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ClimateWise Enews Fall 2014

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Geos Institute

Fall 2014 ClimateWise Enews


  • Climate Change Adaptation in Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Georgetown Climate Center Releases Recommendations to the President’s Taskforce on Climate Preparedness and Resilience
  • HUD Announces $1 Billion National Disaster Resilience Competition
  • California Adaptation Forum 


Climate Change Adaptation in Fort Collins, Colorado


In 2012-2013, Fort Collins Colorado experienced a series of extreme events – drought, fire, heat, and flooding that broke historic record after record. The city was ready for some of these events, but not all of them, and not in such quick succession. Luckily, city leaders are taking climate change seriously. They are looking at the model projections and coming up with win-win solutions that not only reduce the risk, but also improve peoples’ daily lives. These strategies build resilience across all parts of the community as conditions continue to become more extreme and less predictable.
The Geos Institute helped city department heads identify their vulnerabilities to climate change so that they can develop integrated and long lasting solutions that are specific to their community’s needs and values. This process was just one step in a much longer effort that will eventually engage local businesses, residents, and surrounding communities as well.

We were so impressed with the local leadership and their practical yet proactive approach that we made a video about them! We hope this video helps other community leaders realize the urgency of taking action on climate change and protecting their citizens and resources in a coordinated and collaborative manner.


watch video




HUD Announces $1 Billion National Disaster Resilience Competition


States and communities that have been struck by natural disasters in recent years are now able to apply for funding for risk assessment, planning, and implementation of innovative resilience projects through the National Disaster Resilience Competition.

Eligible applicants include all states with counties that experienced a Presidentially Declared Major Disaster from 2011 to 2013. This includes 48 of 50 states along with Washington DC and Puerto Rico. In addition 17 local governments that have received PL 113-2 funding are eligible.

The Competition seeks to meet the following six objectives:

  1. Fairly and effectively allocate $1 billion in remaining CDBG-DR funds.
  2. Create multiple examples of modern disaster recovery that apply science-based and forward-looking risk analysis to address recovery, resilience, and revitalization needs.
  3.  Leave a legacy of institutionalizing—in as many states and local jurisdictions as possible—the implementation of thoughtful, sound, and resilient approaches to addressing future risks.
  4. Provide resources to help communities plan and implement disaster recovery that makes them more resilient to future extreme weather events or other shocks, while also improving quality of life for existing residents.
  5. Fully engage community stakeholders to inform them about the impacts of climate change and develop pathways to resilience based on sound science.
  6. Leverage investments from the philanthropic community to help communities define problems, set policy goals, explore options, and craft solutions to inform their own local and regional resilient recovery strategies.

Phase I applications will be due in March of 2015. If your community is eligible for this funding and you need technical, planning or outreach assistance, please contact Tonya Graham at the Geos Institute:





California Adaptation Forum 


Organized by the Local Government Commission and the State of California, the first California Adaptation Forum welcomed over 600 attendees from a diverse array of backgrounds, including elected officials, public and private-sector leaders, nonprofits, and researchers. Topics addressed included public health, energy, water, emergency management, agriculture, biodiversity conservation and coastal management issues associated with climate change and adaptation.

This forum built off last year’s successful National Adaptation Forum in Colorado. Our Executive Director, Tonya Graham, attended the Forum and was struck by the breadth and depth of adaptation discussions. Lunch time keynotes with representatives from the banking industry, insurance companies, utilities, emergency management, and the White House National Security Council underscored the complexity of the problem of climate change and the fact that there will be no simple answers.

Perhaps better than anywhere else in the country, Californians understand that climate change is not an environmental issue. While we experience it through natural systems, climate change is an issue that affects all aspects of our lives, both individually and collectively. With its strong state level leadership on this issue, California is blazing a trail of regulatory reform and community response that benefits their citizens while providing guidance for other states that are just now beginning to understand the magnitude of the threats posed by a changing climate.
Audio recordings of the sessions can be found here.


Thanks for reading! We are interested in your adaptation work and how our services might complement what you have underway so feel free to contact Marni Koopman, Climate Change Scientist for Geos Institute or call 541.482.4459 x303. Please keep in touch by signing up for ClimateWise News and “liking” Geos Institute on Facebook.



Georgetown Climate Center Releases Recommendations to the President’s Taskforce on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

Interesting Image

The Georgetown Climate Center has released 100 recommendations to improve, repurpose, and deploy federal programs to help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change.  
This new report “Preparing Our Communities for Climate Impacts: Recommendations for Federal Action” builds upon lessons learned by local leaders post-disaster in New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina), New York (Hurricane Sandy), and Vermont (Hurricane Irene).

The report is perfectly timed as President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience is taking up this very issue – how to adapt federal programs, funding streams, regulations, and policies to better meet the needs of communities as they work to build resiliency and address climate change-driven threats.
Identified in the report are more than 30 federal programs, initiatives, and laws that can be used to prepare for rising seas as well as extreme events, such as storms, floods, and heat waves.



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