UW News

October 5, 2017

Northwest climate science community gathers Oct. 9-11 in Tacoma

UW News

This year’s  gathering of Northwest climate experts will bring more than 400 scientists, resource managers and community partners to Tacoma next week to share scientific results and discuss challenges and solutions in the face of climate change.

The eighth annual conference, “Working Together to Build a Resilient Northwest,” will be held at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. The University of Washington is well represented in the program, and the UW Climate Impacts Group led the organization of this year’s conference.

poster for town hall eventAn evening kickoff event Monday, Oct. 9 is free and open to the public. A reception at 6:30 p.m. in the convention center will be followed by a town hall-style conversation at 7 p.m. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Port Angeles) will give the opening remarks. The panel discussion will feature Amy Snover, director of the UW Climate Impacts Group; Tom Koontz, professor of environmental policy at UW Tacoma; Josh Henretig, director of sustainability at Microsoft Corp.; Jen Pouliotte, of the Puget Sound Partnership; and Kevin Rennert, a UW alumnus and former Environmental Protection Agency policy adviser who is now at Resources for the Future in Washington, D.C.

The scientific program will begin Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. with a welcome from Marilyn Strickland, a UW alumna and mayor of Tacoma. Richard Alley, a glaciologist at Pennsylvania State University, at 9 a.m. will deliver a keynote talk on future sea-level rise.

Presentations from the UW that day include:

  • “Extreme precipitation and snowpack in the Pacific Northwest,” by Naomi Goldenson, a UW graduate student in atmospheric sciences, at 10:30 a.m.
  • “Flood risk management in Washington state: How can we make it more resilient?” by Haley Kennard, a recent UW graduate in marine affairs who is working with the Makah Tribe’s Office of Marine Affairs through a fellowship administered by Washington Sea Grant, at 12:40 p.m.
  • “The Northwest as a hotbed of innovation in conserving ‘climate connectivity’: The ability of landscapes to accommodate species range shifts,” by Meade Krosby, research scientist with the UW Climate Impacts Group, at 1 p.m.
  • “Managed retreat as a strategy for climate change adaptation in small communities: Public health implications,” by Dr. Andrew Dannenberg, affiliate professor in Environmental and Occupational Health and Urban Design and Planning, at 1:20 p.m.

The concurrent sessions will combine for a presentation by Rennert at 4:15 p.m. and the launch of the Puget Sound Climate Preparedness Collaborative at 4:50 p.m., with leaders of King County, Snohomish County and the Tulalip Tribes.

Wednesday’s agenda focuses on climate-based actions, and will include presentations by consultants, nonprofits and government employees working in communities from Alaska to Oregon. The UW presentations on Oct. 11 include:

  • “A climate change assessment of vegetation, fire and ecosystem services for tribal lands in the Pacific Northwest” by Michael Case, a UW doctoral student in environmental and forestry sciences, at 10:50 a.m.
  • “Measuring the progress of adaptation made by state agencies in Washington” by Joe Casola, deputy director of the UW Climate Impacts Group, at 11:10 a.m.

Wednesday afternoon’s plenary begins at 2:15 p.m. with a discussion of the fourth National Climate Assessment, released in draft form this summer, with a focus on the Pacific Northwest chapter.

Full program details are posted at www.pnwclimateconference.org, and updates will be posted on Twitter at #nwclimate2017. Event sponsors include the UW, other universities, nonprofits, consultants and regional and federal government agencies.


For more information or for media registration, contact Climate Impacts Group communications director Heidi Roop at hroop@uw.edu.