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September 12–14, 2016 | Charlotte, NC


Conversations in the hall are often the best part of a conference. Presentations at the Carolinas Climate Resilience Conference are designed around alternative formats to allow for more discussion and interaction among all participants. The descriptions below share a bit of information about the different presentation formats.

Presentation Formats

Sharing Lessons Learned — Case Studies from the Field

These presentations are designed to share how your actions to address climate variability and change have succeeded (or not) and provide recommendations for others engaging in similar efforts, including what went well and how you might do things differently next time. Submissions for this format may also consider joint presentations between an information producer (e.g., researcher, tool developer) and information user to demonstrate real world examples of how climate information and tools are incorporated in decision-making.

Connecting the Dots (or "Ask the Audience")

These presentations are intended to promote audience participation and provide presenters feedback that can help inform their work. Presenters give a brief (5 to 10 minute) presentation to introduce their project and spend the bulk of their time eliciting feedback and answering questions from participants. Alternatively, presenters may incorporate questions or requests for feedback throughout the presentation. Possible formats include general brainstorming, Q&A, polling software such as PollEverywhere or small-group discussion.

What's Going On?

Want to let others know what your organization or community has been doing to increase climate resilience in the Carolinas? These presentations are designed to share information about ongoing research, efforts, and partnerships in the Carolinas that address climate variability and change so that participants can learn more about the many great projects and initiatives occurring in the region.

Illustrated Presentations

This session is a twist on the traditional academic poster session. Each session participant gives a short overview of their poster to audience members. Following these round robin mini-presentations, audience members have time to visit individual posters to speak to the authors and learn more about their projects.

Climate Resources and Tools Demonstrations

These sessions are designed to allow for a more hands-on approach to tools demonstration and training. Presenters give 3-5 minute introductions to their resource or tool at the beginning of the session. Following the introductions, participants break into small groups and circulate to the demonstration tables to learn more about the products and tools most relevant to their work. We encourage presenters to invite experienced users to participate in the demonstrations as well so that they might share their experiences with other interested participants.

"Ask the Climatologist"

In order to allow opportunities for attendees to interact with climatologists and other climate experts, several sessions are organized to share information on current climate in the Carolinas, climate variability, and anticipated changes in regional climate. These sessions include presentations from state and regional climatologists with plenty of time for questions and discussions throughout. Conference attendees have an opportunity to submit questions prior to the conference so that speakers can prepare materials and information in advance to address specific climate-related concerns.



Topics for discussion in sessions may include, but are not limited to, the following subjects

Climate Science, Research, and Information in the Carolinas

  • Climate trends, variability and teleconnections in the Carolinas
  • Available climate resources for decision makers and resource managers – identifying and using data and information resources
  • Climate change research and modeling
  • Sea level rise projections and tools
  • Climate and hydrology
  • Climate impacts on water resources, natural resources, urban areas, and communities

Planning for Resilience

  • Conducting vulnerability assessments
  • Decision making in the face of uncertainty
  • Identifying and assessing the economic consequences of climate
  • Integrating climate change into sustainability planning
  • Mainstreaming climate into ongoing activities or plans
  • Using climate adaptation tools: moving from planning to practice

Coping with Climate

  • Case studies of local and regional efforts underway
  • Drought response and management
  • Planning for weather extremes and hazards: precipitation (flooding), temperature (heat)
  • Tropical storms, coastal flooding and storm surge
  • Resources, tools, trainings to help decision makers and managers address climate threats

Sector-Specific Projects and Activities

  • Agriculture
  • Built environment and infrastructure
  • Coastal communities and resources
  • Hazards and emergency management
  • Natural resources
  • Public health
  • Tourism
  • Water management

Climate Communications and Outreach

  • Addressing local impacts and concerns
  • Communicating uncertainty
  • Developing effective communication strategies and messages
  • Engaging partners and stakeholders
  • Working with elected officials and the public


Pre-Conference Workshops

Two pre-conference workshops were offered to a limited number of registrants as in-depth learning opportunities about inclusive adaptation and resilience and effective climate communications. Workshops were held from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. on Monday, September 12, before the start of the full conference at 1:00 p.m.

Inclusive Climate Adaptation and Resilience Building

The impacts of climate variability and change affect everyone, but they disproportionately affect socially vulnerable populations, as they are the ones with the least resources to prepare and recover from impacts. Understanding where these concerns sit within a broad spectrum of stressors and challenges is important in order to identify opportunities to effectively communicate challenges and increase community resilience. In this session, participants engaged in dialogue about their experiences with climate-related impacts that are anticipated to affect vulnerable or marginalized communities in the Carolinas. Proven examples of programs and adaptation models were shared to demonstrate successes in preparing communities to face these challenges.

Climate Communications in the Carolinas

This workshop was designed for those seeking to improve their ability to convey climate science and information to a variety of audiences and stakeholders. Participants learned framing and messaging techniques for conveying key climate concepts. They also had an opportunity to practice and refine these techniques with their peers while receiving tips and recommendations from the workshop facilitator. Participants reviewed how to develop messages that are clear, concise, and compelling for public presentations, media interviews, and conversations with decision-makers. They also discussed how to quickly deliver the most important messages about climate science and solutions, tailored to each audience.  

The workshop was led by Susan Joy Hassol, Director of Climate Communication, a non-profit project that specializes in climate change communication and outreach and supports scientists, journalists, and others in communicating about climate.