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Adapting to Climate with NOAA RISA in the Carolinas and Alaska

Climate Adaptation Partnerships Program
A webinar introducing new RISA teams for 2021-2026


Carolinas Collaborative on Climate, Health, and Equity, C3HE
Kathie Dello

Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, ACCAP
Sarah Trainor, Nathan Kettle, John Walsh, Adelheid Herrmann, Danielle Meeker, Rick Thoman 

Remote Access:

Remote via GoToWebinar. You must register at:


The NOAA Climate Program Office’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program invests in research and engagement that expands regional capacity to adapt to climate change in the U.S. RISA’s regional teams build sustained relationships between decision makers and researchers that support collaborative and equitable adaptation to climate risks. In Fiscal Year 2021, the RISA program launched 9 new 5-year RISA teams. This webinar series is a venue to introduce each team, discuss major themes and partners, and preview the projects that will advance climate knowledge and adaptation capacity in their regions.

RISA’s Carolinas region includes North Carolina (NC) and South Carolina (SC). The RISA team, Carolinas Collaborative on Climate, Health, and Equity (C3HE), is based at NC State University, the NC State Climate Office, UNC Chapel Hill, Furman University, NC Central University, NC Sea Grant, SC State University, and the NC Museum of Life and Science.

C3HE will build upon years of regional work on climate science, tools and assessments to move into a new phase that centers Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) principles at the forefront of NOAA-funded climate research and to deliver climate futures to more communities than have been previously served. They will apply a bottom-up participatory action approach to develop a transferable model for end-to-end co-production of actionable and equitable climate resilience solutions in at-risk communities in the Carolinas. The team’s aims include: Aim 0. Demonstrate our commitment to address the climate reality in a just and equitable way, while ensuring the inclusivity and diversity of all voices are represented in every aspect of our work in the Carolinas; Aim 1. Build and enhance local partnerships in underserved communities across the Carolinas to identify, test, and refine equitable solutions for climate resilience; Aim 2. Understand and predict how co-occurring and consecutive hazards interact with exposure and vulnerability to shape climate risk; Aim 3. Identify and connect the complex linkages between structures of power, intersecting social positions, and climate-health inequities in vulnerable communities; and Aim 4. Design and implement community-sciences programs to track physical and social science metrics and build community-level climate resiliency literacy. Learn more at

RISA’s Alaska region includes all parts of the vast state of Alaska. The RISA team, Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP), is based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

ACCAP’s portfolio of interwoven research and engagement in Alaska will support the underlying vision of building healthy and thriving Alaskan communities. Core themes include extreme events and impacts and capacity building in support of Tribal resilience. In the extreme events work, the team will use an integrated scientific approach that brings together social science, climate science, and local expertise to: a) document socio-economic impacts of extreme climate and weather events in Alaska; b) engage practitioners to determine and meet information needs; and c) analyze historical and projected changes in extreme event occurrences to inform policy and decision-making. The work will support Tribal resilience by: a) bridging community-level climate adaptation planning and implementation with workforce and economic development; b) investigating and supporting boundary spanning and knowledge co-production between Alaska Native communities and climate and related researchers; c) innovating evaluation methodology and elevating Indigenous evaluation of climate-related knowledge co-production and climate adaptation. Hallmarks of new outreach and engagement activities in this project include assessment products that encompass societal impacts and adaptation, training for students and postdoctoral fellows, online course development, and enhanced convening activities with a focus on serving the needs of policy-makers, Alaska Native Peoples, tribes, and organizations throughout the state. This team includes a sustained assessment specialist and small-grant competition, which like the core portfolio, aims to fulfill ACCAP’s vision of thriving Alaskan communities, economies, and ecosystems. Learn more at


Kathie Dello, C3HE Director

Kathie Dello is the co-lead PI of the newly-formed Carolinas NOAA RISA, the Carolinas Collaborative for Climate, Health, and Equity (C3HE). She also serves as the Director of the State Climate Office of North Carolina and the State Climatologist of North Carolina, located at NC State University. Kathie is the first woman to serve in the State Climatologist role in the office’s 46-year history. Kathie leads one of the most robust and well-resourced state climate offices in the country, which serves a deep bench of stakeholders across various sectors in North Carolina through research and extension. She is an author on the Southeast chapter of the 5th National Climate Assessment, and has participated in many state-level assessment and adaptation efforts in Oregon and North Carolina. She was an author on the 2020 North Carolina Climate Science Report, and served as a technical advisor to the 2020 North Carolina Risk and Resilience Plan. Prior to her time at NC State, she served as the Associate Director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University. She has a PhD in Environmental Sciences from Oregon State University. In her spare time, Kathie likes to ride her bike and explore the Carolinas from the mountains to the beach.

Sarah Trainor, ACCAP Co-Director

Sarah Trainor is an expert in climate change assessment and adaptation in Alaska with specific emphasis on climate and wildfire science communication, application, and stakeholder engagement. Her research interests include human dimensions of global change, especially in the Arctic and northern latitudes. She specializes in boundary-spanning and co-production to inform planning and decision making in climate change adaptation and natural resource management. Shd is also the Director of the Alaska Fire Science Consortium, a boundary group focused on bridging the space between wildfire managers and research on wildfire in Alaska.

Nathan Kettle, ACCAP Co-Director

Nathan Kettle is an expert in climate adaptation, knowledge co-production, and evaluation. He collaborates with researchers and decision makers to develop actionable science and decision support for diverse audiences to prepare for and respond to weather extremes and climate change. Kettle also works to support societal applications of innovative subseasonal to seasonal climate predictions.

John Walsh, ACCAP Co-Investigator

John Walsh is an expert in Arctic climate, weather, climate change adaptation and sea ice.  He specializes in climate modeling, addressing regional vulnerabilities, as well as downscaling models, designing research studies, and developing, testing, and evaluating research information products and tools. The official assessment efforts to which he contributes serve to evaluate, integrate, and communicate recent science research, primarily for public leaders and decision makers. He aims to provide a balanced perspective on Alaska’s recent changes in the face of both growing interest and comparatively sparse data resources in the region.

Adelheid Herrmann, ACCAP Co-Investigator

Adelheid Herrmann was born in Levelock, Alaska and raised in Naknek, Alaska in the Bristol Bay Area. She is Dena’ina Athabascan and is a shareholder of Bristol Bay Native Corporation. Adelheid has worked various jobs over the years such as administration, working in the fishing and seafood industry, assisting in workforce development programs, and serving in the House of Representatives from 1983-1989. She is currently doing post doctoral research and is a co-investigator for the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She presently serves as a board member on the Bristol Bay Borough Chamber of Commerce.

Danielle Meeker, ACCAP Sustained Assessment Specialist

Danielle Meeker is an expert in sustained assessment and community climate adaptation. Her research interests also include climate and Arctic policy, marine resource management, and economic impacts of climate change. She specializes in synthesizing and communicating climate information to meet the needs of decision-makers.

Rick Thoman, ACCAP Climate Specialist

Rick Thoman is an expert in Alaska climate and weather. He joined ACCAP after a 30 year career with the National Weather Service Alaska Region. He produces reliable Alaska climate change information and graphics describing Alaska’s changing environment. His work spans the bridge between climate modeling, Alaska communities and media.

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