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RAR meeting-Sept2019-wildfire 1

What We Do

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

ResilientAmerica Roundtable Meeting

Beckman Center
September 4-5, 2019
Irvine, CA

Speaker Bios

During its September 2019 meeting, the ResilientAmerica Roundtable facilitated panels sessions on the topics of wildfires and population displacement due to climate change.

Wildfires - Setting the Stage: “Burning Town and Country, Then and Now”
Stephen Pyne, Regents Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Arizona State University

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Dr. Stephen Pyne provided a sweeping history of wildfires in the United States within the context of the wildland urban interface (WUI) starting in the 19th century to today, tracking the wave of countryside and city fires that accompanied settlement in the past and what it looks like today.

RAR meeting-Sept2019-Sue Kieffer & Stephen Pyne
Roundtable member Sue Kieffer and Stephen Pyne

Wildfire Panel: Research and Application
Moderator: Steve Moddemeyer, Principal, CollinsWoerman Architects and Resilient America Roundtable member

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Craig Clements, Director and Associate Professor, Fire Weather Research Laboratory, San Jose State University, "Current State of Wildfire Behavior and Fire Weather Research and Monitoring": Dr. Clements talked about next-gen coupled fire-atmosphere models, live fuel moisture models, and new satellite products for fire detection.

Max Moritz, Statewide Wildfire Specialist in UC Cooperative Extension, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, "Coupled Systems": Dr. Moritz talked about coupled systems - fire-prone ecosystems and human communities - and how humans drive fire exposure and hazard.

Scott Stephens, Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California at Berkeley, "Fire, Forests, and  Water: Possible Steps Forward": Dr. Stephens talked about the benefits of fuel treatments to reduce fire behavior and effects in forests, and fire and hydrology in Sierra Nevada watersheds.

RAR meeting-Sept2019-wildfire 2
Wildfire Panel: Policy and Practice
Moderator: Arrietta Chakos, Policy Advisor, Urban Resilience Strategies and Resilient America Roundtable member

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James Gore, Sonoma County Supervisor, and Chief Thom Porter, Director, CAL FIRE, provided local perspectives on wildfire response, recovery, mitigation, and resilience.

RAR meeting-Sept2019-wildfire panel-electeds
(Above, left to right): Chief Thom Porter, Supervisor James Gore, Roundtable member Arrietta Chakos

Panel: Population Displacement Due to Climate Change
Moderator: Shanna N. McClain, NASA Disasters Program 

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Andrew Kruczkiewicz, Senior Staff Associate, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Earth Institute, Columbia University: Mr. Kruczkiewicz talked about his work in the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh assessing camp managers’ decision making process to manage the risks of extreme weather in the camp and what products they were using to inform their decision making; his team developed risk tools and products that would enable camp managers to make more informed decisions when planning around extreme weather events.

Robin Bronen, Executive Director, Alaska Institute for Justice, "Community-Led Relocation: Interdisciplinary Research Supporting Community-based Adaptation and Policy": Dr. Bronen discussed climate-forced displacement and planned community relocation within the context of her work with Alaska native communities that were imminently threatened by flooding and erosion.

Kristina Peterson, Co-founder, Lowlander Center (Peterson PowerPoint): Dr. Peterson talked about her work partnering with the Isle de Jean Charles tribe and a team of topic experts to create a ‘proof of concept’ culturally appropriate, sustainable, resilient, coastal, resettlement community.

Nicholas Pinter, Professor, Associate Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California at Davis, "Managed Retreat through Community Relocation": Dr. Pinter discussed past examples of community relocation, some of the advantages of managed retreat, and the need for a portfolio of solutions for future relocation efforts.

RAR meeting-Sept2019-population displacement panel
 (Above, left to right): Andrew Kruczkiewicz, Robin Bronen, Kristina Peterson, Nicholas Pinter, Shanna McClain