Overview of conference agenda and southwestern climate impacts
Speaker: Jonathan Overpeck, Professor, Department of Geosciences; Director, Environmental Studies Laboratory; and Co-Director, Institute for Environment and Society (IES), University of Arizona.
Dr. Overpeck's research focuses on global change dynamics, with a major component aimed at understanding how and why key climate systems vary on timescales longer than seasons and years.
PANEL I: PHYSICAL IMPACTS AND PREDICTIONS:
WHAT SCIENCE CAN TELL US
Topic: This panel will discuss the status of analytic and monitoring tools as well as the scientific models available to understand and predict the physical environmental impacts of climate change on a regional basis. Are we equipped to make predictions on a regional basis? What degree of certainty can we expect from these predictions? How much variation is present between regions? What are the causal factors behind this variation? How are we linked to national and international monitoring and predictive networks?
Moderator: Jonathan Overpeck (see above).
Panelist: Thomas Swetnam, Director of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and Professor of Dendrochronology, University of Arizona. Dr. Swetnam studies natural and cultural disturbances of forest ecosystems across a broad range of temporal and spatial scales.
Panelist: David Breshears, Professor, University of Arizona. Theme Leader for Ecosystem Sciences, University of Arizona. Dr. Breshears studies ecological-hydrological dynamics (ecohydrology), vegetation dynamics, wind and water erosion, biophysical scaling relationships, soil carbon measurement technology, applications to land use, contaminant risks, and global change.
Panelist: Holly Hartmann, Director of the Arid Lands Information Center, University of Arizona. Dr. Hartmann works at the intersection of climate science, hydrology and resource management, focusing on linking research with the needs of decision makers, making use of imperfect information, developing decision support tools, and moving research into agency operations.
PANEL II: PUBLIC LANDS AND ECOSYSTEMS: MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Moderator: Lisa Graumlich, Professor and Director, School of Natural Resources, University of Arizona. Dr. Graumlich's work combines her career-long interest in mountain regions with her concerns for sustainability.
Panelist: Julio Betancourt, Desert Laboratory, University of Arizona and U.S. Geological Survey. A paleoecologist, Dr. Betancourt is interested in how climate variability affects vegetation on the time scales from years to millennia.
Panelist: Camille Parmesan, Associate Professor, Section of Integrative Biology, University of Texas. Dr. Parmesan has worked extensively in researching the effects of global warming and weather changes on biological systems.
Panelist: Allen Solomon, National Program Leader for Global Change Research, United States National Forest Service, Washington, D.C. Dr. Solomon is one of thirteen Forest Service researchers who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their research contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report.
Panelist: James Salzman, Samuel F. Mordecai Professor of Law at Duke Law School and the Nicholas Institute Professor of Environmental Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment & Earth Sciences, Duke University. Professor Salzman's broad-ranging scholarship has addressed topics spanning trade and environment conflicts, the history of drinking water, environmental protection in the service economy, wetlands mitigation banking, and the legal and institutional issues in creating markets for ecosystem services.
PANEL III: ECONOMIC IMPACTS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
Topic: This panel will consider the impacts of the regional climatic changes upon the economic and demographic base of the desert southwest. How will climate change affect the region's major industries: agriculture, ranching, tourism and increasingly, high-tech? Will population levels continue to climb or will this trend kick into reverse?
Moderator: George Frisvold, Professor and Extension Specialist; Environmental and Resource Economics, Regulation and Use of Biotechnology, University of Arizona, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics. Dr. Frisvold's research interests include domestic and international environmental policy, as well as the causes and consequences of technological change in agriculture.
Panelist: Brian Hurd, Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, New Mexico State University. Dr. Hurd's research covers natural and environmental resource economics, water resource policy and economics, and vulnerability and adaptation to climate change.
Panelist: Daniel Scott, Canada Research Chair, Global Change and Tourism, Department of Geography, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Scott's research program emphasizes human dimensions of global environmental change, including climate change and tourism/recreation, climate change and protected areas/parks, demographic change and recreation/tourism.
Panelist: Sean Hecht, Executive Director, UCLA Environmental Law Center, UCLA Law School. Mr. Hecht's current research includes climate change's relationship with the insurance sector.
WATER AND ENERGY USE
Topic: The relationship between energy generation and water availability is a key concern for many in the Southwest. The "energy-water nexus" is focused on the large volumes of water required to generate most conventional - and many renewable - sources of energy. Concerns are also increasing about the amount of energy required to produce, deliver, treat, and use water and wastewater. How will the energy-water nexus be affected by climate change? Are we adequately prepared from an institutional perspective to respond to these challenges? Are there regional opportunities to limit costs and increase benefits of non-traditional solutions?
Moderator: Kathy Jacobs, Executive Director, Arizona Water Institute. Professor Jacobs is the Executive Director of the Arizona Water Institute, a consortium of the three state universities (Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University) focused on water-related research, education and technology transfer in support of water supply sustainability. She is also Associate Director of the NSF Center for Sustainability of Arid Region Hydrology and Riparian Areas at the University of Arizona, and Professor and Specialist at the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science. Her research interests include water policy, connecting science and decision-making, stakeholder engagement, use of climate information for water management applications, climate change adaptation, and drought planning.
Panelist: Robert Glennon, Morris K. Udall Professor of Law & Public Policy, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Professor Glennon also serves as Water Policy Advisor to Pima County, Arizona. His best-known work is Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America's Fresh Waters, the first book ever published to focus on the environmental problems caused by groundwater pumping.
Panelist: Lester Snow, Director, California Department of Water Resources. Mr. Snow is an experienced California water policymaker and leader of public water agencies in the West. He has extensive experience as a water agency manager at the regional, State, and federal levels.
Panelist: Robert Wilkinson, Adjunct Instructor, Water Policy, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California at Santa Barbara. Dr. Wilkinson's research and teaching is focused on water policy, climate change, and issues of environmental policy. He also advises government agencies, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and foundations on water policy and environmental issues.
Keynote Speaker: Thomas Schelling
Thomas Shelling, Distinguished University Professor, Emeritus (Department of Economics and School of Public Affairs), University of Maryland. Dr. Schelling is the recipient of the 2005 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (shared with Robert Aumann) for "having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis." Dr. Schelling is an economist and professor of foreign affairs, national security, nuclear strategy, and arms control. Schelling has been involved in issues of climate change since chairing a commission for President Carter in 1980 and has written widely on the topic.
Dr. Schelling will be introduced by Paul Portney, Dean, Eller College of Management, Halle Chair in Leadership and Professor of Economics, University of Arizona. From 1972-2005, Dean Portney was with Resources for the Future (RFF), an independent and non-partisan research and educational organization in Washington, D.C., that specializes in energy and the environment.
Friday, January 23
PANEL V: MODELS OF ADAPTATION BY ENVIRONMENTAL INSTITUTIONS
Climate change will require the institutions we use to govern natural resources to adapt along with changing ecosystems and human behavior. Changing predictions of water availability, for example, may call for more rapid decision making and lower thresholds of certainty. How will this alter the current decision-making status quo? What has been the success of past models, such as adaptive management, that have attempted to incorporate change into decision-making processes? What are the implications of climate change for the centralization or decentralization of institutions dedicated to natural resource management? What are the most useful ways to understand how institutions and property rights evolve over time, and how do those ideas apply to climate change in the Southwest?
Moderator: Carl Bauer, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Geography, University of Arizona. Dr. Bauer is also a Faculty Associate at the Water Resources Research Center. He teaches and does research on comparative and international water policy from an interdisciplinary perspective that combines law, geography, and political economy.
Panelist: Lance Gunderson, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Studies, Emory University. Dr. Gunderson's research interests are understanding how ecosystem processes and structures interact across space and time scales and how scientific understanding influences resource policy and management. His interests are in the human and institutional dimensions to resource ecology.
Panelist: Craig Thomas, Associate Professor of Public Affairs, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington. Dr. Thomas' current research analyzes collaboration among public, private, and nonprofit partners as an alternative form of governance to centralized planning and command-and-control regulation, focusing in particular on habitat conservation planning under the Endangered Species Act and watershed organizations.
Panelist: Robert Verchick, Gauthier-St. Martin Eminent Scholar Chair in Environmental Law, Loyola University-New Orleans. Professor Verchick's scholarship focuses on environmental policy as it relates to constitutional law, distributional fairness, risk management, and, most recently, environmental disaster.
PANEL VI: LOOKING TO THE FUTURE IN VIEW OF PAST EXPERIENCE: ECONOMIC, POLICY AND LEGAL PERSPECTIVES
Topic: This panel will discuss the evaluative tools needed to reduce the costs of adapting to future climate change impacts. Professor Dan Farber will emphasize the importance of assessing climate impacts for new and existing projects and what can be learned from flaws in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental assessment process. Professor V. Kerry Smith will address the need for a simple economic definition of adaptation and how the costs of adaptation relate to benefit measures for avoiding the negative effects of climate change. He will offer a suggested set of priorities for public investment in adaptation in the US and comment on the importance of coordinating any stimulus related adaptation with tangible incentives for private mitigation and adaptation. Finally, Vicki Arroyo will discuss the movement among U.S. states to prepare adaptation plans and relevant developments at the federal level.
Moderator: Kirsten Engel, Professor of Law, The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.
Panelist: Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown State and Federal Climate Resource Center, Georgetown University Law Center. The Center was created to serve as a resource to states and provide input on climate legislation and regulatory developments under the Clean Air Act; bring together state leaders and federal officials to address climate policy challenges; monitor state, federal and international developments; respond to information requests about state policy from congressional offices and federal agencies; and offer analytical support to states and local governments seeking to protect and promote their role in climate policy.
Panelist: Dan Farber, Sho Sato Professor of Law; Director, Environmental Law Program, University of California at Berkeley Boalt College of Law. Professor Farber is a pioneer in the emerging field of Disaster Law, which examines legal issues related to society's ability to deal effectively with the aftermath of catastrophes and the risk of future disasters.
Panelist: Dr. V. Kerry Smith, W.P. Carey Professor of Economics, Arizona State University. Dr. Smith's research interests include non-market valuation of environmental resources, the role of public information in promoting private risk mitigation, non-point source pollution and nutrient policy, and the linking of ecological and economic models.
Panelist: Mike Young, Executive Director and Research Chair, Water Economics and Management, The Environment Institute, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.
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