NCSE Drawdown 2021: Flash Talks

NCSE Drawdown 2021 Conference


Return to the NCSE Drawdown 2021 Agenda

A flash talk is a five minute presentation designed to quickly engage the audience on a concept or idea using a single slide. A FlashTalkPlus is a series of up to three sequential flash talks organized around a central theme.

Conference attendees can view a prerecorded presentation in advance of the conference. During the scheduled session time, the presenters will answer questions and engage with attendees in real time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Letters in parentheses refer to a session's thematic pathway.


FlashTalkPlus: Fresh Water in Decline: Nature-Based Solutions to the Rescue (A)

An overview of ways in which humankind is stressing Earth’s water cycle and their impacts. Reintroduction of beavers as a keystone species and regenerative land management enhancing small water cycles are critical to fresh water restoration and biodiversity for cooling the planet.

  • Session Organizer: Nancy Lee Wood, Ph.D., Professor and Coordinator SSP, Bristol Community College
  • Moderator: Nancy Lee Wood, Ph.D., Professor and Coordinator SSP, Bristol Community College.
  • Presenters:
    • James Laurie, Ph.D., Research Biologist, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
    • Jan Lambert, Environmental Journalist, Voices of Water for Climate


FlashTalkPlus: Re-Energize DR3: Solutions for Data Processes and Stakeholders Engagement (B)

The effective implementation of the SDGs and equitable DR3 involves complex data processes and stakeholder engagement across governance levels. This session focuses on innovative interdisciplinary approaches for data processes, stakeholder engagement and machine learning tools for the US and UK.

  • Session Organizer: Elizabeth Christenson-Diver, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Water Institute, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Moderator: Catalina Spataru, Ph.D., Professor, Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, University College London, UK
  • Live session moderator: Elizabeth Christenson-Diver, Ph.D.,Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Water Institute, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Presenters:
    • Priscilla Carvalho, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, University College London, UK
    • Elizabeth Christenson-Diver, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Water Institute, UNC Chapel Hill
    • Ranger Ruffins, M.S. Student, City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
    • Felix Dodds, Adjunct Professor and Senior Fellow (Global Research Institute), The Water Institute, UNC Chapel Hill.


Expanding the Scope of Drawdown (C)

Climate change is humankind's greatest challenge. It’s time to buckle down on strategies that can work at the scale needed –not just to reduce emissions, but to restore the earth’s energy balance. Find out what we need to accomplish before 2030, and why, in order to begin stabilizing our climate.

  • Presenters:
    • Linda Brown, Senior Vice President, SCS Global Services


The Rationale for Economic Literacy in Sustainability Education (E)

Our economy has fostered the perception that accumulation is happiness. Our behavior is affected by our economy and in turn impacts our global environment. Economic literacy allows for intervention and substitution of more sustainable options that may better align with overall life quality.

  • Presenters:
    • Madhavi Venkatesan, Ph.D., Assistant Teaching Professor, Economics, Northeastern University


Building Drawdown Research Experiences: Informing Action, Developing Leaders (E)

Addressing climate change with a systems approach begins with helping people practice systems thinking. We describe how Drawdown Research Experiences give emerging climate leaders the chance to contribute to research that advances climate solutions implementation and practice systems thinking.

  • Presenters:
    • Kirsten Taylor, Coordinator for NCSE Drawdown USA Scholars, Drawdown USA Research Association and NCSE
    • Gabrielle Batzko, NCSE Drawdown USA Scholar, NCSE Drawdown USA Research Association


COEXIST: Actionable Stories for Sustainable Change (D)

Wetlands face pressure from rapid, unplanned urban development. COEXIST helps students to learn about the relationship between human activities and wetlands through stories based on a hero’s journey. We help students create stories, explore actions for change, and share the message among peers.

  • Presenters:
    • Anita Nagarajan, M.S., Communications and Editing Consultant, Independent
    • Muralidharan Loganathan, M.Tech., Research Scholar, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
    • Balachandar Ramadurai, M.Tech., Professor and Consultant, Independent


Cooling The Waters: A Mindful Approach To Sustainability Transformations During (D)

As we wake up to the unfolding new reality of this global health emergency, cognitions enhanced through mindfulness nurturing will become increasingly important for cooling the waters of a planet under pressure.

  • Presenters:
    • Kira Jade Cooper, BES, MES, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Waterloo, Canada


Frequently Asked Questions in NCA5: Input From the NCSE Community (C)

The National Climate Assessment (NCA) evaluates the state of the science of global change and analyzes effects within the United States. We invite feedback from the NCSE community to continue improving the efficacy of NCA Frequently Asked Questions to enhance public understanding of global change.

  • Presenters:
    • Samantha Basile, Ph.D., Senior Staff Scientist, National Climate Assessment, U.S. Global Change Research Program
    • Christopher Avery, Ph.D., Chief of Staff, National Climate Assessment, U.S. Global Change Research Program
    • Michael Kuperberg, Ph.D., Executive Director, U.S. Global Change Research Program, Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Global Change Research Program


    Midwest Climate Summit- Multi-Sectoral Acceleration of Climate Action (D)

    The Midwest Climate Summit is expanding regional climate knowledge, accelerating climate action, and catalyzing new partnerships to deepen expertise and strengthen a Midwestern response to the climate crisis. How can the Summit process and outcomes serve as a model for climate action advancement?

    • Presenters:
      • Beth Martin, M.S., Teaching Professor, Interim Director, Climate Change Program, Washington University in St. Louis


    Water Reuse in Chile: An Emerging Debate (A)

    In the context of Chile’s mega-drought and expansion of water requirements, we will evaluate the new Grey Waters Law, analyzing the interrelation between technical and regulatory entanglements regarding the reuse of wastewater, highlighting its positive aspects as the necessary changes to improve the feasibility and impact of this alternative source.

    • Presenters:
      • Camila Boettiger-Philipps, Ph.D. in Law, Associate Professor and Director of Center of Regulatory Law and Enterprise, School of Law, Universidad Del Desarrollo
      • Alex Godoy-Faúndez, Ph.D. in Law, Associate Professor and Director of Research Center in Sustainability and Resources Management, School of Engineering, Universidad del Desarrollo

    Wednesday, January 6, 2021

    Letters in parentheses refer to a session's thematic pathway.


    FlashTalkPlus: Campus Sustainability Education, Research, and Outreach in the Time of COVID-19 (G)

    The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically reshaped sustainability education, research, and outreach in higher education. In this talk, members of the UW–Madison Office of Sustainability will address strategies for maintaining effective sustainability programming in our socially-distant reality.

    • Session Organizer: Tim Lindstrom, Ph.D., Instructor, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Presenters:
      • Nathan Jandl, Assistant Director, Office of Sustainability, University of Wisconsin-Madison;
      • Tim Lindstrom, Ph.D., Instructor, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
      • Jason Gallup, M.A., Student Intern Program Manager, Office of Sustainability, University of Wisconsin-Madison


    FlashTalkPlus: Food, Energy, and Water (FEW) Nexus in a City in Times of Climate Change (H)

    This session focuses on original concepts on how cities adapt to climate change and its threats to production, distribution, and consumption of food, energy, and water (FEW). The flash talks will highlight thought-provoking perspectives on the FEW nexus for a sustainable future.

    • Session Organizer: Ziqian (Cecillia) Dong, Ph.D., Associate Professor, New York Institute of Technology
    • Moderator: Roberto Rojas-Cessa, Ph.D., Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology.
    • Presenters:
      • Michael Bobker, Ph.D., Director, City College, City University of New York;
      • Ahmed Mohamed, Ph.D., Associate Professor, City College, CUNY;
      • Giulia Pedrielli, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Arizona State University.
      • Jeffrey Raven, FAIA, LEED BD+C, Associate Professor, New York Institute of Technology


    FlashTalkPlus: Planning for Evacuation & Sheltering During Compound Hurricane Pandemic Threat (I)

    Fears related to COVID exposure drive sheltering and evacuation behaviors. Planners need to effectuate evacuation and sheltering of medically fragile and vulnerable populations, but also balance this with risk from exposure due to increased social interaction during sheltering and evacuation.

    • Session Organizer: Joshua Behr, Ph.D., Research Professor, Old Dominion University
    • Moderator: Rafael Diaz, Ph.D., Research Professor, Old Dominion University
    • Presenters:
      • Jim Redick, Ph.D., Senior Emergency Manager, City of Norfolk
      • Joshua Behr, Ph.D., Research Professor, Old Dominion University
      • Wie Yusuf, Ph.D., Professor, Old Dominion University


    FlashTalkPlus: The Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Social-Ecological systems (I)

    This session will examine the impact of coronavirus on people’s dependence on and interactions with the environment and the prospect of human-environment interactions in a post-COVID world.

    • Session Organizer: Rebecca Miller, Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford University
    • Presenters:
      • Rebecca Miller, Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford University
      • Josheena Naggea, Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford University


    FlashTalkPlus: Advanced Modelling and Water Quality Monitoring Techniques (F)

    Managing larger river basins during drought is complex. The objective of this study is to highlight advanced low flow forecasting and increasing demands of water quality monitoring techniques in order to manage competing water resource needs in a growing population and climate change uncertainties.

    • Presenters:
      • Tolessa Deksissa, Ph.D., Director of Water Resources Research Institute, CAUSES, University of the District of Columbia
      • Nian Ashlee Zhang, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, SEAS, University of the District of Columbia
      • Pradeep Behera, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Civil Engineering Department, SEAS, University of the District of Columbia
      • Arash Massoudieh, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, Catholic University of America


    COVID-19 and Climate Change: Security Implications of Scientific and Social Complexity (I)

    This presentation aims to communicate how the COVID-19 and climate change serve as case studies for not only how national security is affected by complex issues, but also how national security is affected by the injection of the scientific and social complexity around these issues itself.

    • Presenters:
      • Jordan Beauregard, M.S., Student, National Intelligence University


    Adaptive Governance of Rivers: All About the Capacity to Reallocate Water? (H)

    Stakeholder cognitive and relational change is a weak indicator of environmental governance outcomes. Highly modified rivers require water reallocation to improve ecosystem integrity. The scope of water reallocation should thus be a suitable indicator of the extent of adaptive governance of rivers.

    • Presenters:
      • Peter M. Rudberg, Ph.D, Researcher, GeoViable


    Adaptive Water Governance and the Food-Energy-Water Nexus (H)

    Recent years have seen increasing emphasis on the food, energy and water (FEW) nexus. However, the human dimensions of the nexus approach have not received enough attention. This paper discusses adaptive water governance as a mechanism for managing wicked problems in FEW systems.

    • Presenters:
      • Kofi Akamani, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University


    An Arboretum-University Educational Partnership Via Virtual Podcast Discussions (G)

    Physical distancing restrictions required public gardens to suspend on-site programs, yet one arboretum continued with Penn State Brandywine through biweekly online nature-themed podcast discussions and pathways for Earth advocacy. The new program is viewed as an effective educational model.

    • Presenters:
      • Laura Guertin, Ph.D., Professor of Earth Science, Penn State Brandywine


    Cultivating Key Competencies for Sustainability in an Era of Digital Learning (G)

    Sustainability scientists are coping with new challenges to translating education into real-world impact in an online era. This presentation will respond by exploring strategies to enhance teaching practices that develop key competencies for sustainability within the context of digital learning.

    • Presenters:
      • Jordan King, Ph.D. Student, Arizona State University


    Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Importance of Building Program Externalization (I)

    Buildings are increasingly designed as sealed boxes, requiring more conditioning. This creates spaces where people are disconnected from others, and live within boxes both physically and socially. How can externalization reimagine the architectural boundary to be more connective and dynamic

    • Presenters:
      • Christina Brown, EcoDistrict AP, Master of Science in Sustainable Design, Carnegie Mellon University


    Heat Vulnerability and Resilience Among Mobile Home Owners (I)

    Mobile home residents are 8 times more likely to die from heat-related illness. We uncover stark inequalities in adaptive capacity under housing insecurity and extreme heat in Arizona, to highlight risks facing 20 million Americans living in manufactured housing in an era of rising temperatures.

    • Presenters:
      • Patricia Solis, Ph.D., Executive Director, Knowledge Exchange for Resilience; Associate Research Professor, Arizona State University
      • Lora Phillips, Ph.D., PostDoctoral Research Scholar, Arizona State University
      • Elisha Charley, Ph.D. Graduate Student, Arizona State University
      • Katsiaryna Varfalameyeva, M.A., Geospatial Analyst, Arizona State University


    Improving Resiliency to Extreme Weather Events in EJ Communities (I)

    The resiliency of Environmental Justice (EJ) communities to extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and floods, could be improved with some land use changes in these neighborhoods. EJ areas are extremely vulnerable to storms because they have such limited green space.

    • Presenters:
      • Garth Connor, M.S. in Environmental Science, Environmental Scientist/Multi-media Inspector, EPA - Phila Region 3


    Nitrogen and the Anthropocene: Health and Sustainability Issues (F)

    Nitrogen, a major biogeochemical, its' presence in the environment in soluble, bioavailable form has been dramatically impacted by the Anthropocene and only partially regulated. Engage in discussing the implications for health and a sustainable environment and what action needs to be taken.

    • Presenters:
      • Catherine Zeman, Ph.D., M.S., RN, Professor, University of Northern Iowa


    Source Tracking Metabolically-Active Bacteria From Rainwater to Produce (F)

    There is a growing interest in using rooftop harvested rainwater to irrigate food crops, however, little research has evaluated levels of viable bacteria in these waters. By using a novel technique that couples DNA labeling and sequencing, we can track viable bacteria from rainwater to produce

    • Presenters:
      • Leena Malayil, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate, University of Maryland


    The Role of Boundary Organizations in Agriculture-Environmental Governance (H)

    Collaborative environmental governance involves many stakeholders with distinct worldviews. Boundary organizations mediate communication across these groups, using policy narratives as a strategy to build credibility and legitimacy. We present a framework for understanding boundary narratives.

    • Presenters:
      • Jessica Rudnick, M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecology, California Sea Grant Extension Specialist, University of California Davis


    Thinking and Acting in a Disrupted World: Governance, Environment and People (H)

    Earth and men regeneration is simultaneous; public policies, advocacy, communication, research and education combine all dimensions of being in the world (intimate, interactive, social and biophysical), as donors and beneficiaries, to elicit the events, face consequences and organize for change.

    • Presenters:
      • André Francisco Pilon, Ph. D., Post-Doctorate, Associate Professor (Senior), University of São Paulo and International Academy of Science; Health & Ecology


    Visioning a Cooler City: Participatory Planning for Extreme Heat Resilience (I)

    Extreme heat is the deadliest weather-related disaster in the U.S. yet strategies to address this risk remain limited. We developed an extreme heat digital teaching game, polling users about preferred resilience strategies. This process helps acceptance of difficult political decisions on climate.

    • Presenters:
      • Jonathan Crisman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Arizona