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.


21 Feb 2021

CPO to Host Five Knauss Fellows for 2021-22

CPO to Host Five Knauss Fellows for 2021-22

CPO is pleased to welcome an excellent group of five Knauss Fellows for 2021-2022 - likely a record number for the office.

Alec Shub will be working with CPO Deputy Director Ben DeAngelo and Lisa Vaughan from the Climate and Societal Interactions (CSI) Division on the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, as well as on International Coastal Blue Carbon. He recently completed his M.S. in Oceanography at the University of Connecticut and conducted his thesis research on paleoceanography, focused on using the tiny sand sized shells of foraminifera to explore the mechanisms involved in forcing Earth into and out of glaciation over the last 140,000 years. Now, Alec is looking forward to applying his skills to pressing climate topics that are being addressed nationally and through international collaboration.

Shadaesha Green ("Shae"), a native of The Bronx, NY, is currently in the final stages of her PhD in Marine Estuarine Environmental Science at University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Her dissertation is focused on physiology and endocrinology of the red deep-sea crab, Chaceon quinquedens. Specifically, her research investigates the reproductive biology of female crabs, with an emphasis on characterizing putative hormonal reproductive regulators. As a Knauss Fellow, she will be supporting CPO and the Communication, Education and Engagement (CEE) Division on Risk Team-related communication and engagement tasks.

Noura Randle comes to CPO from Texas A&M University, where she is wrapping up her PhD in Oceanography. Her research focuses on investigating the North Pacific climate evolution over the last 18 million years by reconstructing sea surface temperatures. Prior to starting her PhD, Noura made a career commitment to science literacy, accessibility, and advocacy. She lived abroad in the United Arab Emirates, where at different times she worked at the Sharjah Biennial, taught grades 1 & 2 and was the assistant to the founding director of the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre. Noura will be working with Earth System Science and Modeling (ESSM) Division/Climate Observation and Monitoring (COM) Program to explore nontraditional types of observations and observational-based analyses as well as their use in multiple sectors. She will also explore how ESSM/COM can best incorporate and integrate these with its focus on NOAA observations, in the context of NOAA's Science and Technology areas (e.g. AI) and CPO's priority areas (inclusive of several risk teams).

Xinyi Zeng (pronounced shin•YEE) will be working as a Science Communicator and Outreach Specialist for ESRL's Global Monitoring Lab in collaboration with CPO and CEE. Xinyi recently graduated from Boston College with an M.S. in Geology and an MBA. She is interested in research on climate change, water cycle, and water resource management and hopes to better communicate science through data visualization and storytelling.  The CEE Division will be working with Xinyi's hosts and mentors—Diane Stanitski, Colm Sweeney, and Julie Singewald—in supporting Xinyi during her fellowship.   

Nicole Rucker has joined the U.S. Global Change Research Program, supported by CPO's Assessments Program. Nicole is a PhD candidate in the University of Delaware’s School of Marine Science and Policy where she works with Dr. Carolyn Thoroughgood. Her research is a retrospective analysis of state-level sea level rise planning and implication for policy diffusion. She has a B.S. in biology from George Washington University and an M.S. in environmental science from San José State University. Prior to going back to school to pursue a Ph.D., Nicole worked in the private and public sectors as an environmental scientist specializing in regulatory compliance. Over the next year, Nicole will be working with the National Climate Assessment team, where she will contribute to the NCA5 FAQs, public engagement efforts, and author meeting planning.




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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.