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ASABE 1st Climate Change Symposium - Adaptation and Mitigation

Date: May 3-5, 2015
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Climate Change header           

Conference Summary Paper


Symposium Registration  PDF form

A complete list of Registration Rates is found HERE.


See Program Timeline for more information



Hilton Garden Inn
10 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL  60611


Minimum 2 night stay; $239/night +taxes


The conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago - Downtown.  The primary room block is:

Embassy Suites Hotel Chicago- Downtown
600 N. State Street
Chicago, IL  60654
$229(usd)/night (single/double)



                        Sponsored by ASABE

 (American Society of Agricultural  and Biological Engineers)


Financial Supporters

  • USDA Climate Hubs
  • McGill University
  • University of Guelph

Endorsed by

  • American Ecological Engineering Society
  • American Meteorological Society
  • American Society of Agronomy (ASA)
  • Crop Science Society of America (CSSA)
  • Florida Climate Institute
  • McGill University
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Ontario Agricultural Colleges
  • Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)
  • Southeast Climate Consortium
  • The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project
  • University of Maryland
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service
  • USDA Climate Hubs
  • Water Institute - University of Florida



Session Types

Keynote Speakers

Visa Application

Abstract Submission -----    Submission instructions and Extended Abstract Template found here

Poster Session Information

Program Timelines

Program Schedule

Topic Areas


Organizing Committee

Accommodations - Information about the Embassy Suites - Downtown Chicago. Make your reservations ASAP!

Tours and activities available in Chicago 

Purpose of Conference:

The purpose of this conference is to bring researchers, practitioners and policy makers to a world-wide platform to share research and discuss creative solutions related to global climate change impacts.  The conference will emphasize the importance of global climate change impacts on agriculture while covering a range of topics related to climate change impacts on land and water resources.

Global Climate Change has been related to increases in temperature, prolonged wet and dry hydroperiods, and an increase in climatic extremes.  In the US, the recent 2014 US National Climate Assessment report ( recognizes that effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States, with water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains increasing in wet regions, heat waves becoming more common and more severe, wildfires growing worse, and forests dying under assault from heat-loving insects. Such extreme events are already impacting our ecosystems (e.g., agricultural, urban/suburban, aquatic, wetlands, forests, coastal, etc.). Melting of glaciers, sea level rise, and salt water intrusion in coastal areas are stressing our water resources.  Recent literature indicates that to combat climate change, two approaches must be applied, those of adaptation and mitigation.  Considering that the impacts of climate change are already being observed, we must develop adaptation strategies to cope with existing impacts while developing mitigation strategies to reduce future impacts. The first day of the symposium will focus on Adaptation to Climate Change while the second will focus on Mitigation of Climate Change.


Session Types:

The conference will consist of both lecture and poster sessions and include keynote speakers as well as expert panel discussions.  Symposium papers will be published as conference proceedings in electronic media, and full research papers can be submitted for publication as a special issue of Transactions of ASABE (the official peer-reviewed journal of ASABE).


Keynote Speakers:

Three exciting keynote speakers in complementary areas will address topics of climate change effects in water resources, agricultural production and agricultural research policy.


sonny photo

Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Dr. Ramaswamy oversees NIFA awards for a wide range of projects addressing agricultural concerns including the ever-changing conditions and impacts of global change and climate on crops and animals. Dr. Ramaswamy has served as Dean and Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at Oregon State University, Associate Dean of the Purdue University College of Agriculture, and Head of Kansas State University’s Department of Entomology.  As an insect physiologist he has published nearly 150 journal articles, book chapters, and a book. Dr. Ramaswamy is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America; and Distinguished Graduate Alumnus of Cook College, Rutgers University.


milly photo

Dr. Chris Milly is a Research Hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Dr. Milly is a world-recognized expert on hydrologic aspects of climate change whose research has provided important insights about the effects of climate change on global hydrology and the role that continental water plays in the dynamics of the earth system. Dr. Milly has contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and served as an expert consultant to national and state agencies. Dr. Milly leads the development of the land hydrology component of NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) climate models. Dr. Milly is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He received the 2013 AGU Hydrological Sciences Award for his "fundamental contributions to our understanding of the connections between land surface processes and hydroclimatic variability" and was named the 2015 AGU Robert E. Horton Lecturer in Hydrology.


cynthia photo

Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig is a Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where she heads the Climate Impacts Group. She is Co-Chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, co-led the Metropolitan East Coast Regional Assessment of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Working Group II Fourth Assessment Report, Co-Director of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), and Co-Editor of the First UCCRN Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3). Dr. Rosenzweig is also the founder of AgMIP, a major international collaborative effort to assess the state of global agricultural modeling, understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector, and enhance adaptation capacity, as it pertains to food security in developing and developed countries. Dr. Rosenzweig was named as one of "Nature's 10: Ten People Who Mattered in 2012" by the science journal Nature and a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is a Professor at Barnard College and a Senior Research Scientist at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.


Abstract Submission:

Abstract Submission site is closed. 

Authors selected for presentation at the conference will be asked to submit an extended abstract according to the conference template by February 20, 2015.

Submission instructions are located at the top of the template form.  See the following link:

View the Extended Abstract Template Here



Poster Session:

  • Board Dimensions: 4 foot deep by 8 foot wide (maximum). Recommended 3’10” x 7’10” usable space. Posters will be mounted on the boards by push pins.
  • Poster presentations offer maximum opportunity for direct interaction between the presenter and the audience as well as overall professional exposure for the author. Posters will be placed on the poster boards prior to the beginning of the session and removed 15 minutes after the session. Those posters not removed will be disposed of. Poster session presenters are expected to be available during the poster session to discuss their work. 


Special Sessions, CPD or Workshop Requests:

Special invited sessions are encouraged and can be proposed to the conference organizers.

Workshops and continuing professional development (CPD) courses will be offered in conjunction with the conference. Those wishing to compliment the conference by offering a Workshop or a CPD are encouraged to submit their proposal through ASABE. Fill out the appropriate form with an outline of the program and submit through the conference web site (/meetings-events.aspx).


Program Timeline:

1)    Online submission of paper abstracts (proposals) - October 31, 2014
2)    Notification of acceptance/rejection of proposals received;   instructions emailed for paper preparation  for proceedings, etc. - November 10, 2014
3)    Preliminary program available online - November 20, 2014
4)    Personalized Confirmation emailed with session title, date, and time of presentation - February 15, 2015
5)    Extended abstract due to the Conference Proceeding Chair - EXTENDED to February 20, 2015
6)    Early bird registration deadline – March 13th, 2015
7)    Cutoff date for author registration – March 13th, 2015
      Authors not registering by the cutoff date will be removed from the program
8)    Final Program available online – April 26, 2015
9)    Climate Change Symposium Opens - May 3, 2015


Topic Areas

  • Adaptation Strategies

  • Mitigation Strategies

  • Ecosystem Health and Ecosystem Services

  • Agro-Ecosystem Sustainability (Economic, Environmental, and Human Health)

  • Climate Change Modeling and Interface of Climate Models with the Agro-ecosystem models

  • Uncertainty and Complexity

  • Water Resources Policy


ADAPTATION STRATEGIES: Climate change is not just about reducing the greenhouse emissions! Already we are experiencing changes in climate such as longer summers, more severe storms, uneven spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation, and melting of glaciers. Such changes in climate impact natural resources.  Examples include water table rise in coastal areas, ultimately taking land out of production and reducing potable water for human consumption.  These changes will also reduce the accessibility to clean water for domestic use and affect the quality of water by exacerbating flooding and pollutant transport. How we adapt to these conditions in light of climate change is one of the most pressing societal questions of our time.  Adaptation strategies (informed by research and education programs) to keep agriculture sustainable both economically and environmentally must be identified.

MITIGATION STRATEGIES: The Copenhagen Accord was drafted by US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa on December 18, 2009 debated by all the participating countries, but not passed unanimously. The document recognized that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the present day and that actions should be taken to keep any temperature increases to below 2°C ( Many countries and non-governmental organizations were opposed to this agreement, but, as of January 31, 2010, 141 countries have signed the agreement. To sustain Agro-ecosystem services (e.g., food and fiber production) without further harm to our ecosystem, proper mitigation strategies in the form of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for efficient use of our natural resources (e.g., soil, water, and air) need to be investigated and implemented. Research, education, management, and policy need to gear towards mitigation strategies such as efficient water use, and environmentally acceptable crop and animal production systems.

ECOSYSTEM HEALTH AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: In the last few decades, environmental changes have been occurring on an unprecedented scale. These changes will be exacerbated with the predicted climate change. Despite the immense benefits of agriculture, there is clear evidence that agriculture can be associated with local and regional decreases in ecological and human health. Climate change models report an increase in flood conditions in the Mid-Atlantic region. Since hydrology is a fundamentally important factor affecting wetland functions and extent, these changing hydrologic conditions will have a tremendous impact on the ability of wetlands to provide ecosystem services that are important to 1) agricultural prosperity, such as the production of crops; 2) long-term environmental sustainability, such as the reduction of nutrients and sediments; and 3) mitigation of climate impacts, such as the sequestration of carbon. They will also affect the mosquito population some of which could be carriers of human diseases. Understanding the relationship between the climate variables, wetland nutrient filtering capabilities and its hydrology, stream macroinvertebrates, and other biotic communities can help to assess the impacts of climate change on the ecosystem.

AGRO-ECOSYSTEM SUSTAINABILITY (Economic, Environmental, and Human Health): Sustainability is generally referred to as the ability of a system to maintain balance of certain processes or states.  In ecological terms, it is the ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes, functions, biodiversity and productivity into the future.  Sustainability loses its dictionary meaning when faced by the status of today’s world regarding poverty, inequality, global warming, lack of ecosystem/human health in many parts of the world, and water scarcity. More than one billion people in the world are without water and proper sanitation (UNDP, 2002).  Keeping agroecosystems sustainable in light of climate change offers huge research, education, management and policy challenges.  Establishing economic and environmental strategies and policies that guarantee sustainability of our production systems with both ecological health and human health vectors in mind are challenges that should not be taken lightly.

CLIMATE CHANGE MODELING AND INTERFACE OF CLIMATE MODELS WITH THE AGRO-ECOSYSTEM MODELS: Climate models are generally large scale regional/continental scale and often very coarse.  On the other hand, hydrologic/water quality models applied to the Agro-ecosystems range from field to basin scale.Crop models are typically applied at the point to field scale.  Interface of these scales of models is necessary in order to simulate and forecast the impact of climate change on the hydrology and water quality response of agro-ecosystems at the farmstead production scale.  This conference will address some of these topics and initiate a dialogue between these schools of modelers and stakeholders of multiple scales.

UNCERTAINTY AND COMPLEXITY: The relationships between weather/climate, crop yield and natural resources, and between yield and income is complex. Climate scientists, agronomists, economists and others need to collaboratively explore the ways that a perturbed climate may influence the agricultural and natural system and, subsequently, profitability and livelihood. Projections from oversimplified models that fail to consider the complexity and uncertainty of the integrated system can hinder the success of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The integration and analysis of these complex systems requires the consideration of the combined sources of uncertainty and model assumptions. For example, members of the AgMIP (Agricultural Modeling Intercomparison and Improvement Project) team recently demonstrated in Nature Climate that uncertainty introduced in future projections of wheat yield by the choice of yield model was as large or larger than the uncertainty introduced by an ensemble of climate projections. It is critical to evaluate the assumptions of impact models and the uncertainty surrounding all components of an assessment, rather than just the uncertainty of the climate information.

 WATER RESOURCES POLICY:  According to the Overseas Development Institute (UK) report titled “Climate change, water resources and WASH”, September 2011, “water will be the primary medium through which the climate change impacts will be felt.”  Water scarcity in many parts of the world, unsanitary conditions due to limited fresh water resources, loss of crop yield in agro-ecosystem due to water shortage, and drying of many lakes around the world are testament to water crisis that has started to pose significant challenge to humanity at large. Therefore, policies regarding water resources and its conservation on regional, national, and global levels need to be brought to the forefront. This symposium will provide a platform for such discussions.


Organizing Committee Members:

Adel Shirmohammadi (Symposium Co-Chair), David Bosch (Symposium Co-Chair), Rafa Muñoz-Carpena (Symposium Co-Chair), Daren Harmel (Publicity Chair), Ali Madani (Publicity Vice-Chair), Indrajeet Chaubey (Publication Chair), Pouyan Nejadhashemi (Publication Vice-Chair), Puneet Srivastava (Publication Vice-Chair), Ali Sadeghi (Publication Member), Hubert Montas (Publication Member), Paul Leisnham (Publicity Member), Randy Johnson


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