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September-October 2016

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On the Job: Gregory Jones: Professor and Viticultural Climatologist

Gregory Jones is a professor of environmental science and policy at Southern Oregon University, where he teaches issues related to meteorology, climatology, hydrology, and agriculture. He conducts research on the influence of climate structure on grapevine growth, wine production, and quality, and he is known for having pioneered the field of viticultural climatology.

Studying wine and climate has given you a unique platform to talk about climate change.

Even though it's not a subsistence crop, it's something people can identify with. I can go somewhere and I can talk about how climate influences a salamander or a plant or something in a given ecosystem, and it resonates with a few people, but when I talk about wine, it has ties to society, it has ties to food, it has ties to art, to history, to migration and movements of both people and products, and so on and so forth. Wine resonates, and I think that people identify with it.       

KIMBRA CUTLIP is a freelance writer and former assistant editor for Weatherwise.       

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