Back to all Conferences


Note: AICP credits pending

April 30, 2018 Workshops

Mobilizing Action: Effective Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Strategies
Parts 1 & 2

How do we engage our community? What does engagement really mean or look like? Learn the current social and psychological science research and how it can be applied to engage individuals to know, care and act upon climate change. Communication is more than just the message. Understanding your audience – who they are and how to reach them – and clarity in what you hope your communication will accomplish are critical to developing an effective communication strategy. This workshop will begin in the morning with the basics on engagement and communication stemming from the latest research. The afternoon will split into various smaller workshops running at concurrent times to dive deeper into different areas of communication and engagement. The afternoon workshops will focus on:


Kristin Baja, USDN Climate Resilience Officer

Christa Daniels, Program Manager, Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience, Antioch University New England

Dave Herring, Director of Communication & Education, NOAA Climate Program Office;

Cara Pike, Executive Director, Climate Access

Jason Rhoades, Researcher, Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience; International Service Program Director, Antioch University New England

Abigail Abrash Walton, Co-Director, Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience; Director, Advocacy Concentration, Environmental Studies Master’s Degree, Antioch University New England


Abigail Abrash Walton serves as co-director of Antioch’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience (CCPCR), and as faculty in the Department of Environmental Studies, where she directs the Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability master’s degree concentration.  Under her leadership, the CCPCR has developed and delivered applied research and education/training programming, including the Weathering Change: Local Solutions for Strong Communities webinar series, in partnership with NOAA and U.S. EPA; the CCPCR’s road test of version 1.0 of the Obama Administration’s Climate Resilience Toolkit; a coastal resilience Facilitated Community of Practice on Maryland’s Eastern Shore; development of a Climate and Health Adaptation Plan for New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region; and the 2018 Local Solutions: Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness conference.  She also served on the leadership teams for the 2014 and 2016 Local Solutions conferences, convened by Antioch in partnership with U.S. EPA.  Her research focuses on leadership, including fossil fuel divestment.  Previously, she served as program director for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights and New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, and as a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program.  She serves on the leadership team for the tri-state region’s Ecovation Hub (MA, NH, and VT).

Abigail chaired the City of Keene’s Planning Board (2011-2014) and served on the Steering Committee for the City’s Master Plan, which focuses explicitly on sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation.  She contributed to the city’s adoption of a Hillside Protection Ordinance and Surface Water Protection Ordinance as well as updates to the Planning Board’s development standards to include Comprehensive Transportation Management and Low-Impact Development.

She has been a commentator for The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Public Radio, “Democracy Now!” and “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” among other media outlets.  Abigail holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, a M.Sc. in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center.


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.


For the past 15 years, Christa Daniels has worked with local governments to foster energy independence, reduce traffic congestion, curb local air pollution, strengthen local economies, and increase their resilience to the changing climate. Mrs. Daniels has facilitated and created innovative participatory stakeholder engagement strategies with towns and regions such as Marin County California, Pittsburgh PA, the Greater Portland Council of Governments, Monadnock region in New Hampshire, NY Department of Conservation, Maplewood NJ, and Bridgeport CT. Christa earned her B.A. in Political Science at Pace University and M.S. in Resource Management and Administration at Antioch Graduate School. Christa’s past experience includes working for the United Nations, NH Department of Environmental Services, Clean Air Cool Planet, and as a city planner for Keene, NH. She currently works for Antioch University New England (AUNE) as the Program Manager for the Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience Center and Climate Access as a research coordinator. Christa is currently completing her dissertation on climate resilience and civic engagement at AUNE. Christa loves snowboarding, running, and spending time with her five year-old son.


David Herring is a science writer and editor with extensive experience writing and speaking about climate and Earth system science. In March 2008, David joined NOAA’s Climate Program Office where he serves as Director of Communication and Education. He also serves as Program Manager of the NOAA Web Portal ( and leads the Climate Literacy Objective for NOAA’s Climate Mission Goal. Before coming to NOAA, David worked for 16 years in the Earth Sciences Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where he served as Project Manager for Education and Outreach, team leader for NASA’s Earth Observatory (, and the Terra satellite mission’s Outreach Coordinator. David trained in journalism, science education, and science writing at East Carolina University, in Greenville, NC, where he received his Master’s Degree in Science and Technical Communications in 1992.


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.


As a researcher for the Center, Jason Rhoades’ work focuses on providing meaningful opportunities for marginalized groups to engage in participatory planning and decision-making.   In particular, he facilitates and studies collaborative climate change adaptation planning projects with vulnerable populations.  Most recently he completed a participatory adaptation planning project with the senior citizen community of Bridgeport, Connecticut.  In addition to his work with the Center, Jason serves on the faculty in the Environmental Studies and Management Departments and directs the International Service Program at Antioch University New England.  Jason earned his PhD in Environmental Studies at AUNE in 2016. Prior to joining AUNE, he held a variety of positions in the environmental field including serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Armenia.

Nuts and Bolts of Conducting a Vulnerability Assessment

As communities plan for the impacts of climate change, a vulnerability assessment enables them to identify their vulnerabilities and create strategies for adaptation. Using on-the-ground examples, this workshop will focus on conducting a climate vulnerability assessment at the local or regional level. Leaders will learn how to build stakeholder capacity so that the outputs of the assessment can then be utilized to actively implement options that can strengthen a community’s resilience.

Specific topics to be addressed in the workshop include:

This will be an interactive workshop, where participants will be asked to bring their own perspectives to the table and to actively engage in group exercises.

Participants should leave with a better understanding of:


Michael Simpson, Antioch University New England

Michael Simpson has been a senior environmental scientist and partner for two environmental consultant firms in the Northeast. He has also worked for both the NH Dept. of Environmental Services and the MA Dept. of Environmental Protection. He is a licensed wetlands scientist with over thirty years of experience in wetland and riparian corridor assessments, employing a variety of assessment approaches and data collection procedures. Much of his current research has been funded by NOAA and the US EPA, which focuses on working with local stakeholders to identify potential risks from riparian corridors from a changing landscape, in the context of changing climate. Many of his applied research projects have necessarily include a stakeholder capacity building effort to develop and implement adaptation strategies in the face of projected impacts. Currently, he directs the graduate degree program in Resource Management and Conservation at Antioch University New England; where he also co-directs the Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience. He has graduate degrees from Dartmouth College and Antioch University New England


Legal Solutions Workshop – Overcoming Legal Barriers to Adaptation
In this workshop, practitioners will discuss how local governments can navigate and overcome legal barriers to adaptation. Preparing for the impacts of climate change will require governments to dramatically transform how they make decisions about capital investments, land use, and risk management, among other considerations. In this session, practitioners will introduce the legal considerations that local governments will need to implement a legally viable approach to adapting to the impacts from climate change.  Topics covered will include:

In break-out sessions, participants will be invited to share a adaptation policy or project they are considering and discuss the legal questions they are navigating.


Dena Adler, Climate Law Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School;

Jessica Grannis, Georgetown Climate Center;

Christina Moore, Storm Petrel LLC

Thomas Ruppert, Florida Sea Grant Program at the University of Florida

Julia Wyman, Marine Affairs Institute and Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program at Roger Williams School of Law;



 is the Adaptation Program Manager for the Georgetown Climate Center and is a staff attorney and adjunct professor at the Harrison Institute for Public Law, at Georgetown University Law Center.  Ms. Grannis oversees staff and student research and analysis of federal, state and local adaptation efforts. Her recent publications include Rebuilding With Resilience: Lessons from the Rebuild By Design Competition After Hurricane Sandy (2016), an Adaptation Tool Kit for Sea Level Rise (2012) and a book chapter on Coastal Retreat in the Law of Climate Change Adaptation: U.S. and International Aspects (2012, with Peter Byrne). Prior to joining the Georgetown Climate Center, she was staff counsel for the California State Coastal Conservancy and the Ocean Protection Council.  She holds a B.A. in history from the University of Chicago; a J.D., Cum Laude, from University of California Hastings College of the Law; and a LL.M, with honors, from Georgetown Law.


Thomas Ruppert, coastal planning specialist at the Florida Sea Grant College Program, is a licensed attorney developing legal and policy analysis for local governments on aspects of adaptive planning for sea-level rise, community resilience, and associated long-term challenges and opportunities for Florida’s coastal communities. Areas of expertise include federal and state property rights law, beach and coastal policy in Florida, flood insurance, Florida’s Coastal Construction Control Line program, planning law, and coastal and marine permitting programs. He has worked with over a dozen partners to organize and host legal workshops on coastal issues and flood insurance around the state. Mr. Ruppert is currently involved with several initiatives within Florida communities planning for sea-level rise and maintains a website of original resources at


Christina Moore: The simplest wisdom about disasters is that they happen. Illness, car accidents, flooding, hurricanes, terrorism, war are constants. Waking to a sunny day with a smile stating: “That can’t happen to me,” triggers inaction. The convenience of the corner bodega, the super market, and the always open Walmart pushes the ancient credo of storing food, protecting water sources, and engaging in planning that spans season from our collective mind. When Hurricane Irene hit my town in southern Vermont, it removed four bridges and miles of roads isolating my neighbors from the rest of New England. Like Puerto Rico, the most obvious tasks involve moving debris, repairing roads, and tending to the urgent human needs for food, water, and medical services. Behind every big yellow machine on the road, behind every yard of concrete hides the intricacies of financial logistics. The disaster will end well before the ledgers balance. How does a town of 500 residents pay for new bridges and miles of roads? In the US, there are three options: (1) increase taxes to the local residents; (2) expand the taxpayer base such that the increase in minor; (3) you opt not to pay for it and abandon public infrastructure.

Christina Moore formed Storm Petrel in 2006 providing both emergency management consulting and data management services in New England and New York. The company provides methods-based processes to clients while emphasizing and measuring results. Ms. Moore, who designed and deployed internet technology in Alaska and Iraq, has three decades of experience in emergency services, crisis management and software development.


Julia Wyman is an environmental attorney with national policy experience.  Ms. Wyman is the Director at the Marine Affairs Institute (MAI), a partnership of the Roger Williams University School of Law, Rhode Island Sea Grant, and the University of Rhode Island; she is also the Director of the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program.  Ms. Wyman is also an adjunct faculty member at the Roger Williams University School of Law, where she teaches Climate Change Law and Policy, Ocean Management Law and Policy, and Environmental Justice.  Previously, Ms. Wyman served as Ocean and Environmental Counsel to United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).  Before working for Senator Whitehouse, Ms. Wyman served as the Staff Attorney for the MAI and Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program.  Prior to her work at the MAI, Ms. Wyman served as the Policy Analyst at the Coastal States Organization (CSO) in Washington, DC.  CSO represents the Governors of the 35 coastal states, commonwealths, and territories, on legislative and policy issues relating to the sound management of coastal, Great Lakes, and ocean resources.  Ms. Wyman holds a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law and a B.A. from Trinity College, CT.


Dena Adler joined the Sabin Center in September 2017 as a Climate Law Fellow. Dena’s work at the Sabin Center focuses on developing legal and regulatory tools to advance the efforts of governments and private actors to adapt to a changing climate and to mitigate the effects of climate change. She is particularly interested in cultivating solutions that can work cohesively across jurisdictional scales. Before starting at the Sabin Center, Dena completed a J.D. at Yale Law School and a Masters of Environmental Management at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. While at Yale, Dena worked with the Yale Climate Change Dialogue and City of Paris to expand global action on climate change by designing legal mechanisms that could link climate commitments from cities, regional governments, and corporate actors to the international treaty regime. She has completed legal internships at the Environmental Defense Fund, Earthjustice, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.


Working with Difference: Practices for Cultivating Change

The data is clear, in order to address current and impending impacts of Climate Change, we must be working collaboratively across many aspects of difference. The divides we experience across sectors of work, government agencies and community based organizations, rural and urban, ecological and social sciences, not to mention race, class and gender continue to hinder our most creative responses to climate threats to human and ecological health. In this experiential session you will learn practices and frameworks for bridging those differences, collaborating effectively and planning for a more resilient future.

Our work is informed by systems thinking and recent findings in neuroscience understanding of human behavior and how change is possible. Join this session to put theory into practice and cultivate your capacity to build relationships and collaborate effectively across systemic divides.


Mohamad A. Chakaki, Co-Director, Field & Network Development

Ginny McGinn, Co-Director, Organizational Development & Programs

Mohamad Chakaki grew up playing in the sand and surf on both sides of the Arabian Peninsula, and then on the edges of eastern forests and city streets in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. His intellectual and professional interests lie where the lines blur between East and West, cities and nature, art and science, and so on. Mohamad holds a Masters of Environmental Management with a focus on Urban Ecology and Environmental Design from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and undergraduate degrees in Religion and Biology from The George Washington University. He completed doctoral coursework at the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT, with research into emerging urban landscapes in the modern Middle East.

Mohamad has followed his passion for working in nature and with people in parks and gardens across the US, with the Peace Corps in Central Africa, and the United Nations in Syria. He consults on environment and community development projects in both the US and the Arab Middle East. Mohamad was a co-founder of the DC Green Muslims network and is a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program.


Ginny McGinn is a mother, artist, organizer, meditator and radical change midwife. Throughout her career, she has been deeply involved in the work of social and organizational change and in building partnerships across lines of power and privilege. Ginny has a profound interest in how change happens, from the level of individual transformation through the level of entire communities or systems, and it is this process of change that she seeks to continue to study and facilitate in her leadership at Whole Communities.

Previously, Ginny served as president of Bioneers, a national nonprofit dedicated to disseminating practical and visionary solutions for restoring Earth’s ecosystems and healing human communities. While at Bioneers she and her colleagues greatly expanded the reach of its programs by launching satellite conferences and building partnerships in cities around the country, creating access for many who would not have otherwise had it.

Cultivating practices that support whole communities (lower case intended) and bringing those practices into our daily lives is the focus of her current work. Through “Whole Thinking in Practice” we are able to stay present, make better decisions, and act on behalf of the whole as we go about our work in organizations and movements.

Ginny facilitates and consults on organizational change around the country, using the Whole Thinking Practices and the tools she and her colleagues have helped evolve at Center for Whole Communities.


Fundamentals for the Field Training
In late 2017 ASAP will release the ASAP Fundamentals for Field Report and Guide to Action. This resource will serve as both a guiding and guidance document for the adaptation field. Based on these fundamentals and areas of action ASAP will develop advanced adaptation training resources for adaptation professionals and basic adaptation training resources for various other sectors, including urban planning, community health, social work, and guidance to the private/consulting sector. In this session, ASAP will pilot its training program for advanced adaptation professionals.


Beth Gibbons, Managing Director, American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP)


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. Beth brings a decade of experience in sustainable development and climate adaptation to her role. Additionally, she has nonprofit management and governance experience and is highly skilled in climate communications, research and outreach, collaborative project management, and stakeholder management.

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.


Practical Guidance for Building Climate Resilience

This workshop will demonstrate how to use the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit ( and its “Steps to Resilience” framework to support bottom-up approaches to addressing climate challenges. Participants will evaluate practical approaches to inventorying assets and their associated climate-related hazards; conducting vulnerability and risk analyses; examining options; and prioritizing climate adaptation decisions and investments prior to taking action. This session will include some lecture, real-world case studies, and hands-on exercises (so please bring your laptop or tablet). We will examine the national resilience ecosystem of data, tools, and services (both federal and private sector) that can help you, in your location.  And we will hear lessons learned from leading practitioners who have successfully taken action to implement local solutions for climate preparedness.


David Herring, NOAA
Edward Gardiner, NOAA
Ellen Mecray, NOAA
Alex Abbott,  USFWS Gulf of Maine Coastal Program
Jeremy Hoffman, Richmond Science Center

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.
Register Now

join our mailing list

Sign up to get updates and information about events from the Center delivered to your inbox. All fields are required.

By submitting this form, you are granting: , permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy ( for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.

Contact Us

Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience

Antioch University New England
40 Avon Street
Keene, NH 03431-3516

supported By

Antioch University New England

©2018 Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience.

Web design by EHW Design.