Increasing U.S. Communities’ and Businesses’ Resilience to Extreme Events

The NOAA Climate Program Office’s Communication, Education, and Engagement (CEE) Division is announcing four new one-year projects in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 that will help U.S. local governments, communities, businesses, and other stakeholders adapt and increase resilience to climate-related impacts and extreme events. The competitively selected projects total $150,000 in awards.

Billion-dollar disasters in the United States from extreme weather and climate events have more than quadrupled in number and cost since 1980. According to the 2018 State of the Climate report, tropical cyclones were well above average with over 10 percent of the named cyclones reaching Category 5 intensity level. To better prepare themselves and manage risks to valued assets from rising impacts, Americans are increasingly turning to NOAA for actionable climate information.

Some of the aftermath of storm surge from Hurricane Florence: a boat pushed inland onto high ground. Photo courtesy the Morehead City National Weather Service Forecast Office.

A key part of CEE’s mission is to help U.S. communities and businesses better understand and manage their climate-related risks and opportunities, for instance improving resilience to extreme events. To achieve this mission, CEE manages and maintains the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT), offering easy public access to federal science-based information, tools, data products, and expertise. These resources are designed to help U.S. decision makers, resource managers, municipal planners, business and policy leaders protect and manage their valued assets. Average annual CRT visit rates to use these resources have risen by roughly 53% per year over the last three years.

Complementing the CRT, the CEE Division initiated a public-private partnership to establish the Resilience Ecosystem—an open and inclusive community of organizations and individuals who are interested in collaboration in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of climate adaptation and resilience-building practices so that, together, they may achieve much more than would be possible if each worked independently.

“CEE aims to help incentivize collaboration through these cooperative agreement awards,” said David Herring, CEE Division Chief. “Emphasis in this competition is on integration of existing tools, resources, and methodologies that result in improved efficiency, greater scalability, more interoperability, and new wholes that are greater than the sum of their parts.”

The four new projects funded by the CEE Division in FY19 are:

  • Integrating Climate and Socioeconomic Data to Map Risk Exposure
    • PI: Patty Gude, Headwaters Economics
    • Co-PI: Art DeGaetano, Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC) at Cornell University
    • This project will integrate two open-access tools: Neighborhoods at Risk, hosted by Headwaters Economics, and the Applied Climate Information System (ACIS), hosted by the NRCC. This will address users’ requests for more customizable outputs, such as visualization of selected thresholds (e.g., heat and precipitation), for any location in the U.S. and for user-selected predictive time periods.

  • Connecting Decision-Makers with Vetted Adaptation Service Providers through an Open-Access Registry
    • PI: Jessica Hitt, EcoAdapt
    • Co-PIs: Beth Gibbons and Rachel Jacobson, American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP); and Lara Hansen, EcoAdapt
    • This project will develop and publish a free, online Registry of Adaptation Service Professionals who are available to provide guidance and decision support to managers and planners from communities and organizations of all sizes as they seek to make climate-informed decisions. Specifically, this project will move the Registry beyond its current beta development phase.

  • Enhancing the Climate Explorer with Suggested Top Hazards
    • PI: Jessica Cahail, Azavea
    • Co-PI: Jeff Hicks, Fernleaf Interactive
    • This project will enhance NOAA’s open-source Climate Explorer tool by adding a core feature from Azavea’s Temperate — a separate adaptation planning and decision-support solution that provides the ability to display potential future climate hazards for cities nationwide.

  • Resilient Rural America Project, Phase 2
    • PI: Gwen Griffith, Model Forest Policy Program
    • Co-PI(s): Lara Hansen, EcoAdapt, and Barbara Cozzens, Key-Log Economics
    • The Resilient Rural America Project (RRAP) proposes to accelerate rural climate adaptation by strengthening the ability of adaptation professionals to meet the needs of underserved rural jurisdictions, organizations, and businesses; and enable rural leaders to take action on their specific priority resilience strategies. In phase 2, the project will produce and publish a training module focused on practical steps to implement the resilience strategies called for in climate-ready comprehensive plans.


5 Jan 2021

2021 RISA Funding: Competition 1 Webinar (1/12) and Competition 2 Guidance

2021 RISA Funding: Competition 1 Webinar (1/12) and Competition 2 Guidance

CPO’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program will host the final informational webinar for the 2021 Funding Opportunity on January 12. The webinar will focus on advanced aspects of competition 1 proposals, such as evaluation and the small grants competition. Program managers will again be available to answer questions during this critical phase of proposal.

A second webinar will not be held for competition 2. Generic guidance is provided below based on letters of intent submitted to the program in December.

The RISA program, which supports the development of knowledge, expertise, and abilities of decision makers to plan and prepare for climate variability and change, is seeking applications for two competitions in FY21: 1) a competition for regional RISA teams in nine U.S. regions, and 2) a competition for collaborative planning activities in the Southeast and U.S. Caribbean. Prior to submitting applications, investigators are highly encouraged to learn more about the RISA program and review the material in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, the Program Information Sheet, and what is provided below. Specific questions should be submitted to


Webinar details:
RISA 2021 Funding Opportunity - Competition 1, Part A

View Recording:

RISA 2021 Funding Opportunity - Competition 1, Part B

When: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 3:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM PT.
Note: Part B will cover topics most relevant for the full application phase.

RISA 2021 Funding Opportunity - Competition 2

View Recording:

Competition 2 Guidance following submission of letters of intent:

  • The project must focus on social & economic dimensions of climate variability and change. It is not sufficient to address a physical science issue that has social implications. The social/economic considerations must be the primary subject. 
  • To reflect RISA program objectives, proposals must be regionally relevant and utilize local expertise. The inclusion of experts and institutions based outside of the region must  be well justified. 
  • The proposals must show that new collaborative relationships between relevant and  locally based organizations or stakeholders will be formed as an outcome of the project. 
  • The goal of the competition is to cultivate new partnerships through engagement and to co-develop community-relevant research questions. While data collection might be part of the process, it should not be the primary goal.
  • Proposals must identify and articulate a clear topical scope for the project. 
  • When considering geographic scope, carefully read 1. Determining Geographic Scope on page 3-4 of the RISA Information Sheet. Proposals in this competition are most relevant when they address a geographic scope similar to a RISA team which indicates a scope larger than a sub-state metropolitan area or watershed within a single state. In the case of the U.S. Caribbean, unique cultural and geographic gaps may prevent the inclusion of both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands into a single project, however, the proposals should consider how they might be able to establish partnerships that could grow to cover both places. Projects spanning both the U.S. Caribbean and the Southeast are acceptable but need to be justified.
  • While it is appreciated that work in communities, such as those on the US Virgin Islands, inherently fulfill some justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) principles, proposals must  clearly explain  how JEDI principles will be integrated into the methodology, set of partners, or targeted stakeholders. 



1315 East-West Highway Suite 100
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.