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Ashland Climate Challenge

The Kickoff

The Ashland Climate Challenge has officially been “Kicked Off”! On November 15th 2016, over 300 people streamed into the Historic Armory to learn about the Ashland Climate Challenge and the community-wide Climate and Energy Action planning process that is now underway. Ashland is on the road to a clean energy future.

acc scottThe Kickoff was opened by a talented group of young musicians – the Daniel Chávez Quartet. Mayor John Stromberg welcomed the crowd. Next, we heard from Dr. Scott Denning, Atmospheric Scientist with Colorado State University. Dr. Denning described how climate change is simple, serious, and solvable. It is simple because we have had a basic understanding of the heat storage properties of CO2 and other greenhouse gases since before light bulbs were even invented. It is serious because our climate defines where we live, how our homes are built, and what foods we can grow. As climate change accelerates, our basic systems will have a hard time keeping pace. And the good news is that climate change is solvable – experts have estimated that it would cost 1% of global GDP to change our energy systems away from fossil fuels. We’ve made changes of that magnitude before, and with great pay back in local economic growth, higher quality of life, better health, and other benefits. In fact, one of the most notable investments of that magnitude was when much of the world invested in indoor plumbing. And boy was it worth it.

Dr. Denning’s talk was followed with powerful and mesmerizing poetry and music from OSF performers Kimberly Scott, Carolina Morones, Miriam Laube, Mildred Ruiz Sapp and Steven Sapp of UNIVERSES, and Claudia Alick of Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Performances were interspersed with panel discussions and presentations about the City’s support for a community-wide Climate and Energy Action plan and the recently appointed Ad-hoc Committee tasked with guiding that process. We also heard from other cities and SOU about how they are tackling climate change. Speakers included Bryan Sohl, Roxane Beigel-Coryell, Adam Hanks, and Matt McRae.

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Temperature and Precipitation Extremes in Central Texas


A collaboration with the Cities of Austin and Killeen, Texas and A Nurtured World

austin lake travis boat

Reports and Online Presentations:

Austin and Killeen, Texas have experienced many temperature and precipitation extremes in the last decade. As climate change accelerates, we can expect more days of extreme heat, fewer overnight freezes, and more frequent periods of drought than there have been historically. Many of the long-term impacts can be avoided if emissions are reduced, creating a more positive future for residents of Central Texas.

Most people experience climate through the extremes. Crops are affected when temperatures drop below freezing, and we change our behavior when the day’s high is over 100° F. Thus, we assessed recent and future change in the extremes for the communities of Fort Hood/Killeen and Austin, Texas. We provide information on extreme heat, low temperatures, extended drought, and wildfire.

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Climate Adaptation Planning in Fort Collins, Colorado

fort collins bikes

The Front Range of Colorado has experienced much change over the last few decades. Future change may be even more striking. In addition to population growth, continued development, and economic diversification, the Front Range is expected to experience substantial impacts brought on by climate change.

Climate change has already been well documented throughout the western U.S. Average temperatures have risen 2-4 degrees F. over the last century. Rising temperatures have caused more precipitation to fall as rain instead of snow. Spring snowpack is lower throughout the western U.S., and the moisture content of the snowpack is also lower. 

The last two years have emphasized the vulnerability the Fort Collins community and its regional neighbors can experience due to extreme weather events. Because of events such as the High Park fire, the hottest year on record, and recent flooding, there has been substantial devastation to the region. To be proactive and prepared to protect and maintain our quality of life, Fort Collins must prepare for such future events and the potential for increases in severity and frequency due to a changing climate.

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Climate Change Adaptation Planning in Missoula County

missoula riverReports and Handouts:

Missoula County is host to a diversity of people, local industries, intact ecosystems, and dramatic scenery. Its rivers and forests provide abundant opportunity for outdoor activities, while the university and downtown Missoula provide culture and entertainment. When people are asked why they live in Missoula County, they often refer to the high quality of life.

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Planning for Water Resources in the Southern Sierra of California

southern sierra forestReports and Handouts:

The Geos Institute is working with Provost and Pritchard Consulting, Bobby Kamansky Ecological Consulting, and many others to develop a water management plan for the Southern Sierra that is resilient to climate change.

The state of California has committed to an integrated approach to managing its water resources. This approach, called Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) planning, brings together water-related interests to plan for sustainable water use, reliable supply, improved water quality, ecologically sound management, low use development, protection of agriculture, and a strong local economy.

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