January 27 Virtual Panel Line-up Announced

We are very excited to host Soo Ing-Moody, Nuin-Tara Key, David Reidmiller and Don Sampson for our January 27 lecture: Building Climate Resilience During COVID-19 Recovery. These experts on climate impacts science and policy – representing different levels of government and a range of geographies – will discuss how we can leverage the period of economic and social recovery following COVID-19 to build resilience to climate change.

Register for the lecture 

This event is the second of third lectures marking the 25th anniversary of the Climate Impacts Group. The first lecture is available to view on our website; the third lecture will be held online on March 30. For more information about our anniversary, visit the 25th anniversary event page.

Learn about our panelists:

 

Soo Ing-Moody has served for more than a decade as the mayor of Twisp, a town of just under 1000 people in the Methow Valley of Washington State. Soo is known for her active engagement in addressing local, regional and state policy issues.  After leading the town through several federally declared disasters — first, through devastating wildfires in 2014 and 2015, and now through the coronavirus pandemic — she is known for her involvement in emergency communications and management, and economic resiliency and recovery. She is President of the Association of Washington Cities, leading efforts to ensure equity and inclusion for all cities and towns, supporting efforts for healthy and vital communities and the development of climate resiliency toolkits for local governments. Soo currently serves on the UN’s Urban Economy Forum Steering Committee in support of the UN’s established STGs. Soo is a freelance consultant, who has worked for the Global Fire Monitoring Center in Germany and the USFS to better understand community perceptions on wildfire. Soo holds a B.A. in Sociology and German Language and Literature from the University of Toronto, an M.A. in Sociology and English Literature from the Universitaet Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany, and a certificate in Human Resources Management from Ryerson University in Toronto.


Nuin-Tara Key is deputy director for Climate Resilience for the State of California Office of Planning and Research and chair of the Technical Advisory Council for the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program. Prior to joining the Office of Planning and Research, Nuin-Tara co-founded an international initiative on community-based climate action and worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors on sustainable urban and regional planning and policy, with a focus on social equity and climate change. She has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University and a BA from Lewis and Clark College.


David Reidmiller is the director of the interdisciplinary Climate Center at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and a member of the transition team for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. At the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, he draws across the breadth of the organization to help people, communities and businesses understand and anticipate how climate change affects them. Prior to joining the Research Institute, Dave served as acting director of the Northeast and Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) with the U.S. Geological Survey. There, he oversaw a unique partnership between the federal government and university consortia to advance and deliver science to help fish, wildlife, habitat, and people adapt to a changing climate. Before joining the CASC Network, Dave directed the Fourth National Climate Assessment as part of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he coordinated the work of 300+ volunteer experts from across the country in an effort to understand and address climate risks facing the nation. Dr. Reidmiller has deep international climate science policy experience, as well, having served in the State Department’s Office of Global Change for five years under the Obama Administration, where he led U.S. engagement in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was the lead U.S. science and technology negotiator for the Paris Agreement. Dave holds a B.Sc in Chemistry from Colgate University and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington.


Don Sampson is the climate change project director for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, a consortium of 57-tribes in the Pacific Northwest. In 2015 he was one of 15 Indigenous representatives from North America at the Paris Climate Accords (COP21). Don was also the former executive director of the Institute of Tribal Government (2012-2017) part of the Center for Public Service at Portland State University. Mr. Sampson was the former executive director (2003-2010) and Chairman (1994-1997) of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon; overseeing all tribal government and business operations with over 1500 employees. He was the executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission from 1997-2003. He is an enrolled citizen of the Umatilla Tribe.


Dr. Amy Snover is the director of the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group and Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. She is an innovator in linking climate science with on-the-ground needs of resource managers, planners and policymakers to ensure that Pacific Northwest people, communities and ecosystems thrive in a changing climate. She directs scientific efforts to provide the fundamental understanding, data, tools and technical support necessary for managing the climate risks. Dr. Snover was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for Climate Education and Literacy in 2015 and served as co-convening lead author for the Third US National Climate Assessment and lead author of the ground-breaking 2007 guidebook, Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments.



Director’s Corner: Expressing Gratitude at the End of a Long Year

We are coming to the end of a challenging year. This time last year, none of us could have imagined what 2020 would look like. A pandemic that would bring heartbreaking death, loss and broken dreams; widespread civil unrest in response to ongoing racial injustice and police violence; and unprecedented Western wildfires with a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season. Many of us, including the Climate Impacts Group team, struggled with the challenges of working from home while raising and schooling children, while many others lost their jobs or risked everything to keep them.

In my October blog post I mentioned turning to gratitude during these difficult times. As we wrap up this year and look forward to the opportunities the new year brings, I wanted to take some time to share what I’m grateful for.

I am grateful for our partners — the individuals and organizations across the Northwest using our science to reduce climate vulnerabilities and advance climate resilience. Despite all the challenges 2020 threw your way, you managed to make some really amazing things happen. The Washington Department of Natural Resources, King County, Chelan County and the Methow Valley all released Climate Resiliency Action Plans; Washington’s Insurance Commissioner held his annual Climate Summit; and the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Climate Impacts Group won a 2020 Climate Leadership Award for their work on climate-resilient fish passages, to name just a few.

I am grateful for the support of our donors and funders. In the last year, your contributions made it possible for us to reach new audiences and build new partnerships that we’ll be announcing in 2021. Your support is allowing us to develop new tools for conservation decision-making in a changing climate and staff the strategic efforts of a trans-boundary, trans-jurisdictional partnership for large-landscape adaptation. Most importantly, your support enables us to immediately address climate-related knowledge and capacity gaps as they emerge.

I am grateful for the skill, creativity and dedication of the Climate Impacts Group team. You pivoted to online work with grace and patience, juggling family and home-schooling responsibilities while still moving your important work forward. When the pandemic struck, your concerns were with our partners in public health and how we could lighten some of their load. When protests against police brutality and racial injustice erupted across the country, you showed up and dug into the ongoing process of learning and working to reshape our work and partnerships to better support racial justice and equity. In the midst of the exhaustion, stress and anxiety, you supported each other and never wavered from your conviction in the urgency of our mission. I’m grateful for you, and I’m grateful for the Climate Impacts Group alumni who paved the way for our work today.

I am grateful for the moments of joy and silliness that have lightened this year. Seeing colleagues’ babies, cats and dogs on Zoom calls has helped connect us as humans. Staring out the window has connected me with nature in my neighborhood. And I’m still laughing over the Quarantine boogie.

Finally, I am grateful for the increasing acknowledgment that the roots of this year’s losses, tragedies and trauma run deep. And the recognition that we need concerted, collaborative efforts to create a world where society is just, the climate is stable, families are healthy, work is safe and people and nature can thrive.

As we turn the page on the year 2020, I’ll leave you with my current favorite line of poetry:

“Where there’s music, someone chose to make a song / over all other things on earth.” 
– “Blueberries for Cal” by Brenda Shaughnessy, in The Octopus Museum.

Let’s all make music in 2021.

– Amy

 


Stories of Building Climate Resilience Lecture Available to View

From Cliffs to Coasts: Stories of Building Climate Resilience, originally held live on Zoom on December 3, combines storytelling and panel discussions to highlight examples of communities and organizations building climate resilience in the Northwestern United States and Canada. Climate Impacts Group partners and scientists discuss efforts to prepare for rising sea levels and ensure wildlife across the Pacific Northwest have access to suitable habitat.

This lecture is one in a three-part series of events marking the 25th anniversary of the Climate Impacts Group. The second and third lectures will be held online in January and March, 2021. For more information and to register for these events, visit the 25th anniversary event page.

Learn more about our panelists and moderator below:

Courtney Greiner is a marine ecologist for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. She studied Environmental Science at Western Washington University and Marine Affairs at University of Washington. She has been working in the Tribe’s Fisheries Department since 2012 assisting in shellfish management and research. Her current focus is addressing climate change impacts on coastal resources and she is the project manager for the clam garden project.

 


Meade stands in front of water and mountains wearing a blue hat and jacketMeade Krosby is a senior scientist with the UW Climate Impacts Group. She is also the University Deputy Director of the Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. Dr. Krosby works closely with land and wildlife managers to collaboratively understand and address climate impacts on species and ecosystems. Her current work includes vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning; large landscape conservation planning for climate resilience; and efforts to build climate adaptation capacity and communities of practice. Dr. Krosby received a B.S. in Biology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Washington. Follow Meade on Twitter: @MeadeKrosby


Harriet Morgan is a research consultant with the UW Climate Impacts Group. In close collaboration with state and local agencies, communities, and tribes, Harriet evaluates the effects of climate change on natural resources throughout the Pacific Northwest, with a special focus on species and ecosystem vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans. Harriet received a B.S. in Conservation Biology from McGill University and a M.S. in Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan. Follow Harriet on Twitter: @HarrietMorgan0

 


Jason Ransom is a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, a senior wildlife ecologist at the US National Park Service, and affiliate faculty at Colorado State University. His work is on the front lines of applied conservation science in Africa and North America. Dr. Ransom’s research focuses on restoration science, phenology of biological phenomena, behavioural adaptation to environmental change, and the importance of protected areas to landscape level conservation. Ransom works collaboratively across agencies, organisations, and diverse stakeholder groups, a practice he feels is essential to addressing even the most basic conservation challenges. Follow Jason on Twitter: @wildequids


Jen Watkins is the science, planning, and monitoring assistant division manager of the Forest Health and Resiliency Division of the Washington Department of Natural Resources. Jen is one of the founding members of the Cascadia Partner Forum, a group of individuals, organizations and communities working across boundaries to increase knowledge, coordination, and attention towards climate adaptation priority issues. Issues include ecosystem processes, natural resources, species, and management issues. Jen holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Forest Resources from the University of Washington.


Lara Whitely Binder is the climate preparedness program manager for King County, where she is responsible for leading and coordinating King County’s efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change. This includes working across County departments to integrate climate resilience into policies and practices, and strengthening regional partnerships to address shared challenges and opportunities related to climate preparedness. Prior to joining King County, Lara worked for 17 years with the Climate Impacts Group, first as a graduate student and then as professional staff advancing climate adaptation practice across the Pacific Northwest. Lara holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Evans School at the University of Washington.


Moderator

Dr. Amy Snover is the director of the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group and Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. She is an innovator in linking climate science with on-the-ground needs of resource managers, planners and policymakers to ensure that Pacific Northwest people, communities and ecosystems thrive in a changing climate. She directs scientific efforts to provide the fundamental understanding, data, tools and technical support necessary for managing the climate risks. Dr. Snover was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for Climate Education and Literacy in 2015 and served as co-convening lead author for the Third US National Climate Assessment and lead author of the ground-breaking 2007 guidebook, Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments.


Register for our December 3 lecture. To learn more about the Climate Impacts Group’s 25th anniversary and to register for future events, visit our anniversary webpage.

 


Healthy Planet, Healthy People

Five experts in climate science and low-carbon infrastructure at the University of Washington wrote about how we can recover from a climate crisis during a health crisis. Amy Snover is one of the five featured experts. 

“Rebuilding our collective lives post-pandemic requires attending to all of the intertwined systems that we depend on. Responses to COVID-19 must incorporate solutions for climate change and racial justice. Recovery investments must accelerate decarbonization, not pause it — and advance preparation for rising climate stresses, not punt on it. In a world of compound risks, we must insist on compound solutions. We don’t have enough time, money or planet to do it any other way.” – Amy Snover


CIG Research on Climate-Resilient Design for Fish Passages is Part of Effort Winning 2020 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award

Research conducted by Climate Impacts Group scientists on climate-resilient design for culvert and fish habitat restoration projects in Washington is part of a larger effort by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife that recently won a 2020 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award. This award from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recognizes outstanding leadership to advance climate resilience of America’s natural resources and the many people, businesses and communities that depend on them.

The climate-resilient culverts project was initiated by Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife to help inform Washington State’s current investments in repairing fish passage barriers that hinder the recovery of imperiled salmon stocks. It has grown into a partnership with the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group through research funding through the NW CASC. The goal of this effort is to make projections of future climate-induced changes in stream flows and channel widths available to engineers designing culverts. This goal has been achieved through an online tool that enables engineers to obtain site-specific information for designing climate-adapted culverts.


New King County Climate Plan Calls for 50% Cut in Emissions by 2030, 80% by 2050

King County would aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and 80% by 2050, while it simultaneously pushes to prepare for the inevitable disruptions of climate change, under an updated climate plan proposed Thursday by County Executive Dow Constantine. CIG Director Amy Snover is quoted.


Dr. Snover to Give Virtual Briefing on Linking Science & Action

Director Dr. Amy Snover will give a Livecast briefing for Congressional staff and the broader community on Thursday, April 16, 9–9:45 a.m. PT. In her briefing, “Bridging the Gap Between Science and Decision-Making,” Dr. Snover will discuss the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group and Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center’s programs and methods for advancing climate resilience in the Northwest. The briefing is sponsored by the non-partisan Environmental and Energy Study Institute. Dr. Snover will appear as part of the Institute’s Climate Adaptation Data Week, a briefing series focused on coastal climate adaptation data needs and applications.

 

 


Plan for Climate Resilience Announced for Washington State

A recent report from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) details the steps that can be taken to minimize the threat of climate change on local farms, forests, and communities. Dr. Crystal Raymond, climate adaptation specialist, is quoted. “The potential impacts of climate change can seem dire, but the consequences for our natural systems, economies, and local communities don’t have to be,” Dr. Raymond said. “The sooner we collectively act to plan for and manage climate risks, the better prepared we will all be.”