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11-01-2016

Clarkson University Signs White House Educators Commitment on Resilient Design

The White House announced yesterday that Clarkson University has signed the White House Educators Commitment on Resilient Design, which promotes a resilience design agenda across a wide range of educational programs in order to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The White HouseFor a complete list of signatories and more information about the announcement, see the White House Fact Sheet (and below) in which the Educators Commitment announcement is included.

"Clarkson’s curriculum, research and collaborative partnerships address the world’s pressing issues in climate resilience and other impacts of climate change. New York State's North Country is a region where we have first-hand knowledge of the impact that weather can have on infrastructure. Clarkson partners in research that has an impact not only on our neighbors, but also on communities like Potsdam around our state and nation, where climate change could be disruptive to lives and commerce. Clarkson is pleased to support our nation's communities in their resilience planning, an issue critical to their citizens and economy," said Clarkson President Tony Collins.

"Clarkson's excellence in sustainability and resilience closely follows our focus on and commitment to providing an education to our students that really matters. Promoting a resilience design agenda across a wide range of educational programs will enable our graduates to really make a difference throughout their careers as we all learn to adapt to the impacts of climate change," said Prof. Susan E. Powers, Spence Professor in Sustainable Environmental Systems and Interim Director of Clarkson's Institute for a Sustainable Environment.

Last November, Pres. Collins visited the White House to participate in a conference on climate change, where Clarkson was one of the more than 200 colleges and universities representing 3.3 million students that demonstrated support for strong international climate action by signing the American Campus Act on Climate Pledge.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
October 31, 2016

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Highlights
Opportunities for Building Community Climate Resilience across the Nation

Today, the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience released its “Resilience Opportunities” report, describing key Administration accomplishments and highlighting opportunities for Federal agencies and stakeholders to work together on a shared climate resilience agenda.

The Obama Administration and communities across the country have taken unprecedented steps to enhance preparedness for the impacts of climate change. Federal leaders have responded to input from governors, mayors, county officials, Tribal leaders, and other stakeholders to advance climate resilience. In addition, the Administration has taken action to integrate climate-risk considerations into Federal operations, improve access to climate data, information, and tools, and invest in building more climate-resilient communities.

Climate variability and change impact key economic sectors and the livelihoods of citizens. In the last decade, the Federal Government incurred direct costs of over $357 billion due to extreme weather and wildfires and the financial risks of climate change will continue to grow significantly in the coming decades. Instead of waiting to respond, the Federal Government is committed to working with communities to anticipate and reduce the future damages of climate change.

Today’s “Resilience Opportunities” report builds on lessons learned and outlines three major areas where opportunities exist for innovation, economic growth, and collaboration: through application of science-based data and tools, support for community resilience initiatives, and integration of climate resilience into Federal agency missions, operations, and culture. The full report, “Opportunities to Enhance the Nation’s Resilience to Climate Change,” can be found here.

One of the opportunities identified in the report is working with stakeholders to enhance the usability of climate information. Today, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy is announcing the launch of a public-private collaboration designed to address this need. A diverse set of private, governmental, academic, and nonprofit collaborators today are launching the beta version of the Resilience Dialogues, an online, consultative service to support communities in their resilience planning. The Resilience Dialogues collaboration enables community leaders to engage in facilitated, expedited, and tailored discussion with scientists, practitioners, and other subject-matter experts. The Resilience Dialogues service will also help communities identify their climate risks and navigate information that will empower them to better prepare and adapt. This public-private collaboration will be coordinated by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange with support from the Kresge Foundation. A full list of organizations participating in this collaboration can be found here.

Today’s report also identifies the opportunity to encourage comprehensive preparedness, including by increasing resilient design and construction. In support of this goal, today the Administration is announcing a coalition of 97 colleges, universities, associations, and academic centers around the country that are committing to ensure that the next generation of design professionals are prepared to design and build for extreme weather events and the impacts of climate change. This commitment builds on the leadership of many educators around the country who have already begun incorporating resilience and climate preparedness into their respective programs. In addition to these commitments, Federal departments and agencies are announcing new actions to support educational efforts on resilient design, including new research on interdisciplinary approaches to educating on resilient design and new resources to increase awareness of how resilience can be applied in design and construction.

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[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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