Kauneckis to provide thought leadership in climate policy, resilience

June 22, 2015

Professor Derek Kauneckis of the Environmental Studies program (MSES) at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs will present at the Western Governors' Drought Forum, June 23, 2015 on “Moving from Response to Resilience in Western Droughts.”  The presentation focuses on a recently funded National Science Foundation (NSF) project “Water for the Seasons.”   

The project is designed to examine the resilience of the Truckee-Carson River System (TCRS) water supply by simulating variations in hydro-climatic conditions, including extreme events and changes in land-use and economic growth. Through a process known as collaborative modeling, the project involves water managers and users to assess the range of feasible alternative water policy arrangements that can improve the resilience of western water systems. Resilience is an emerging concept that looks at the ‘inherent potential of the system to avoid, or recover from, a negative impact to the system without reducing or even improving its functional capacity.’  

The research is an interdisciplinary effort between social and physical scientists from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University, the University of Nevada, Reno, the Desert Research Institute, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The project will use the TCRS as a model for how arid, snow-fed systems respond to extreme climate events such as drought and floods.

Local Government and Climate Policy

Kauneckis will also present, “The critical role of local government in climate policy: Results from a national assessment,” at the City and County of San Francisco Planning Department, San Francisco, California on June 30, 2015.
The talk will review analysis of recently collected data on local government climate policies across the nation.  In 2014, a survey was sent to 11,800 local government organizations across the country with approximately 13% responding with the types, scope and focus of local climate policies.  

Additionally, he will meet with a smaller group of climate adaptation specialists in the city.  The city of San Francisco is on the forefront of urban climate policy and the state of California has been recognized as a global leader in climate mitigation and adaptation policy.