Disasters and Environment: Science, Preparedness, and Resilience – 13th National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment

NIFA shared booth space with EDEN at the 2013 NCSE national conference
NIFA shared booth space with EDEN

Each national conference hosted by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) has a specific theme. This year’s theme focused on preparedness and resilience. Held in Washington, DC, it was attended by leaders from the scientific, diplomatic, emergency management, conservation, business, disaster response, educational, and policy communities. It was a big meeting.

You’ll find on the conference web page recorded interviews with plenary panelists, a link to C-SPAN footage of the first day of the conference, and links to some of the speakers’ PowerPoint presentations. The C-SPAN footage features Margareta Walhstrom (Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations), Craig Fugate (Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency), and three plenary sessions (Japan 2011: Cascading Disasters; The Gulf Coast: Diverse Converging Issues; and Aridity and Drought and their Consequence).

On day two of the conference, Rick Atterberry, Steve Cain, Pat Skinner and I hosted a breakout workshop—Building Community Resilience and Capacity through Extension Programs and Youth Corps.

Our breakout session was enriched by including Joe Gersen (Public Lands Service Coalition) and Levi Novey (The Corps Network). Their names and the addition of Youth Corps to our session attracted several people we would not have otherwise met. One of the most important themes I saw in our session was that college students and young professionals don’t believe they are taken seriously when it comes to disaster resilience. Their talents and experience are not fully used even though they have much to offer. EDEN should consider how to improve the integration of youth and young professionals with recovery and mitigation efforts.

Hosts of each of the 23 breakout workshops were asked to compile a list of recommendations for new initiatives, partnerships, collaborations, or actions. The synthesized list will be distributed to the Administration, Congress, state and local government, and a myriad of other agencies and groups. The full list of breakout workshop recommendations is available for download.

Which, if any, recommendations do you think EDEN should address?