BELFAST — This winter the Belfast Garden Club Evening Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the All of Belfast Climate Dialogues, a project of the Belfast Free Library, will focus on the effects of the climate crisis on our forests, farms and gardens.

The first program, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 6:30 p.m., is a Zoom talk by Dr. Ivan Fernandez of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, speaking about “Maine’s Climate Future: The Role of Carbon Management in Farms and Forests.”

To register for the Zoom link, go to

Fernandez’s presentation will address three main topics: key findings from climate assessments focused on Maine, primarily the Maine’s Climate Future reports and the assessment report of the Maine Climate Council’s Scientific and Technical Subcommittee; how farms and forests can contribute to “Natural Climate Solutions”; and soils and soil health, primarily considering soils on farms, and how enhancing soil organic carbon can promote both the resilience of the soil in light of climate risks and contribute to reducing atmospheric carbon concentrations.

His presentation will also summarize forest  management recommendations from the recent Governor’s Task Force on a Forest Carbon Program in Maine.

Fernandez is a professor in the School of Forest Resources, Climate Change Institute, and School of Food and Agriculture at UMaine. He has served on various U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board committees in Washington, D.C., since 2000. He represents the university in the USDA Northeast Climate Hub and was involved in leading Maine’s Climate Future assessments in 2009, 2015 and 2020.  He currently serves on the Maine Climate Council as co-chair of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and a member of the Natural Working Lands working group.

The Evening Lecture Series continues Feb. 22 with a talk, “Growing Food and Ornamentals in a Changing Climate,” with speakers Haley Jean and Sara Keleman; and March 22 with a talk, “Deep Woods: How Climate Change Impacts Forests and How Forests Slow Climate Change,” with speakers Mark Berry and Nicholas Fisichelli.

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