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The following are descriptions of the four tracks/themes of the conference: The Built Environment, Planning and Process, Communication and Engagement, and Public Health and their accompanying sessions.

The Built Environment

Climate change and severe weather impacts, directly affects the places where we live, work, learn, and play. This action-oriented track will build the capacity of practitioners who design, manage, preserve, and protect the built environment. This track encompasses buildings, transportation systems, energy systems, communication networks, parks, and other forms of built infrastructure in a community. The track will embed climate mitigation and adaptation into normal planning and design activities in order to identify who and what is most vulnerable and how to mitigate impacts associated with a changing climate.

Resilient Buildings: Combining Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
During the “Snowvember” snowstorm in 2014, more than 70 inches of snow fell in Western New York, causing numerous roofs to collapse. Superstorm Sandy damaged over 600,000 buildings in 2012. These extreme events suggest that building design across the Northeast need to become more resilient to address extreme weather caused by climate change. This session will present climate-related hazards, basic design strategies, and resources available to support designers and building owners. It will review why it makes sense to be designing buildings that not only help to mitigate climate change but also adapt to the changing conditions those buildings will experience. Participants will see a wide range of case studies showing how to achieve those complementary priorities through smart building design.

Alex Wilson, President, Resilient Design Institute
Nicholas B. Rajkovich, PhD, Assistant Professor of Architecture, State University of New York at Buffalo

Alex Wilson is president of the Resilient Design Institute, a nonprofit organization working to advance the adoption of resilient design into buildings and communities. He is also founder (in 1985) of the Brattleboro, Vermont company BuildingGreen, which has long been a leader in green building consulting and information delivery. Alex is a widely published writer on green building, energy, and the environment, and he is the author or coauthor of several books, including Your Green Home (New Society Publishing, 2006), The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings (American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, 1990, 10th edition, 2013), and Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate (John Wiley, 1998).  Alex served on the national board of the U.S. Green Building Council from 2000 – 2005, and in 2008 he received the organization’s Leadership Award for Education; in 2010 he received the second annual Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainability. Alex and his wife live in Dummerston, Vermont in a 200-year-old, net-zero-energy farmhouse that demonstrates sustainability and resilience, and they are working to bring back into production long-neglected farmland on the property.

Nicholas B. Rajkovich, PhD, AIA is an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo in the Department of Architecture. His research investigates the intersection of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and adaptation to climate change in buildings and communities. Prior to earning a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan, he was a Senior Program Engineer at the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company Customer Energy Efficiency Department. At PG&E, he was responsible for coordinating a new Zero Net Energy Pilot Program. He has a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University.

Living With Water: Resilient Flood Management

Climate change is expected to produce heavier rainfalls and more intense storms, and resilient communities will need to live with more downpours. This session examines water resources assessment, planning, and adaptation to better prepare for the next emergency, and to sustainably manage flooding and sea level rise. This session covers the range of urban coastal climate adaptation preparation broadly (Talk 1 with Kirshen), to coastal adaptation with living shorelines (Talk 2 Ballestero and Burdick), and municipal resiliency for inland flooding as it relates to green infrastructure (Talk 3, Roseen). Participants will leave this session with an appreciation of maintaining the landscape to mitigate projected impacts along with enhanced knowledge on the application of low-impact development, site design, and other smart growth practices.

Robert Roseen, Waterstone Engineering

Paul Kirshen, PhD, () Academic Director, Sustainable Solutions Lab, Professor of Climate Adaptation, School for the Environment, UMASS Boston.
Thomas P. Ballestero, PhD, P.E., ()Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at UNH, UNH Stormwater Center Director and Principal Investigator
David Burdick, PHD, () Interim Director of the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, Research Associate Professor of Coastal Ecology and Restoration, University of New Hampshire
Robert Roseen, PHD., D.WRE, PE, () Principal, Waterstone Engineering

Dr. Robert Roseen provides many years of experience in water resources investigations and most recently, led a project team in the development of an Integrated Plan for nutrient management for stormwater and wastewater. This plan has received provisional approval by EPA and would be one of the first in the nation. Rob is a recognized industry leader in green infrastructure and watershed management, and the recipient of 2010 and 2016 Environmental Merit Awards by the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 1. He consults nationally and locally on stormwater management and planning and directed the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center for 10 years. Rob has led numerous studies examining land use and climate change impacts upon municipal flooding and the role of green infrastructure as a municipal adaptation measure for damage and cost avoidance.  He has participated as the lead or project team member in many significant and award winning green infrastructure projects.

Professor Paul Kirshen has 30 years of experience in complex, interdisciplinary research related to water resources management, and climate variability and change.  Dr. Kirshen is interested in the integrated vulnerabilities of built, natural, social, and economic systems to climate change and SLR and the development of flexible, adaptive adaptation strategies to these stresses that are tied to the climate and SLR changes and other non-stationary conditions. He uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods but is particularly interested in analytical approaches to decision-making under deep uncertainty. He currently has research efforts in metro Boston, NH, coastal MA, and other areas. A major project is on environmental justice and climate change adaptation in East Boston.

Dr. Tom Ballestero is a hydrologist and water resources engineer.  He is an Associate Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of New Hampshire. His experience with surface water runoff extends back to 1976 when he co-taught short courses on modeling techniques. His current research projects include the Stormwater Center, living shorelines, stream restoration (in close collaboration with the US Fish & Wildlife Service), and bedrock hydrogeology. Dr. Ballestero teaches advanced courses on: stormwater systems, stream restoration, sediment transport, open channel flow, engineering hydrology, and hydrologic monitoring. Dr. Ballestero is the former Director of the New Hampshire Water resources Research Center, and is presently a commissioner for the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.

Dr. David Burdick’s research expertise is in ecology and management of coastal wetlands and design, implementation and assessment of habitat restoration. His research emphasis is in tidal wetlands and the invaluable roles they play in supporting marine ecosystems. Dr. Burdick studies these habitats and the plants that characterize them, and the direct and indirect impacts from a growing coastal population. He is interested in the functions of tidal habitats, how plants respond to stresses (flooding, salinity, pollution, disease, invasive species, and human alterations), and how plants interact with physical processes to maintain these habitats.



When the Ocean Comes In: Adaptation to Sea-Level Rise

The IPCC has predicted that sea level would rise between 2.6 to 3.1 feet by 2100 due to climate change. This presents enormous challenges for coastal communities and low-lying countries. This session features two experts on community development working to help communities adapt to sea-level rise. Participants will learn how natural adaptation methods can reduce coastline erosion, mitigate flooding, and enhance development. Social and political challenges to implementation will be discussed as well as technical ideas.

Jennifer Jurado, Chief Resilience Officer and Division Director, Broward County, Florida
Bruce Carlisle, Director, Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and Hosted Programs

Dr. Jennifer Jurado oversees Broward County’s climate resilience, water resource policy and planning, shoreline protection, marine resource conservation, and environmental monitoring programs. Since joining the County in 2002, Jennifer has been a key figure in the advancement of multi-jurisdictional initiatives, with an emphasis on water management, climate adaptation, and the integration of sea level rise in policy and comprehensive planning. Jennifer was engaged in the
early formation and advancement of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact and continues to serve on the Staff Steering Committee. Dr. Jurado earned her Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the University of Miami.

Bruce K. Carlisle is the Director of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), providing oversight and administration for the agency.    Mr. Carlisle directs policy development, planning efforts, and technical approaches for CZM program areas including ocean planning, offshore renewable energy, climate change adaptation and coastal resilience, shoreline and floodplain management, habitat protection and restoration, port and harbor planning, water quality, seafloor and tidal habitat mapping, and GIS/data management. Bruce also supervises CZM’s regulatory review of coastal and ocean projects, ranging from municipal waterfront development and dredging to offshore wind turbines and LNG facilities. He formerly served as Assistant Director for CZM, as well as the manager for the Commonwealth’s Wetlands Restoration Program, where he led collaborative efforts to restore former and degraded wetlands.  Prior to that, Bruce served as a project manager and principal investigator for coastal wetland assessment projects and as a specialist in water resources policy, monitoring, and planning. He holds a Masters in Environmental Policy degree from Tufts University.


Community Energy: Planning & Financing Resilient Energy Systems

In a world of increasing climate instability, access to a stable energy source is an essential component of resilience. Community energy based on microgrids, renewable energy, and local production reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, and help people have access to cleaner, more reliable energy. This session will cover how individuals and communities can plan and finance resilient energy systems, including asset and on-bill financing, microfinance, leasing arrangements, and finance of up-front costs by local governments using property tax surcharges for repayment. Participants will learn about exciting developments in renewable energy and how communities can become resilient in accessing stable energy sources.

Karl Rabago, Executive Director, Pace Energy & Climate Center
Todd Olinsky-Paul, Project Director, Clean Energy Group (CEG) and Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA).

Karl R. Rábago is the Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, at the Pace Law School in White Plains, New York. The Center’s mission is to protect the earth’s environment through solutions that transform the ways that society supplies and consumes energy, with a special focus on clean energy—renewable energy, energy efficiency, microgrids and community energy solutions, electrification of transportation, and other distributed energy resources. An attorney licensed in Texas, Karl has more than 27 years of experience in energy and climate policy development, regulation, markets, and business. In his career, Karl has been a military officer, a utility regulator, a utility executive, a renewable energy developer, a law professor, and a clean energy advocate.

Todd Olinsky-Paul is project director for Clean Energy Group (CEG) and Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA). He directs CESA’s Energy Storage and Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP), a federal-state funding and information sharing project that aims to accelerate the deployment of electrical energy storage technologies in the United States. Todd also works on CEG’s Resilient Power Project, which focuses on solar+storage for critical infrastructure energy resiliency. His recent work has focused on battery storage technologies, policy, and economics, and he has authored numerous reports for state and federal agencies. He has also participated in numerous energy storage deployment projects, at the utility, commercial and residential scales. He holds a Master of Science in Environmental Policy from Bard College and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University.


Planning & Process

This track is designed to build the capacity of participants to begin the planning process for climate adaptation and resilience.  The sessions will explore key leverage points and techniques as well as existing community planning processes for developing and incorporating adaptation goals and recommendations.  Participants will learn how to collaborate with existing stakeholders and link to regional, statewide and national planning efforts.

Incorporating Climate Adaptation & Resilience in Day to Day Planning

Local governments are increasingly concerned about more frequent storms, inundation, and how climate change impacts physical infrastructure, recreation, land use policy, public safety, food security, and emergency management. This session focuses on some of the cutting-edge plans and processes municipalities are using to guide local decision making through land use mechanisms, zoning, comprehensive planning, permitting, etc.

Kristin Baja, USDN Climate Resilience Officer
Kevin Geiger, Senior Planner, Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission

Kristin Baja is USDN’s first Climate Resilience Officer, responsible for helping cities identify strategic ways to advance climate resilience planning and implementation and building their capacity to take action. The majority of her time is spent supporting cities and facilitating deeper relationships between local governments and other stakeholders in the Mid-Atlantic region. Prior to USDN, she served as the Climate and Resilience Planner with the City of Baltimore’s Office of Sustainability where she led the city’s climate adaptation and equity work. She holds a Masters of Urban Planning and a Masters of Science from the University of Michigan. In 2016, she was recognized by the Obama Administration as a Champion of Change for her work on climate and equity.

Kevin Geiger has over 20 years of experience in assisting Vermont towns. He recently wrote our successful application to EPA for $400,000 in brownfields assessment funds, putting our dormant brownfields back into action. Kevin is also responsible for Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission’s local and regional emergency management planning efforts and water quality policy; as well as assisting towns with regulating floodplain development, zoning, and capital budgeting. Off hours in March, Kevin can be found pruning apple trees, as well as moderating the Pomfret Town Meeting.


Communities, Climate Justice, & Equitable Adaptation: Collaborating for Resilience
Climate change disproportionately affects low-income and communities of color, those with the least resources to prepare, sustain and recover from extreme events. In this interactive session, participants will explore strategies for ensuring that their adaptation work has equitable impacts in under-resourced communities.  The session will include brief presentations about equitable adaptation strategies and tools, as well as on-the ground case studies from a community-based perspective. The second half of the session will involve breakout groups that will develop equity strategies for real world adaptation challenges.  Participants should leave the session with tools, strategies and insights that will help them collaborate with communities to advance equitable outcomes in their adaptation work.

Sarika Tandon, Consultant and Equity Strategist
Aurash Khawarzad, Director of Policy & Strategy, Race Forward

Sarika Tandon is an Equity Consultant who works to help environmental organizations develop and implement strategies that increase their equity impacts in communities of color and communities facing poverty.  Most recently she has worked with The Nature Conservancy, where she was a contributing author and Senior Editor of The Field Guide to Conservation in Cities.  Sarika is a former Program Director at Center for Whole Communities, where she led the development of Whole Measures for Urban Conservation, an equity-oriented planning, evaluation and community engagement framework for The Nature Conservancy’s North America Cities Network. In 2013 Sarika completed her Master’s degree in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability from Antioch University New England’s Department of Environmental Studies. For her Master’s Project she developed a practitioner tool to help integrate social justice parameters into climate adaptation planning processes.

Aurash Khawarzad is the Director of Policy & Strategy at the new Race Forward. In his position he conducts research and develops community-based plans that work to eradicate the causes and systems of race and class discrimination in America.

Since 2009, Aurash has worked nationally and in New York City as an urban planner. Most recently, he worked as Policy Coordinator at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, where he led the development of the Upper Manhattan Climate Action Plan—a climate action project that included participation from hundreds of stakeholders and has led to the development of social enterprises that are helping to lead changes in infrastructure, social services, local education, emergency response, and more. You can see the plan here. He also teaches urban planning part time at The New School and City University of New York.


From the Ivory Tower to the Community: Partnerships that work
Advances in recent research from institutions of higher learning could help communities achieve implementation of climate resilience goals. This session will highlight best practices and lessons learned in these types of effective partnership from around the eastern U.S.

James Gruber, Antioch University New England
Rebecca French, Director of Community Engagement, Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation, University of Connecticut

Jim Gruber is an internationally recognized academic expert and professional in the topics of Community-Based Natural Resource Management and methods for engaged and participatory research that leads to sustainable governance of ecosystems. He is a Professor and Director of the PhD Program in Environmental Studies and Co-Director of the Resource Management and Conservation MS Program at Antioch University New England. During the past 30 years, he has consulted to national and state governments, regional non-profit organizations, universities, and local governments in Eastern Europe, Mexico, South America, Africa, and the United States on environmental policy, community-based natural resource management, social capital building, facilitating systemic change, engaged scholarship, climate adaptation and resilience, energy conservation, and solar technology. He has published numerous articles on his research. Jim holds a PhD from the University of Zagreb in Environmental Resource Management, a MPA from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also a professional Civil Engineer (PE).

Dr. Rebecca French is the Director of Community Engagement for the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), a partnership between the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. She translates science and engineering to help communities, state and local government, private industry, and academic partners implement solutions to adapt to a changing climate and extreme weather while strengthening resilience through economic development, policies and social cohesion. Dr. French serves on the Long Term Recovery Committee and the State Agencies Fostering Resilience Council. She manages the CIRCA Advisory Committee with members from foundations, former legislators, utilities, insurance and municipalities. Previously she was a AAAS Science &Technology Policy Fellow with the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development on the staff of the Chief Innovation Officer, leading initiatives on open innovation on technology and crowdsourcing for the agency. She served as a Congressional Science Fellow in Senator Sanders’ (I-VT) office staffing him on the Energy & Natural Resources and Environment & Public Works committees and acting as the agriculture legislative assistant. She holds an M.S from Cornell University in soil chemistry and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in geosciences. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College in chemistry and environmental studies.


How do we Measure Success?
Climate change is having far-reaching effects on natural resources and human communities, and decision makers often struggle with how to identify, prioritize, and evaluate the effectiveness of climate adaptation actions. In order to determine what is and is not working, monitoring and evaluation is a much needed – although less developed – adaptation discipline. This session will explore ways to measure success in adaptation by incorporating monitoring and evaluation into the adaptation planning process to improve long-term success.

Rachel Gregg, EcoAdapt

Rachel Gregg created and manages the State of Adaptation Program and serves as the Content Editor for the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE). In addition, she provides support to the Awareness to Action and Adaptation Consultation programs. She brings expertise in survey design and analysis, identifying and evaluating climate adaptation actions, developing guidance to support decision-making and management in a changing climate, and communicating climate impacts and response strategies to diverse audiences. She serves as an adaptation expert in different capacities, including acting as a reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report, contributing author to the National Climate Assessment, and member of the U.S. Urban Adaptation Assessment Advisory Committee and the Central Puget Sound Regional Open Space Ecosystem Services Committee.

She earned her undergraduate degree from Smith College in Government and Marine Science, and a Master’s in interdisciplinary marine science and policy from the University of Washington. Rachel lives in Seattle and enjoys traveling, painting, camping, the All Blacks, and Liverpool FC.


Communication, Leadership, & Engagement Track

Effective climate adaptation will require not only implementation of new plans and techniques, but it will also require effective communication with the public and engagement from citizens. Participants will learn about effective engagement strategies based on recent social science and communication techniques. The track will further explore how to strategically build the political will and public support for local climate resilience in your community. In addition, best practices and innovative examples of community engagement and communication will be shared and discussed for lessons learned.


Civic Engagement in the New Political Environment
There is broad scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, is anthropogenic, and there is support for policy action – from the local to international level. This public support, however, has not translated into political action, resulting in limited implementation of the solutions to help create resilient communities and ecosystems. The US Third National Climate Assessment lists implementation as the number one significant gap in successful climate adaptation. Why are we losing the battle on motivating the American public into action? What does engagement even really mean? Communications experts have known for a long time the effectiveness of content marketing and branding to get people to buy something based on values and worldviews. This session will highlight dominant American values and how to message and engage community members based on common goals.

Carina Barnett-Loro, Outreach Coordinator, Climate Advocacy Lab, Skoll Global Threats Fund

As an outreach coordinator for the Climate Advocacy Lab, Carina Barnett-Loro helps climate and clean energy advocates run smarter public engagement campaigns. She leads workshops and trainings that bring folks together from across the climate community to share evidence-based best practices and foster new collaborations. Prior to joining the climate team at Skoll Global Threats Fund, Carina worked as a community organizer on climate and clean energy campaigns with the Union of Concerned Scientists and the North Carolina Sierra Club.


Creating and Tapping Existing Networks
How can municipal leaders and staff connect with one another across departments, jurisdictions and community stakeholders to implement climate solutions? This session will present ideas for tapping into existing political activist networks to create local climate change policy. It will showcase best practices in co-creating a unifying communication campaign for all networks to institutionalize.

Kristin Baja, USDN Climate Resilience Officer
Deb Markowitz, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

Kristin Baja is USDN’s first Climate Resilience Officer, responsible for helping cities identify strategic ways to advance climate resilience planning and implementation and building their capacity to take action. The majority of her time is spent supporting cities and facilitating deeper relationships between local governments and other stakeholders in the Mid-Atlantic region. Prior to USDN, she served as the Climate and Resilience Planner with the City of Baltimore’s Office of Sustainability where she led the city’s climate adaptation and equity work. She holds a Masters of Urban Planning and a Masters of Science from the University of Michigan. In 2016, she was recognized by the Obama Administration as a Champion of Change for her work on climate and equity.

Deborah Markowitz is the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, the state agency with primary responsibility for protecting Vermont’s environment, natural resources and wildlife and for maintaining Vermont’s forests and state parks. Markowitz was named to that position by Governor Peter Shumlin in January 2011.

Secretary Markowitz previously served as Vermont’s Secretary of State from 1999 until 2011. Markowitz has a distinguished record of achievement and is widely recognized for enhancing customer service at the Secretary of State’s office, improving access to government and strengthening Vermont’s democracy.

As Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, Markowitz has shaped the environmental agenda of the state, focusing on the challenges of climate change, strategic land conservation, growing threats to forest health and integrity, and improving the water quality of Vermont’s lakes and rivers. Markowitz believes that given today’s challenges, we must find new and creative approaches to care for nature, build healthy communities, and support the working landscape for a sustainable future.

A graduate of the University of Vermont (B.A., 1983), Markowitz received her Juris Doctorate degree from the Georgetown University Law Center (magna cum laude,1987). Markowitz served as a law clerk with Justice Louis Peck of the Vermont Supreme Court (1987 – 1988) and practiced law with Langrock, Sperry, Parker and Wool (1988 – 1990). She served as the founding director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns Municipal Law Center (1990 – 1997), where she published numerous handbooks and academic papers on local government law and lectured locally and nationally on issues related to municipal law and on ethics in government. Markowitz is the author of the Vermont Municipal Guide to Land Use Regulation (1997) and Vermont Municipal Environmental Handbook (1995).

Secretary Markowitz serves as the Chair of Vermont’s Climate Cabinet and represented Vermont on the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. She serves on the Executive Board of the Environmental Council of the States and on the Boards of Advisors for the Georgetown Climate Center, Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience, and for the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Markowitz is the founder of the Vermont Women’s Leadership Initiative and Vermont Parks Forever – the Foundation for Vermont’s State Parks. She has been recognized nationally for her leadership by being awarded an Aspen Institute Rodel fellowship and the Kennedy School of Governments’ Cahn Fellowship.


Innovative Engagement Strategies
(Mini-Lightning Session)

Struggling to engage stakeholders in outreach events? This session will cover innovative, emergent practices to engage the community. Through best practices and lesson learned, participants will learn the basics of developing an effective climate engagement strategy for their target audiences. This session will cover:

Cara Pike, Climate Access – Facilitator and Moderator (overall)

Cara Pike developed the idea for the network in her role as founder and director of The Resource Innovation Group’s Social Capital Project. She was formerly the vice president of communications for the leading nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice, where she created and ran a full-service internal communications agency for the organization’s eight offices, policy arm and international program. Cara was a founding board member of the Global Footprint Network, is an advisory board member of David Suzuki’s Stonehouse Standing Circle and serves on the boards of Resource Media and the Hollyhock Educational Foundation. She has a Masters of Science in Environmental Communications from California State University-Fullerton and a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Communications and Environmental Science from McGill University.

Panelists for Lightning Session: TBA


Encouraging Residents to be Spokespeople for Adaptation
How do you encourage residents and people who do not work on climate adaptation to be advocates in your own community? This session will explore models cities are using to get residents more involved in defining climate adaptation priorities and strategies – and in building residential capacity to take adaptation actions in their own homes.

Beth Gibbons, American Society of Adaptation Professionals
Mia Mansfield, Climate Ready Boston Program Manager, City of Boston


Elizabeth “Beth” Gibbons is a Senior Program Officer for ISC’s U.S. Program, where she serves as the Managing Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP). In this role, she is responsible for strengthening ASAP as an emerging nonprofit organization, managing relationships with its members, board and donors, and bringing adaptation best practices into the broader urban conversation. She also supports ISC’s other urban resilience initiatives.

Prior to ISC, Beth was Director of the University of Michigan Climate Center and managed NOAA’s Great Lakes Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center. She also worked for the Graham Sustainability Institute as a research specialist, helping develop and implement the Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities. Previously, Beth worked for the International Forestry and Research Institute and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs supporting organization operations and communications. She served in the Peace Corps in Agodopke, Togo. Beth earned her undergraduate degree in Comparative Politics from the Catholic University of America and holds a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.

Mia Mansfield manages the Climate Ready Boston initiative for the City of Boston Office of Environment, Energy and Open Space. In this role, she is responsible for directing the City’s climate adaptation efforts, including implementation of the Climate Ready Boston plan, the City’s participation in the Metro Boston Preparedness Taskforce, and collaborating with ongoing planning processes like Imagine Boston 2030, Go Boston 2030 and the Resilience Strategy. She has a Master’s in City Planning from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and a BA in Environmental Studies from Brandeis University.


Public Health

This track will address the direct links between climate change and impacts on the public health of a community and our ecosystems. We will discuss projected changes to human health, economy, and quality of life, and what are the best approaches to prepare, mitigate, adapt, and build resilience to changes in public health. This track is designed for public health officials, disaster preparedness personnel, local leaders, ecosystem managers and others to collaboratively learn best practices in preparedness for anticipated impacts.


Stay Cool on a Hot Planet: Dealing with Extreme Heat
New England is likely to experience significantly greater warming over the next decade, and beyond, than the rest of the planet, according to new findings by climate scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The region’s temperatures are projected to rise by an average of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels by 2025. How can municipalities effectively build resilience to projected heat increases? A recent study conducted by the New Hampshire Environmental Public Health Tracking Program evaluated the impacts of heat on health in New England, and demonstrated that both moderate (e.g., 90-95oF) and extreme (e.g., >105oF) heat are associated with an increase in hospitalizations and deaths.  The results were shared with the National Weather Service who then decided to lower the threshold for Excessive Heat Advisories in the Northeast for the 2017 summer heat season. Participants will learn about the study findings, the new NWS policy, and strategies to incorporate this information into planning and communication efforts.

Matthew Cahillane, Director, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, Bureau of Public Health Protection.
Katherine Bush, Program Manager, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

Matt Cahillane is a Public Health Program Manager with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. His responsibilities include managing environmental issues related to climate change, weather hazards, related health impacts, and coordination of local health officers. He also administers a CDC cooperative agreement on Building Resilience to Climate Effects (BRACE). His educational background includes emergency medicine, a B.S. in preventive health studies from UMass Amherst, and a Masters of Public Health from UCLA. His current outreach projects include building community resilience against severe weather and climate change, and supporting local towns to solve environmental problems and enforce health laws.

Dr. Kathleen Bush is the Program Manager for the Environmental Public Health Tracking Program at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. Her work focuses on human-environment interactions. With a background in environmental epidemiology, she is able to draw on a variety of statistical and geospatial methods to evaluate trends in health outcomes across space and time. Kathleen has several active collaborations with public health professionals at the State and Local level as well as other State Agencies such as the Department of Environmental Services. In addition, she has ongoing partnerships with academic partners across the State. She is committed to building environmental health capacity and increasing awareness of environmental hazards and health equity. Kathleen completed her Ph.D. in 2011 in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, where she was also a Graham Environmental Sustainability Doctoral Fellow.


Taking the Drama out of Trauma: Climate Change and Mental Health
Increased incidences of natural disasters, economic and social instability caused by climate change have significant impacts on mental health. Working with people who have experienced trauma, including those affected by climate change impacts, requires an intentional approach to nurture resilience and recovery. This session will cover the impact of climate change on mental health, and key competencies for all stakeholders in dealing with trauma and mental health as part of community resilience and business continuity. Participants will gain knowledge of the importance for all responders to the impacts of extreme weather events to interact with survivors in a manner that is not “re-traumatizing.”

Catherine Lounsbury, Associate Professor, Applied Psychology, Antioch University New England
Clifford Mitchell, MS, MD, MPH, Director of the Environmental Health Bureau, Maryland Department of Health

Cathy Lounsbury received her doctorate in Counselor Education from the University of Maine, Orono, and has been a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Maine for twenty years. Cathy comes to Antioch with over 25 years experience in the mental health field working with both children and adults, specializing in those who have experienced trauma. She has provided consultation, training and supervision to schools and communities throughout New England on Post-traumatic Stress Management, Fostering Resiliency in Children, Mitigating the Effects of Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Promoting Positive Youth Development. In addition, she has worked on both local and national community trauma response teams, providing response to individuals affected by traumatic events and national disasters. Cathy has led several federal initiatives, including Safe Schools Healthy Students and Grants to Reduce Alcohol Abuse, to create better systems to support youth and families and is the past president of the Southern Maine Counseling Association.

Clifford S. Mitchell, MS, MD, MPH is the Director of the Environmental Health Bureau, in the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration, Maryland Department of Health.  The Bureau’s responsibilities include:  food protection; environmental, occupational, and injury epidemiology; and a wide array of healthy homes and injury prevention programs.  He joined the Department in 2006, after 14 years on the faculty of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Dr. Mitchell received a B.A. from Williams College, an M.S. from the Mass. Institute of Technology, an M.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University, and his M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.  Dr. Mitchell serves as Principal Investigator for several projects in the Department, including climate change, environmental public health tracking, occupational injury and illness surveillance, violent death surveillance, and the Department’s Office of Food Protection Rapid Response Team.  He also serves on a number of national and State environmental health advisory committees.


Ticks, Mosquitos, Flies, Oh My!
Climate change creates new uncertainties about the spread of vector borne diseases–diseases which are transmitted to humans through the bites of insects that carry the disease-causing pathogen. In recent years we’ve seen outbreaks of dengue fever, malaria, lyme disease and Zika. This session will cover how vector borne diseases are impacting the eastern United States, and what communities can do to manage mosquitos, ticks, flies and other common disease transmitting vectors as well as increase resilience to disease outbreaks.

Nicholas Ogden, senior research scientist and Director of Public Health Risk Sciences, National Microbiology Laboratory of Public Health Agency of Canada

Dr. Nick Ogden is a UK-trained veterinarian (University of Liverpool, 1983). After 10 years of mixed clinical practice, he completed a doctorate in Lyme disease ecology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford in 1996. In 2002 he moved to Canada, where he continued research on the ecology of Lyme disease and other zoonoses and climate change as a research scientist at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). As interim Director of the Environmental Issues Division of PHAC he directed a program on climate change and vector and water-borne disease risks, and community adaptation to these risks. As Director of the Zoonoses Division he directed programs on national coordination, surveillance and prevention of zoonoses including Lyme disease and West Nile virus. He is now a senior research scientist and Director of Public Health Risk Sciences division within the National Microbiology Laboratory of PHAC focusing on assessing risk by study of the ecology, epidemiology and genetic diversity of vectors and zoonotic and vector-borne micro-organisms, assessing impacts of climate change on zoonoses and vector-borne diseases, and developing tools for public health adaptation.


A Breath of Fresh Air: Managing Air Quality
Burning fossil fuels for energy, driving cars, and incinerating garbage are all practices that put pollutants into the atmosphere that cause climate change and degrades air quality. Smog and air pollution leads to a number of health concerns including asthma, allergies, lung disease, anxiety, and depression. The elderly, young children, pregnant women are especially vulnerable. This session will cover current challenges to managing air quality best practices for urban and rural communities, and reducing health risks for the most vulnerable.

Darrell A. Winner, Ph.D., Associate Director for Integrated Science, Air, Climate, and Energy National Research Program, Office of Research & Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Darrell Winner is the Associate Director for Integrated Science in EPA’s Air, Climate and Energy National Research Program. Dr. Winner serves as the EPA representative for the 4th National Climate Assessment and is an author of the overview and the air quality chapters. Dr. Winner helped to plan the EPA research strategy to understand the impact of climate change on air quality and managed many of the extramural research projects on this topic. Dr. Winner earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering Science from the California Institute of Technology. Before joining EPA’s Office of Research & Development, Dr. Winner worked at the Air Force Research Laboratory, as well as several different EPA Offices, including Policy, Air, and Environmental Information.


Upcoming Events


2018 Local Solutions: Eastern Climate Preparedness Conference

Antioch University New England is hosting the 2018 Local Solutions: Eastern Climate Preparedness Conference on April 30, May 1 and May 2nd 2018 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.
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