insurance agents, and Extension educators came together for Climate Smart: Farming with Weather Extremes workshop in Plain City, Ohio. Aaron and a dedicated committee of Extension professionals hosted this meeting, to evaluate the challenging weather season in 2019 in the context of our changing climate and think about how to build resilience to withstand similar impacts in the future. Topics included weather and climate, water management and storage, erosion, cover crop and residue management, and mitigating production and price risks. The workshop concluded with a farmer panel to discuss what it means to be “climate smart” and how OSU Extension can better serve these communities as we work to ensure an economically profitable and environmentally sustainable agricultural future in Ohio. Because of Aaron’s work through the region, the workshop had partial funding through the North Central Climate Collaborative.

Aaron B. Wilson, The Ohio State University Extension

Headshot of Aaron WilsonAaron Wilson is an atmospheric scientist with The Ohio State University (OSU), holding a joint appointment as a Research Scientist at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center (BPCRC) and Climate Specialist with OSU Extension. He works with the State Climate Office of Ohio (SCOO). His expertise includes weather, applied climatology, and climate change. Aaron focuses on local impacts to changing climate, particularly on the agriculture sector, translating scientifically robust climate research into community-based education and outreach.

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