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SPC Conference Focuses on Climate, Sea Level Rise

Sea Level Rise | Environment | Climate Change

Local and national experts will be featured during the two-day event at SPC’s Seminole campus.

SEMINOLE -The coordinator of the Florida Disaster Resilience Initiative and an Eckerd College expert on the mind’s processing of climate science will be among featured speakers at a two-day conference on climate change and sea level rise taking place April 5 – April 6 at St. Petersburg College.

[Sea Level] Rise Up: Realities & Opportunities will be held at the SPC Seminole Campus Conference Center, 9200 113th St. N. Presented by SPC’s Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions and the Suncoast Sea Level Rise Collaborative, the conference will emphasize adaptation, resilience and opportunity as it assesses actions planned or already in progress by local governments and businesses to turn the impacts of climate change into positive economic growth.

Dr. Michael D. McDonald will deliver a noon address, Tampa Bay’s Blue-Green Economy in Times of Sea Level Rise, on April 5. He is the architect of the Resilience Systems and Resilience Networks, which seek to rapidly expand information-sharing environments, open-data systems, and collective intelligence to improve health, economic stability, resilience and human security.

Dr. Joanna Huxster, assistant professor of Environmental Studies at Eckerd College, will deliver Saturday’s closing address, Communicating Beyond the Choir. Her research focuses on public understanding of the social structure of science and how that understanding relates to trust in scientific consensus for politically divisive scientific issues like climate change.

The conference will open with an interpretation of the recent National Climate Assessment findings for Tampa Bay communities by Doug Marcy, coastal hazards specialist for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in Charleston, SC. Marcy, a co-author for the Southeast Chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, will highlight the assessment’s findings on the flooding risks to coastal or low-lying areas and the data and tools NOAA provides to assist coastal communities with adaptation planning.

Subsequent sessions will assess actions planned or already in progress by local governments and businesses to turn the impacts of climate change into opportunities for economic growth.

The conference will highlight action steps for individuals and policymakers to mitigate or adapt to climate change impacts and capitalize on opportunities created by a blue-green economy. The subject of how the media is furthering climate awareness will also be examined.

Saturday begins with Maya Burke, Science Policy Coordinator at Tampa Bay Estuary Program, discussing the intersection of science literacy and civic engagement. She will demonstrate how citizens can access the scientific information provided in the Fourth National Climate Assessment and distill the likely impacts for residents of the west-central coast of Florida. Saturday also will include sessions on real estate values, mortgages and insurance, and ways individuals can become civically engaged in the climate conversation.

Program panelists during the conference include:

Lorrie Belovich, executive director, the Sustany Foundation

Denise Drews, loan officer, Paramount Residential Mortgage Group

Whitney Fung, public health PhD student, PSR Florida

Kelli Hammer Levy, environmental management division director, Pinellas County

Erica Harris, climate adaptation specialist, AECOM

Jake Holehouse, H.H. Insurance

Mayor Al Johnson, St. Pete Beach

John Morales, AMS fellow chief meteorologist, WTVJ NBC 6, Miami

CJ Reynolds, director of resiliency and engagement, Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council

Justin Smith, sustainability program manager, project director and airport architect, Tampa International Airport

Mike Twitty, property appraiser, Pinellas County

Lisa Vanover, the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area

Sharon Wright, sustainability and resiliency director, city of St. Petersburg

The Suncoast Sea Level Rise Collaborative is a group of concerned citizens and environmental professionals committed to educating the public about the challenges and opportunities created by global warming. It emerged from the SPC Institute’s 2015 conference called Sea Level Rise:What’s Our Next Move? Since then, the collaborative has presented a series of documentary films and community discussions that highlight such environmental conditions as melting polar icecaps, plastic pollution of the oceans, dying coral reefs, and threats to fresh water resources.

The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 5 and 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 6. Advance registration is required at solutions.spcollege.edu/. Cost is $20 for both days, or $15 for first day only or $10 for second day only. The program is free for students, and anyone is welcome to request attendance free of charge.

For more information, go to the website or phone (727) 394-6942 or (727) 394- 6251.

St Petersburg College | Environment | Climate | Sea Level Rise | Global Warming | Tampabay News

#StPetersburgCollege #Environment #Climate #SeaLevelRise #GlobalWarming #TampabayNews

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SPC Conference Focuses on Climate, Sea Level Rise
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SPC Conference Focuses on Climate, Sea Level Rise
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Local and national experts will be featured during the two-day event at SPC's Seminole campus.
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TB Reporter
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