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2015 Program Agenda

Tuesday, November 3, 2015: Pre-Conference Sessions (all sessions located on the 5th floor; reception and exhibitors on the 2nd floor)


Jamaica Pond

Boston Common


Public Garden

The Fens

8:30am       Climate-202: Leveraging Climate Data and Tools
8:30am - 12:00pm

There is a wealth of publicly available climate data in addition to internal data gathered by your organization. How do practitioners effectively organize and apply this data to learn from it, pinpoint organizational risks and opportunities, and inform and motivate colleagues? This Bootcamp builds your climate knowledge by surveying the full range of available tools and strategies to help you take full advantage of climate data.

LuAnn Dahlman (NOAA)

Zach Ferdana (The Nature Conservancy)
Rawlings Miller (ICF International)

Governance-101: Engaging Stakeholders & Establishing Strategies for Leading Organizational Change
8:30am - 12:00pm

Climate change impacts all decision-making and operating functions across organizations and sectors. Strategically planning organizational change and engaging internal and external stakeholders dramatically increases the success of climate change initiatives. This course will teach the basics of organizational change, how to identify and engage stakeholders, and the fundamentals of systemic approaches to actively managing and leading change in an organization.

Nathalie Beauvais (Kleinfelder)

Gina Blus (Climate Ready Solutions)

Jay Bruns (The Hartford)

Grover Fugate (Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council)

9:00am PreCon 1a:
Addressing Legal & Policy Challenges to Adapting to Sea Level Rise
9:00am - 10:15am
This panel will discuss some of the current legal and policy regimes governing response to sea level rise, and explore some of the shortcomings of these regimes. The panel will also use case studies to better illustrate some of these problems, as well as explore potential solutions to them.
Victor Flatt (University of North Carolina School of Law)
Nancy Girard (Former Boston Environmental Commissioner)
Thomas Ruppert (Florida Sea Grant)
Alan Strasser (U.S. Department of Transportation)
PreCon 1b:
Coastal Flooding and Resilient Community Responses
9:00am - 10:15am

U.S. coastal communities are increasingly being forced to grapple with a plethora of challenges driven by rising seas. Looking, not at 2100 but in practical planning horizons, what are we up against and how do we respond? This session provides an overview and examples of coastal community risks and response options. Presentations will include research on observed and expected rates of tidal flooding; lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy; and an overview of a coastal vulnerability assessment methodology for small and low-capacity coastal municipalities.
Nathaly Agosto Filion (Sustainable Jersey)
Amanda Babson (National Park Service)
Erika Spanger-Siegfried (Union of Concerned Scientists)

Networking Break

10:45am PreCon 2a:
Public Health Implications of Sea Level Rise
10:45am - 12:00pm
Sea level rise as projected over the next generation or two carries with it many of the public health effects generated by climate change that are already with us. What are these warning signs? Who and where are our vulnerable populations? How well prepared for these challenges are our hospitals and vital infrastructure? How might health care and new tools help regions be better prepared? This session will examine briefly lessons learned from recent climate events, and explore the interconnections of health care infrastructure, community health, organizational planning and climate projection and response management.
Saleem Khan (Columbia University)
Paul Lipke (Health Care Without Harm)
Hubert Murray (Partners Healthcare)
PreCon 2b:
Community Engagement Strategies
10:45am - 12:00pm

This session will draw on expertise from consulting, academic, and environmental justice perspectives on effective strategies for engaging local, regional, and international communities on sea level rise.

Sarah  Brylinsky (MIT)
Brenda Dix (ICF International)
Aurash Khawarzad (West Harlem Environmental Action)
Emily Steinhilber (Old Dominion University)
PreCon 2c:
Benchmarking & Metrics Workshops
10:45am - 12:00pm
Join us for an interactive, audience-focused discussion on the benefits and challenges associated with developing resilience indicators to advance climate adaptation work at the city and regional level. Panelists will present lessons learned from current projects and discuss key questions with a specific focus on the benefits of developing indicators to mitigate impacts from sea level rise.
Michael Crowley (Institute for Sustainable Communities)
Natalie Schneider (Palm Beach County)
Aleka Seville (Four Twenty Seven)
12:00pm Networking Lunch Networking Lunch Networking Lunch Networking Lunch Networking Lunch
12:30pm CCO Certification Town Hall
12:30pm - 1:30pm

The CCO Certification™ is the premier credentialing program recognizing professionals across sectors and functions demonstrating competence in applying knowledge of climate-related risks and opportunities to their organizations’ near-term and long-term strategic interests. Participants at this town hall will learn more about and discuss existing programs and certificate under development,
opportunities for contributing to content and requirements development, how courses are being customized and tailored for different decision makers across multiple sectors and geographic regions, and obtain insight into strategies for obtaining credentialing through this program.
1:30pm     Innovative Tools & Planning Methodologies Showcase
1:30pm - 3:15pm

Presenters provide insights on tools and planning methodologies that can be leveraged or replicated by attendees in their own organizations and communities. These 10-minute presentations will be followed by brief Q&A, and audience members will have opportunities to follow up with presenters during networking breaks at the Summit as well. Presentation descriptions can be viewed here.

Zach Ferdana (The Nature Conservancy)

Juliette Finzi Hart (USC Sea Grant)

Alice Lippert (DOE)

Rebecca Love (NOAA)
Kathryn Wright (Meister Consultants Group)
Sponsor Showcase:
Keren Bolter (Coastal Risk Consulting, LLC)
2:00pm PreCon 3a:
Mitigating Contaminated Site Risks
2:00pm - 3:15pm

Remedial action at contaminated sites may be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as rising seas. This panel of legal, engineering and regulatory experts will discuss these vulnerabilities, as well as the best practices that have been developed by professionals involved in cleanup of contaminated sites to increase the resilience of remedial plans to climate change.

Brian Bidolli (Greater Bridgeport Regional Council)
Brandt Butler (AECOM)
Peter Gray (Dentons)
Marc Thomas (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
PreCon 3b:
Engaging Local
2:00pm - 3:15pm

This is an interactive session that will address the questions of: Why should small / local businesses care about climate change? What is the best way to engage those businesses? What can you expect? Bring your questions and experience!

Michael Green (Climate Action Business Association)

Frank Knapp (South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce)
Susan Labandibar (Tech Networks of Boston)
Jim Newman (Linnaen Solutions)
Climate-203: Developing an Adaptation Plan for Your Organization
2:00pm - 5:30pm

From global supply chain disruptions to local power outages, from rising commodity prices to facilities flooding, climate change hazards and their cascading effects can have major consequences on companies’ financial results. This course addresses whether and how climate risks should be included in public disclosure and reports. Course curriculum includes a methodical breakdown of climate impacts, and an overview of legal requirements and best practices in disclosure and reporting through a combination of interactive discussions and scenario analyses.

Brenda Dix (ICF International)
Nancy Gassman (City of Fort Lauderdale)
Nancy Girard
Adam Whelchel (The Nature Conservancy)

Integrated Renewables Strategies Workshop
Sponsored by Altenex
2:00pm - 5:30pm

There has never been a better time for large energy users to lead on climate solutions by adopting renewable energy strategies that lower costs, reduce price risks, and mitigate greenhouse gases. This workshop will help participants develop an integrated renewable energy strategy, including both onsite and offsite approaches. Learn how to pull back the curtain on project economics, engage internal decision-makers, and navigate the marketplace of renewable energy options, with a deep dive on contracting power purchase agreements from high-impact, large-scale, offsite renewable energy projects.

Blaine Collison (Altenex)
Archie Kasnet (Altenex)


Networking Break

3:45pm PreCon 4a:
Protecting Drinking Water
3:45pm - 5:00pm
Climate change and extreme weather events are having profound impacts on water supply and water quality. This session features three presentations that cover these issues both nationally and regionally from regulatory, management, and consulting perspectives. Results from Water Research Foundation projects, utility case studies, and tools available from the USEPA will be presented.

William Becker (Hazen and Sawyer)
Jane Downing (U.S. EPA)
PreCon 4b:
Shaping P3 Adaptation Projects
3:45pm - 5:00pm
Session description not yet available.

Yvonne Castillo (American Institute for Architects)
Ira Feldman (Greentrack Strategies)

Mark Goodson (CB&I)
PreCon 4c:
International Sea Level Institute Launch Meeting
3:45pm - 5:00pm

A new non profit is being launched in 2016, The International Sea Level Institute will work at the interface of science, the private sector, professionals, and the public sector. This launch meeting will include a short video, a discussion on the concept for the Institute, and enable participants to provide input.

Robert Correll (International Sea Level Institute)
John Englander (International Sea Level Institute)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015: Main Program (all activities on the 2nd floor)

Time Session Description
8:30am - 10:00am Plenary A: Welcome Remarks & Opening Plenary Panel
Grand Ballroom

This opening panel will discuss national and subnational policy efforts to address sea level rise, including recent executive orders from President Obama, collaboration between Federal agencies and subnational government, the role of the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council, and the City of Boston's efforts as a leader in the New England region.

Jainey Bavishi (White House Council on Environmental Quality), Curt Spalding (U.S. EPA), Carolyn Kirk (Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development), Austin Blackmon (City of Boston) and Joe Romm (Center for American Progress).

10:00am - 10:30am Networking Break
Snacks & Coffee Served in Back Bay C/D
10:30am - 11:15am Plenary B-1 (Grand Ballroom): State of the Science Discussion
Grand Ballroom
Renowned climate scientists will provide perspectives on the state of understanding of climate change and sea level rise, including a discussion on the latest projections, evolution of modeling and connecting science with decision making.
Michael Mann (Penn State University), Robert Corell (Global Environment & Technology Foundation) and Daniel Kreeger (ACCO)
11:30am - 12:15pm Plenary B-2: Lessons Learned from Flood Events
Grand Ballroom

Episodic flood events and natural disasters are substantial drivers for public dialogue and action in dealing with climate change and sea level rise.  Experts from Federal agencies and the City of Boston will discuss how past flood events have influenced adaptation planning and emergency management.

Bob Kolasky (U.S. Department of Homeland Security), Holly Leicht (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), Samantha Medlock (White House Council on Environmental Quality), Carl Spector (City of Boston), and Josh Sawislak (AECOM).
12:15am - 1:45pm Networking Lunch with Special Guest Speakers
Grand Ballroom & Back Bay C/D

Ever wonder about job stress and related coping mechanisms for climate change professionals?  Learn more about recent joint research project between ACCO and UVA, as well as other ACCO initiatives in 2015-2016.

Michael Mondshine (WSP) and Tom Bateman (UVA McIntire School of Commerce).
Workshop on Environmental Journalism
Co-Hosted by the University of Rhode Island Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting
(12:15pm - 5:30pm)
Liberty Ballroom

The University of Rhode Island’s Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting is partnering with the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) to present a seminar designed for professional journalists to help them understand the science and policy underlying business, government, academic, non-profit, and community efforts to develop effective responses to climate change. The workshop is part of Metcalf Institute’s Climate Change and the News initiative.

1:45pm - 2:00am Transition Break
2:00pm - 3:30pm Breakout 1a:
Natural Systems, Resilience and Adaptation
Back Bay A
Session description not yet available.
Jim Blackburn (Rice University)
Holly Elwell (The Trust for Public Land)
Todd Miller (North Carolina Coastal Federation)
Tim Purinton (Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration)
Mod: Joan Fitzgerald (Northeastern University)
Breakout 1b:
Disasters as Catalysts for Adaptive Planning
Back Bay B
This session will explore how disasters creates visibility and an opportunity to build more resilient, forward-looking infrastructure and facilities in the transportation sector and beyond. Panelists will discuss not only disaster recovery and mitigation opportunities, but also changes in public awareness and understanding of broader climate risks and how we can better adapt and prepare our communities and, businesses, and infrastructure systems.

Josh DeFlorio (Cambridge Systematics)
Rebecca Hammer (Natural Resources Defense Council)
Elisabeth Lennon (New York State Department of Transportation)
Becky Lupes (Federal Highway Administration)
Mod: Josh Sawislak (AECOM)
Breakout 1c:
Forward-thinking Governance Structures
Grand Ballroom
Session description not yet available.
Allison Brooks (Bay Area Regional Collaborative)

Cammy Peterson (Metropolitan Area Planning Council)

Ray Toll (Old Dominion University)

Cameron Wake (University of New Hampshire)
3:30pm - 4:00pm Networking Break
Snacks & Coffee Served in Back Bay C/D
4:00pm - 5:30pm Breakout 2a:
Adaptive Infrastructure
Back Bay A
The panel presentations feature international, national and local macro-scale to micro-scale approaches for the resiliency of urban environments and energy and transportation systems. Adaptive infrastructure practices and scenario will be discussed in detail in this interactive discussion.
Robbin Peach (Massport)
Thomas Spiegelhalter (Florida International University)

Craig Zamuda (U.S. Department of Energy)

Mod: Chris Dorney (WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff)
Breakout 2b:
New Ideas for Addressing Policies that Mask Risk
Back Bay B

Join a diverse panel for an interactive discussion on their perspectives and innovative ideas for regulatory policies, a private-public partnership financing model for Property Assessed Resiliency (PAR), and other policy incentives to promote resilient communities. Solutions are needed to encourage those vulnerable to increasing NFIP premiums and sea level rise to relocate, retro-fit, rebuild and redesign for a sustainable future. We will discuss how the public and private sector can collaborate to take these scalable ideas and create economic resiliency to the risks of climate change and sea level rise.

Wayne Cobleigh (GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.)

Rebecca French (Connecticut Institute for Climate Resilience and Adaptation)
Robert Moore (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Scott Schang (Environmental Law Institute)

Mod: Phil Santiago (Association of Climate Change Officers)
Breakout 2c:
Building Human Capital
Grand Ballroom
Panelists will discuss the competencies and skills needed throughout the workforce in order to effectively integrate climate change and sea level rise into decision making.  An interactive discussion focusing building training infrastructure, standardizing curriculum and developing pedagogy across numerous disciplines will be featured.
Jesse Keenan (Columbia University)

Steve Nicholas (Institute for Sustainable Communities)

Daniel Kreeger (Association of Climate Change Officers)
5:30pm - 7:30pm Cocktail Reception

Thursday, November 5, 2015: Main Program (all activities located on the 2nd floor)

Time Session Description
8:30am - 9:00am Plenary C-1: Special Guest Remarks
Grand Ballroom

Senator Marc Pacheco (Massachusetts Legislature)

8:30am - 10:15am Plenary C-2: Community Organizing on Climate Change and Sea Level Rise
Grand Ballroom

Allison Brooks (Bay Area Regional Collaborative), John Cleveland (Boston Green Ribbon Commission), Nancy Gassman (City of Fort Lauderdale), Daniel Kreeger (Association of Climate Change Officers) and Benjamin McFarlane (Hampton Roads Planning District Commission).

10:15am - 10:45am Networking Break
Snacks & Coffee Served in Back Bay C/D
10:45am - 12:00pm Breakout 3a:
Adaptation and Resilience in Buildings
Back Bay A

As we prepare for the impacts of regular flooding from sea level rise this panel will look at the opportunities to build better, more connected, vibrant communities. This session will explore resilient and sustainable strategies through successful examples and tools available to us today that we can use to address policy, community, and individual properties and buildings.

Sarah Slaughter (Built Environment Coalition)
Arlen Stawasz (Perkins + Will)
Brian Swett (Arup)

Mod: Dennis Carlberg (Boston University)
Breakout 3b:
Financing Adaptation Measures
Back Bay B

This session will highlight mechanisms to finance local adaptation efforts to plan and implement projects to accommodate sea level rise and coastal storms. Panel discussion topics with the audience will explore increasing costs of adaptation, growth in public sector funding, hazard mitigation opportunities and limitations, green bonds, and other potential methods of funding local adaptation.

Daniel Berkovits (NY Rising Community Reconstruction)
Gregg Cademartori (City of Gloucester)
Julia Knisel (Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management)
Phillip Ludvigsen (First Environment)

Breakout 3c:
Helping and Leveraging Low-Income and Underserved Communities
Grand Ballroom
This session will review the implications of the latest climate change research on the future of low income and minority communities within coastal areas. It will also explore a variety of innovative approaches to building more sustainable and resilient communities being pursued by community-based organizations within these areas with increasing recognition and support from public, private, and philanthropic agenicies.

Rachel Cleetus (Union of Concerned Scientists)
Queen Quet Marquetta L. Goodwine (Gullah Geechee Nation)
Chris Marchi (Neighborhood Organization for Affordable Housing)

John Malueg (Stantec)

Jacqueline Patterson (NAACP)
Mod: Kenneth Reardon (UMass Boston)
Innovative Tools and Planning Methodologies Showcase
Liberty Ballroom B/C

Amir AghaKouchak (UC-Irvine)

Rebecca Beavers (National Park Service)
Jessica Hitt (EcoAdapt)

Nicole Tachiki (U.S. EPA) / Michael Craghan (U.S. EPA)

12:00pm - 1:15pm Networking Lunch
Grand Ballroom
1:15pm - 2:30pm Breakout 4a:
Assessing Vulnerability and Prioritizing Action
Back Bay A

Session description not yet available.

Lara Hansen (EcoAdapt)

Benjamin McFarlane (Hampton Roads Planning District Commission)

Steven Miller (Massachusetts Department of Transportation)

Ben Strauss (Climate Central)
Mod: Frank Ayotte (Hazen and Sawyer)

Breakout 4b:
Climate Adaptation is Economic Development
Back Bay B
From various perspectives, this session will look at adaptation to climate change and sea level rise from the lens of economic development and resiliency. Panelists will provide examples of economic valuation that highlights the positive prospects and returns around adaptation while looking at cost avoidance, infrastructure investment, and other factors.

John Bolduc (City of Cambridge)
Bill Golden (National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure)

Phillip Bush (HR&A Advisors)
Mod: Julia Price Radice (Association of Climate Change Officers)
Breakout 4c:
Retreat! Navigating the Intricacies of Relocation
Grand Ballroom

Aided by the audience, this expert panel will ponder the problem of retreat.  Discussion topics will include the factual context and lesser-known realities of sea level rise, emotional responses, challenges faced by communities during their dialogue and planning efforts, localized effects, unique injustices within diverse communities, and the ethical implications of retreat, applying the codes of multiple professional disciplines.

John Englander
(Author, High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Levels and the Coming Coastal Crisis)

Carri Hulet (Consensus Building Institute)

Maureen Scully (UMass Boston College of Management)

Mod: Keith Rizzardi (St. Thomas University School of Law)
Innovative Tools and Planning Methodologies Showcase
Liberty Ballroom B/C

Paul Carroll (AECOM)
Teresa Crean (University of Rhode Island)
Tim Grandia (Climate Central)
Vitalii Sheremet (NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center)

2:30pm - 2:45pm Transition Break
2:45pm - 4:00pm Plenary D:
Town Hall & Closing Remarks
Grand Ballroom

Participants will discuss lessons learned during the 2015 Rising Seas Summit and identify opportunities for collaboration and resource development.

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