A5: Assessment to Action: The role of scientific assessments in policy frameworks

Scientific assessments aim to embed science as foundational information to policy-makers at varying governance scales. This session will explore how different climate assessments have been used by policy makers to understand the risks faced from climate impacts, as well as potential paths forward for both climate mitigation and adaptation. We will explore the critical overlap between policy needs, government-funded science, and the role of assessments – both historically and in the future – in informing decision-making. Speakers will discuss how science is used and risk translated, what tools work for decision makers and how assessments should more fully engage to support good governance. Importantly, speakers will touch on a range of governance viewpoints and different assessment approaches, including state (California and/or Montana), local (New York City) and non-governmental/cross-sectoral (Science for Climate Action Network).


  • Leah Fisher, Senior Advisor for Research, California Strategic Growth Council
  • Fred Lipshultz, Regional Coordinator and Senior Scientist, U.S. Global Change Research Program; National Climate Assessment
  • Kathy Jacobs, Director, Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions; Director, Third NCA, Science to Action Network; University of Arizona
  • Dan Zarrilli, Senior Director, Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer, New York City
  • Cathy Whitlock, Regents Professor, Montana State University
  • Jennifer Phillips, Senior Scientist, California Governor's Office of Planning & Research