Free seminar exploring U.S. responses to coastal climate change impacts

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CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE NEWS: PLANNING FOR SEA LEVEL RISE
As policy discussions heat up in advance of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in December, journalists are invited to apply for 
free seminar exploring U.S. responses to coastal climate change impacts
 
Metcalf Institute seminar held at the 2015 Rising Seas Summit in partnership with the Association of Climate Change Officers 
As President Obama pushes some of the toughest regulations ever proposed to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., a clear understanding of climate change science is quickly becoming an essential tool for journalists, as well as city planners, zoning officials, public health practitioners, transportation experts, and other professionals charged with helping organizations and communities adapt to sea level rise and other climate change impacts. This is particularly important for journalists preparing to cover the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December, but this issue also has wide-reaching implications for large and small communities across the nation.
In the United States, among the most immediate challenges of climate change is sea level rise, which could affect nearly 40% of the U.S. population – the proportion that lives in coastal zones.
The University of Rhode Island’s Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting is partnering with the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) to present a seminar designed for professional journalists to help them understand the science and policy underlying business, government, academic, non-profit, and community efforts to develop effective responses to climate change. The workshop is part of Metcalf Institute’s Climate Change and the News initiative and will be conducted on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 in conjunction with ACCO’s 2015 Rising Seas Summit.
Participating journalists will have access to more than 275 professionals from national and local government, industry, academia, and environmental NGOs attending the three-day Summit. In addition to hearing from a wide range of local and national experts at the Metcalf Institute seminar, journalists will:
  • Tour vulnerable sites in Boston and learn how the region is taking steps to ensure resilience;
  • Attend plenary sessions covering sea level rise projections, lessons learned from flood events, and related policy efforts;
  • Learn about new efforts underway to adapt to and plan for sea level rise;
  • Better understand risk assessments and economic impacts associated with sea level rise and extreme weather events;
  • Explore the broad range of tools and data resources available to inform reporting on climate change and sea level rise;
  • Meet stakeholders at the conference who are leading research and planning efforts at local to national scales; and
  • Gain insights on how to cover climate change from veteran environmental reporters.
Seminar Includes Conference Registration and Travel/Lodging Support
With funding from The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and in-kind support from ACCO, the seminar is offered at no cost to participating journalists as part of Metcalf Institute’s Climate Change and the News initiative. Metcalf Institute will pay for each participant’s conference registration and provide travel/lodging support of up to $200 as a reimbursement after the conference for those who have to travel from outside the Boston area. Space is limited. Journalists must apply online by September 17 and will receive notification of acceptance by September 22.
About the 2015 Rising Seas Summit
The 3rd annual Rising Seas Summit brings professionals together to highlight the interrelationships between sea level rise, climate change and extreme events. Last year’s Summit, held during Climate Week New York, was attended by nearly 300 professionals across sectors and geographic regions. As recent findings related to the Antarctic ice shelves cast clearer light on rates of sea level rise, the coastal ecosystems and inland water systems are at even greater risk, and the recent catastrophic impacts from hurricanes and typhoons have made the need to plan for adaptation a clear and present necessity. These emerging and increasing environmental challenges require that stakeholders share knowledge and work together to reduce and mitigate environmental, economic and social degradation induced by climate change. Comprehensive information on this year’s program is available at http://www.RisingSeasSummit.org.
About the Association of Climate Change Officers
The Association of Climate Change Officers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization for executives and officials worldwide in industry, government, academia and the non-profit community. ACCO’s mission is to define, develop and support the functions, resources and communities necessary for effective organizational leadership in addressing climate-related risks and opportunities. For more information about ACCO, please visit http://www.accoonline.org.
About Metcalf Institute
Metcalf Institute is an internationally recognized leader in providing environmental science training for journalists. The Institute also offers communication workshops for scientists, science resources for journalists and free public lectures on environmental topics. Metcalf Institute was established at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography in 1997 with funding from three media foundations: the Belo Corporation, the Providence Journal Charitable Foundation and the Philip L. Graham Fund, with additional support from the Telaka Foundation. Metcalf programming is underwritten by federal and foundation grants, as well as private donations managed by the University of Rhode Island Foundation.

Contact:

Karen Southern
Director of Communications
University of Rhode Island
Graduate School of Oceanography
218 South Ferry Road
Narragansett, RI 02882
karen_southern@uri.edu (Please note new email address)
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