Resilience and the Role of Universities through RISE
RISE is a new NCSE program that engages the university scientific community to co-create a knowledge exchange platform focused on the scholarship, tools, and early response strategies that universities can deploy before, during, and after extreme weather disasters. Universities are trusted community partners and present a vast array of human, intellectual, organizational, and physical resources to inform and fortify community resilience.
In 2017, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico proved a catalytic opportunity to think intentionally about the role universities can plan in local resilience. In the months after the storm, more than 30 universities landed in Puerto Rico, with initiatives related to research and humanitarian aid, as well as student mobility and experiential learning activities, highlighting a need for better coordination between universities for collective impact.
RISE enables universities to play a stronger role in the long-term relief and reconstruction efforts after extreme weather and climate events. Through regional hubs, RISE will facilitate connections and collaborations between universities and also contribute to stronger community resilience to acute and extended extreme weather events, including hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, and heat waves. RISE will serve in a convergence role to university students, faculty, and administrators and coordinate institutional research and student/faculty mobility efforts to scale community resilience. To date, 15 institutional partners have committed to support the RISE platform.
The RISE 2019 Conference, which took place November 18–20, 2019, at the University at Albany, State University of New York, helped catalyze the launch of the RISE platform.
Resilience Roundtables on Actionable Science Solutions
In Fall 2018, NCSE launched a series of regional Resilience Roundtables in collaboration with universities. The inaugural roundtable was co-hosted by the University of Colorado Boulder. The goal of these roundtables is to convene scientists and decision-makers to consider the possibilities of accelerated impact, relevancy, and resources through collaboration and advance planning at a local scale. The NCSE resilience work supports universities to become key partners for local and state governments, utilities, planners, and more, growing their institutional infrastructure to connect closely with decision-makers. The concept behind the NCSE Resilience Roundtables grew from recognition of the unique role that we can play as conveners. Specifically, the goals of these roundtables are to:
Catalyze conversations that bridge the science-policy interface;
Foster cross-campus communication on resilience work, convening across departments to bring diverse scientific perspectives to decision-makers;
Offer concrete opportunities to participate in further collaboration through the NCSE Resilience through Innovation in Sustainable Energy (RISE), a new initiative to build a collaborative platform to enhance the role that universities play in post-disaster recovery, readiness, reconstruction, and scholarship; and
Empower university scientists and administrators to make connections that build lasting partnerships with local governments and state-level decision-makers to further community resilience.
In the lead up to the Annual Conference, NCSE hosted a three-part webinar series in partnership with the Security and Sustainability Forum and Arizona State University. The series explored science-based decision-making for local government, policy, and finance linked to the theme of Sustainable Infrastructure and Resilience. Please visit the webinars page for more information and to watch recordings.