Simone Balog

Understanding Risk: A Community

Born and raised in Boulder, Simone Balog has taken her passion for resilience to the development sector, working for the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery at the World Bank. There she manages Understanding Risk, a community of 3,300+ disaster risk identification experts and practitioners. She is passionate about understanding how people see and respond to our changing world, and the use of effective risk communication relating to climate change and natural hazards. She has a Master’s in Risk Analysis with a concentration in Risk Communication from King’s College London and a Bachelor’s in Communication from Boston College. The Understanding Risk (UR) Community was born in 2010 out of a need for a place for collaboration of disaster risk identification experts and practitioners. In the five years since, we have marked improvement in the field. Simone will discuss the history of the community and the importance of risk identification in disaster risk management activities.

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Victoria Derr

Child Friendly Cities as Resilient Cities: Understanding and Fostering Resilience through Participatory Planning with Boulder’s Young People

In 2015, Boulder became the first city within the Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilient Cities Network to engage children and adolescents in its planning efforts. Boulder was well placed to integrate children into resilience planning because of six years of prior Child Friendly Cities work through its Growing Up Boulder (GUB) program, which integrates children and youth into urban planning and design. When GUB approached resilience using the wide-ranging definition from the Rockefeller Foundation, young people expressed concerns over economic issues (such as rising prices for housing and rent) and chronic negative influences of global and systemic issues (such as poverty, racism, violence, and climate change). These issues do not affect all parts of cities equally. Therefore, it is important to ask “whose city” and “whose resilience”? Uneven resilience threatens the ability of cities as a whole to function economically, socially and politically, and resilience can be a useful concept and practice to the extent that it helps improve the life prospects of disadvantaged groups. The possibility of intentional resilience creates opportunities for creating a moral compass to guide resilience enhancing actions.Importantly, young people have also offered areas within Boulder that do foster resilience, including greenways and nature, family, friends, and other supportive networks. Many see resilience as “taking care of others and their community.” When children’s rights and urban resilience are considered together, they expand our conceptualization of wellness, promote social justice and well-functioning ecosystems, support children as agents of change, and highlight the importance of multilevel, multisectoral structures of governance. Integration of child friendly principles into larger urban processes can thus encourage the transformative processes that cities seek to create through resilience planning.

Victoria Derr is a Senior Instructor in the Program in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado, Boulder. For more than 20 years, Victoria has engaged communities in participatory research, design and planning for natural and built communities. Her published research and work includes topics of biophilic and restorative design, community engagement, and planning for neighborhood and community vibrancy and resilience. Victoria holds a masters and Ph.D. from Yale University.

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Ben Harding

Characterizing Uncertainty in Climate Scenarios

Ben Harding has more than four decades of diverse experience in water resources engineering. His practice has focused on the design, development, and use of hydrologic models, hydraulic models, water-quality models and river/reservoir system models. Mr. Harding has been a leader in moving research innovations into practice, including using network flow algorithms to simulate water resources systems, using paleo hydrology, using climate model output to estimate projected future stream flows and water demands, and applying non-parametric stochastic methods and Monte Carlo techniques to quantify risk in water resources planning. He led the development of the 2014 Oklahoma Water Supply Reliability and Management Challenge. Mr. Harding holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Colorado, and is a registered professional engineer.

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Brett KenCairn

Sustainability, Resilience and the Message of Lao Tzu: Towards a more realistic cultural narrative in a climate-change driven world

Several decades of effort to define and integrate sustainability have clearly failed to create a truly sustainable world. Climate change demonstrates that key foundation pieces in “modern” societies–fossil-fuel based energy systems; consumption driven economies; extraction oriented management of ecosystems–are both unsustainable and are based on flawed precepts that fail to acknowledge the inevitability of disruptive change. Managing risk effectively will require creating new models of both physical and social systems that build in both infrastructural and cultural practices that recognize the interconnectedness of sustainability (stability) and resilience (disruptive change). Practical efforts to demonstrate this synthesis in the context of Boulder’s climate mitigation and adaptation/resilience initiatives will be presented.

Brett is the City of Boulder’s Senior Environmental Planner. He has 30 years experience working on community-based natural resource management. He is the founder or co-founder of four non-profit organizations including the Rogue Institute for Ecology and Economy, the Forest Stewardship Council, Indigenous Community Enterprises, and Veterans Green Jobs. He was also a principal in several private sector firms in the “green” construction and clean energy development sectors. One of these companies, Community Energy Systems, specialized in biomass and waste-to-energy project development. As Senior Environmental Planner for the City of Boulder, Brett is responsible for leading the development of the City’s current climate action plan and participates as a team member on the city’s clean energy development team.

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Joel Smith

Risks from Climate Change for the Front Range: Challenges and Perhaps Some Opportunities

Joel B. Smith, a Principal with Abt Associates, has been analyzing climate change impacts and adaptation issues for over 25 years. He has been a coordinating lead author or lead author on the on Third, Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Mr. Smith was a member of the U.S. National Climate Change Assessment Federal Advisory Committee and the National Academy of Sciences “Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change.” He has provided technical advice, guidance, and training on assessing climate change impacts and adaptation to people around the world and to international organizations, the U.S. government, states, municipalities, and the non-profit and private sectors. Mr. Smith worked for the U.S. EPA from 1984 to 1992, where he was the deputy director of Climate Change Division. He joined Hagler Bailly in 1992 and Stratus Consulting in 1998. Stratus Consulting merged with Abt in 2015. Mr. Smith was a coeditor of The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States (1989), As Climate Changes: International Impacts and Implications (1995), Adaptation to Climate Change: Assessments and Issues (1996), Climate Change, Adaptive Capacity, and Development (2003), and The Impact of Climate Change on Regional Systems: A Comprehensive Analysis of California (2006). He has published more than 60 articles and chapters on climate change impacts and adaptation in peer-reviewed journals and books and has edited a number of books on climate change. Mr. Smith received a BA from Williams College in 1979, and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan in 1982.

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Mari Tye

Learning to Love Uncertainty

Dr Mari Tye is a Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology laboratory. She is a researcher in long term changes of extreme weather phenomena under climate change, specializing in the statistics of extreme and high impact weather and climate events. Mari graduated from Newcastle University (UK) in 2012 after interning with the Scottish Government in their Climate Adaptation Policy team. Prior to her PhD Mari practiced as a Civil Engineer for ten years with CH2M and AECOM. Her principle focus was on river and coastal flood mitigation and control. She is the Project Lead for the Engineering for Climate Extremes Partnership (ECEP) which aims to strengthen societal resilience to weather and climate extremes through collaborations between academia, governments, businesses and local communities.

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Olga Wilhelmi

Understanding population risk to weather disasters in a changing climate

Dr. Olga Wilhelmi is a geographer whose research interests focus on interactions among weather, climate and society across scales, with the main emphasis on understanding societal risk, vulnerability and adaptive capacity to extreme weather events and climate change. Olga is a project scientist in the Research Application Laboratory and the head of the Geographic Information Science Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Olga is a graduate of Lomonosov Moscow State University where she majored in physical geography. She completed her Ph.D. in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1999. Olga has been leading and participating in numerous research activities and has written peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and reports addressing societal aspects of weather extremes and climate change; urban extreme heat and human health; drought vulnerability and water management; extreme precipitation events and flash floods; and the methodologies for integration of physical and social sciences in a GIS.

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