About the Native Climate Working Group (NCWG)

Native Climate Working Group (NCWG) is a forum for Tribal Extension leaders, agriculture producers, and youth educators to come together with federal agency partners to learn about seasonal and long-term climate trends and to discuss how climate extremes are impacting Tribal agriculture, economies, and well-being. Climate impacts are linked to timely information about available resources to help farmers, ranchers, and resource managers enhance the resilience of Tribal agriculture and to build capacity for climate education in Tribal Extension and education programs. Practical and timely information is exchanged across a board range of topics including drought adaptation, water sustainability, food sovereignty, climate change curriculum and outreach initiatives, and economic outlooks. The NCWG aims to raise climate awareness, increase sharing of traditional and western knowledge, and reduce barriers for Tribes to access resources.

Join Us!

The NCWG meets on Zoom for 60 min the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 10a PT/ 11a MT/ 12p CT/ 1p ET.

To join, please contact Vicki Hebb, [email protected].


The NCWG meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Join us from 10-11 AM PT on Zoom to discuss exciting topics and interface with other climate and agriculture professionals!

  • 21 May, 2024 – “Beekeeping – the backbone of food and agriculture,” Lindsay Chichester, Assistant Professor/Extension Educator & Nevada 4-H Program Leader.
  • 18 June, 2024 – Climate Hub Updates by Region
  • 16 July, 2024 – Topic TBD



Past Presentations & Resources

April 16, 2024 | Climate Hubs Overview - Lee Schmelzer, Montana State University

Lee Schmelzer, Ag Risk Outreach Specialist for Montana State University, presented an overview of the USDA Climate Hubs and their services.

View the meeting recording here: ZOOM RECORDING 

Mar 19, 2024 | Agricultural Economic Outlook for 2024 - Shannon Neibergs, Extension Economist, WSU

Shannon Neibergs, Extension Economist, Director Western Center Risk Management Education School of Economic Sciences, WSU, presented on the market outlook and risk conditions as we begin the 2024 crop growing cycle.

View the meeting recording here: ZOOM RECORDING 

Feb 20, 2024 | Western Drought Outlook - Kyle Bocinsky, Montana Climate Office

Kyle Bocinsky, Director of Climate Extension from the University of Montana, presented on current and projected climate conditions for winter and spring across the Western US.

View the meeting recording here: 


Ileah Kirchoff, Educational Engagement Lead for DRI, shared K-12 educational materials and activities on the topic of microplastics. At the end of the meeting, Climate Reporter Gina McGuire read her new poem, Trust The Rain, which explores the impacts of microplastics in our bodies and the environment. 

View the meeting recording here: 


Today’s working group meeting featured an overview of the work of the Intertribal Buffalo Council. The group has 83 member tribes in 23 states, and works toward the vision of restoring buffalo back to tribal lands for cultural and spiritual connection.

View the meeting recording here: 

Oct 17, 2023 | Intertribal Agriculture Council, Keir Johnson, Chief Stakeholder Engagement Officer

A discussion on the growth and improved opportunities to producers from IAC’s new programs as well as the National Conference in Las Vegas in December 12-14, 2023.

View the meeting recording here: 

Sept 19, 2023 | Western Drought Update - Kyle Bocinsky, Montana Climate Office, Univ. Montana

Today’s working group meeting featured a Western Drought Update from Kyle Bocinsky, D

View the meeting recording here: Western Drought Update

June 20, 2023 | Summer Wildfire Outlook - Kyle Bocinsky, Christine Thompson, ShiNaasha Pete

Today’s working group meeting featured a Western Fire Update from Kyle Bocinsky [0:00 – 14:30]; A presentation on the San Carlos Apache Tribe Forest Resources Program from Christine Thompson, Prescribed Fire & Fuels Specialist [14:30 – 37:00]; and a presentation on Sowing History, Growing Culture, Planting Language: CSKT’s Whitebark Pine Biocultural Restoration from ShiNaasha Pete, Navajo and E Shawnee – Reforestation forester, Whitebark pine restoration manager [37:00 – 1:11:00].

Links to resources shared:

View the meeting recording here: Summer Wildfire Outlook

May 10, 2023 | The Akana Group – Jen Tomasik, Chuck Battles, Anthony Cole

The Akana Group ( is creating alliances and providing Native people from the U.S. to Australia with the needed tools, training, scholarships, and other connections to do work with long-lasting impacts. Jen Tomasik, Chuck Battles, and Anthony Cole gave a presentation on the Akana Group, the equipment they can provide, and their commitment to serving Indigenous communities and creating positive impacts for the next seven generations. 

View the meeting recording here: The Akana Group

April 18, 2023 | "Adaptation & Resilience to Climate" – Josh Moore, Colorado River Indian Tribe Irrigation Project

Listen to Josh Moore speak on the exciting possibilities of N-drip irrigation systems as applied by the Colorado River Indian Tribe Irrigation Project.

Joshua Moore serves as the Farm Manager for the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) Farms located on both the Arizona & California banks of the Colorado River. CRIT Farms consists of 33,000 acres of fertile farmland irrigated with water from the Colorado River.

View the meeting recording here: Adaptation and Resilience to Climate

March 21, 2023 | Western Drought Update with Kyle Bocinsky

Kyle Bocinsky, PhD, RPA, presents on the outlook for drought in the US for spring 2023 and its projected impacts on agriculture, with a special focus on Native communities.  The presentation includes a detailed discussion of the impacts of snowpack and snowmelt, with the latest data from the Montana Climate Office.

View the meeting recording here: Western Drought Update

February 21, 2023 | Interactive Climate Learning Tools Talk: Engaging Students in our Climate Futures

Terra Prime: A Visual Learning Tool: Dr. Manuel-Julian R. Montoya from the University of New Mexico & Anderson School of Management presented his Terra Prime visual learning tool and shared how these tools can help students meaningfully incorporate philosophical and climate approaches into their studies.

STEM Education and Outreach through Science, Art, and Technology: Thayne Yazzie of Western Washington University, a K-12 educator specializing in Environmental Education and Outreach, shared his set of educational playing cards based on Salish Sea ecosystems and drawing from indigenous designs and understanding of the environment.

View the meeting recording here: Innovate Approaches to STEM Education

November 15, 2022 | Inflation, economic outlooks, costs, and resources; Brigid Tuck and David Williams.

Professor Brigid Tuck, Ag-Economist from the University of Minnesota Extension presented a talk called “Inflation, economic outlooks, and the costs of inputs for farming and ranching in 2023.”

Zoom presentation (0:00 – 14:00)

David Williams, USDA/ERS Research Agricultural Economist, presented Federal Agency Resources.

Zoom presentation (14:00 – end)| Commodity Costs and Returns | 2022 Farm Sector Income Forecast

October 18, 2022 | Drought vs. Aridification in the West, Dr. Zachary Hoylman and Chris Borden

Dr. Zachary Hoylman from the Montana Climate Office discussed changes that are needed in the way we assess and describe drought, in his presentation “Drought Assessment Has Been Outpaced By Climate Change.”

Zoom presentation (0:00 – 17:00)|UMRB Drought Indicators Dashboard 

Hoylman, Z.H., Bocinsky, R.K. & Jencso, K.G. Drought assessment has been outpaced by climate change: empirical arguments for a paradigm shift. Nat Commun 13, 2715 (2022).

Chris Borden from NRCS presented on USDA NRCS Climate Change Adaptation and Drought Mitigation Conservation Practices.

Zoom presentation (17:00 – end)

September 13, 2022 | Western Drought Update; Dr. Kyle Bocinsky

Dr. Kyle Bocinsky presented an update on the Western drought. Dr. Bocinsky is the Director of Climate Extension in the Montana Climate Office at the University of Montana, and a member of the Native Climate team.

PowerPoint Slides (view PDF) | Zoom presentation


Older Presentations & Additional Resources
  • COVID-Climate Working Group – View presentations that were given to the COVID-Climate Working Group between October 2021 and August 2022 via the Native Waters on Arid Lands website.
  • COVID-19 Working Group Story Map – ArcGIS Story Map documenting the efforts of this working group during earlier portions of the COVID19 pandemic (March 2020 – October 2021), including information on COVID-19 response projects and links to past presentations.
  • NIFA Tribal Programs – Explore the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s tribal programs through interactive maps and data
  • Facts Not Fear – Accurate information and educational resources for Tribal members and Tribal Extension Experts about COVID-19 and vaccines. A resource developed through the work of NWAL’s COVID-19 Working Group.