Join the CIRCA team to work with our affiliated faculty member, Professor Christine Kirchhoff on a CIRCA project as well as sustainability in coastal communities. The position is offered as full time, but part time is negotiable. See the job description below for details on qualifications and how to apply. Review of applications begins immediately and the position is open until filled.
Temporary Project Specialist Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE)
UConn CEE seeks a Temporary Project Specialist to provide support on the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation project, entitled “The Development of a Drinking Water Vulnerability Assessment and Resiliency Plan for Connecticut” (Resiliency Plan) and the NSF-funded project, entitled “Coastal SEES: Enhancing sustainability in coastal communities threatened by harmful algal blooms by advancing and integrating environmental and socio-economic modeling” (NSF SEES).
Under the direction of Prof. Christine Kirchhoff, this temporary position will provide support in the following activities: conduct interviews (as needed), administer survey (as needed), perform interview and survey data analysis and synthesis, evaluate emergency response and planning laws, practices and protocols to assess how they improve (or not) infrastructure resiliency, and write summary report(s).
Bachelor’s degree in related field
Experience in social science research methods including interviews and surveys or equivalent combination of education and experience
At least one year of experience related to water resources management and/or adaptation planning or experience conducting social science or public policy/administration research
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Master’s degree in related field
This is a temporary, full-time position with hours from 8 AM to 5 PM, M-F. The appointment term is six months with the possibility of extension. The pay range is $24-$33 per hour. Optional State employee health insurance may be available for purchase at group rates.
Please submit a resume, cover letter articulating your interest and qualifications for the position, writing sample, and contact information for three professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Temporary Project Specialist Application” in the subject line of your email.
Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.
Marine Sciences Professor and CIRCA Executive Director, James O’Donnell will present the findings of a study to update the NOAA 2012 CPO-1 sea level rise projections for the state of Connecticut. This study was mandated as part of the creation of CIRCA and called for in PA 13-179.
UConn Law School CEEL Professor-in-Residence, Joe MacDougald and CEEL legal fellow, Bill Rath will also present their CIRCA study on legal and policy implications of sea level rise for Connecticut and their survey of state sea level rise policies.
Who Should Attend:
This meeting is free and open to the public. Municipal staff and elected leaders concerned about or in the process of planning for sea level rise and coastal resilience are encouraged to attend. Following the presentations, there will be an opportunity for questions from the audience.
Parking on Campus:
Visitor parking on campus is available in pay by phone (PBP) or in metered spots in the areas marked on this map.
Students, Faculty and Staff are encouraged to attend
The news has been full of the devastating impacts that Harvey and Irma have had on the states of Texas and Florida and neighboring islands and questions are being raised about the role of climate change in hurricanes and what we should do when hurricanes hit. In this panel and discussion faculty from Marine Sciences and Environmental Engineering will explain the basics of hurricane science and what we do and do not know about the relationship between these events and climate change. The Connecticut Insurance Department joins the panel to discuss Connecticut’s recovery after Irene and Sandy and the latest approaches in our state and across the nation to be better prepared and resilient to the impacts of hurricanes.
Frank Bohlen, Professor of Marine Science, emeritus and CIRCA Affiliated Faculty Member
Jim O’Donnell, Professor of Marine Sciences and CIRCA Executive Director
Manos Anagnostou, Professor of Environmental Engineering and CIRCA Applied Research Director
George Bradner, Director, Property & Casualty Division, Connecticut Insurance Department
Moderated by Rebecca French, Director of Community Engagement, CIRCA
If you have any questions about this event, please contact Rebecca French at email@example.com.
PARKING: Public parking is available in the metered spots in Lot D or in pay by phone (pbp) areas on this map.
If you need accommodations for this event, please contact Lauren Yaworsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creating and restoring marshes along shorelines has the potential to enhance both ecosystem resilience and provide green infrastructure to better protect communities from the impacts of flooding and sea level rise. Recently the use of dredged sediments for the creation and restoration of marshes was piloted in the northeast and mid-Atlantic coastal states as a resilience strategy, particularly after Superstorm Sandy impacted the region. While information on these projects is being shared locally, there remains a need to increase collaboration and share resources and project experiences across state and regional boundaries.
The UCONN Department of Marine Sciences and the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) invite you to attend a free workshop on the Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials for Resilient Tidal Marsh Restoration and Creation. The workshop will bring together case study presentations of projects from Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey, and a feasibility study for the state of Connecticut. Project planning, design, permitting, implementation and monitoring will be discussed by representatives from fellow state and federal regulatory agencies, funding organizations, and researchers. The workshop is designed to provide opportunities to network with fellow managers while sharing lessons learned, and to build future collaborations.
Who Should Attend: This workshop targets researchers, practitioners, resource managers, regulators and planners with direct experience on marsh restoration or creation projects using dredged sediments in the region of coastal Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Space at the workshop is limited to facilitate a robust conversation around the workshop topics. We will be capturing the outcomes of the workshop in a summary report.
Registration: Registration is Open. There is no cost to register for the workshop, but participants will be responsible for their own transportation and housing.
Directions: We highly recommend using the Metro-North rail line to attend the workshop. The Aquarium is within walking distance of the South Norwalk Station.
From Metro-North Railroad South Norwalk Station
The Maritime Aquarium is a one-hour train ride from Grand Central Station. Get off at South Norwalk. Exit and walk down the driveway, turning right onto Monroe Street. Walk to the light and turn left onto South Main Street. At the next light, make a right onto Washington Street and proceed to the first light, where you will turn left onto North Water Street. The Maritime Aquarium’s IMAX® Theater entrance will be in front of you. (You can enter the Aquarium here; IMAX purchase not required.)
Acknowledgments: We would like to thank the planning committee for their time and effort to make this workshop a success. The planning committee members are:
Peter Francis – CTDEEP Coastal Resources Section of Land & Water Resource Division
Robin Murray –NJDEP – Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning Coastal Zone Management
Steve Jacobus – NJDEP Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning Coastal Zone Management
Elizabeth Semple – NJDEP Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning Coastal Zone Management
Lesley Patrick – Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay
Jessica Fain – Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay
Dave Hudson – The Maritime Aquarium
Thomas Naiman – The Maritime Aquarium
Jennifer O’Donnell – UConn Department of Marine Sciences
Rebecca French – UConn Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation
Kimberly Bradley – UConn Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation
Colleen Dollard – UConn Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation
This workshop is made possible by a grant from the Connecticut Department of Housing Sandy Recovery Program to the University of Connecticut, Department of Marine Sciences and the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) for a feasibility study for Connecticut. We would also like to thank the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk for the generous donated use of their facilities for this event.
By Taylor Mayes, UConn ’18, CIRCA Summer 2017 Undergraduate Intern
“The hundreds of people who have provided input into this Plan should have our sincere thanks. In particular, I wanted to recognize and thank the volunteer members of the Climate Stewardship Council and the staff of Hartford’s Office of Sustainability, created in my office in 2017 thanks to generous funding from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Partners for Places and UConn’s Connecticut Institute for Climate Resilience and Adaptation.” – Mayor Bronin (Hartford’s Climate Action Plan)
Mayor Bronin made that statement when the City of Hartford released their very first Climate Action Plan on July 25, 2017. This is a big achievement for the City as the plan highlights six action areas essential to its sustainable growth: energy, food, landscape, transportation, waste and water. The goal of the plan is to make “incremental but consistent progress in each of the areas” utilizing the resources that they have, and making decisions that are consistent with their three shared values: public health, economic development, and social equity.
CIRCA’s grant made it possible for the City of Hartford to create the Office of Sustainability, which released the Plan. CIRCA awarded the City of Hartford funds through our Municipal Resilience Grant Program to create a one-year Green Infrastructure Specialist position with the City. The Green Infrastructure Specialist will help Hartford not only respond to threats of flooding, but also strategize proactively for the future by evaluating and advancing green infrastructure projects. The Green Infrastructure Specialist position together with a Sustainability Coordinator makes up the Office of Sustainability, which is entirely funded by external grants.
Upon awarding the CIRCA Municipal Resilience Grant to Hartford, CIRCA Executive Director, Jim O’Donnell said, “There really is no better way to enhance the resilience of a city’s stormwater management system to the effects of climate change than to invest in green infrastructure and reduce the amount of water going into the system in the first place. This approach also improves the environment in the City for its citizens and visitors. I look forward to seeing the results of the Mayor’s initiative replicated in other parts of the state.”
The Climate Stewardship Initiative was already making great success through the Climate Stewardship Council, however, the City realized that what they needed to improve the execution of some of their goals was more specific expertise. The City identified the creation of the Green Infrastructure Specialist and Sustainability Coordinator positions to fulfill this need. These positions would strategize ways to deal with infrastructure risks such as flooding and wastewater management, as well as building on existing grants and partnerships – all the while taking full advantage of the political and institutional interest in sustainable cities. The positions could not be filled within the existing City budget, therefore CIRCA’s funding made it possible for them to move from initiative to implementation. The Climate Action Plan is one of the first steps in that process. The Plan demonstrates how investing in municipal projects and policies can generate even more co-benefits and benchmarking moments for a municipality in the long-term.
The Climate Stewardship Initiative exemplifies the importance of supporting the state’s urban communities as they adapt to climate change and lower their environmental footprint, while also helping make them better places to live. CIRCA agrees with UConn Law Professor and Chair of the Hartford Climate Stewardship Council Sara Bronin that, “Having a clean environment isn’t just for the New York Cities and San Franciscos of the world. Citizens in smaller, more challenged cities like Hartford also deserve a healthy, clean environment — and the improved quality of life that goes with it.” (Hartford Courant, 2017)
Congratulations to Hartford on their new Climate Action Plan!
Municipal Resilience Grant Program Accepting Applications
Do you want to help your community become more resilient to the impacts of climate change? CIRCA is currently accepting applications for the next round of funding through the Municipal Resilience Grant Program. Applications are due by September 1, 2017.
CIRCA runs several research projects that provide actionable science and engineering for decision-making and solutions in Connecticut. You can find all of our projects here: http://circa.uconn.edu/projects-products/.
The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) at the University of Connecticut will be awarded funds to monitor, evaluate and provide recommendations for the design and placement of living shorelines (a.k.a. nature-based infrastructure). The funds for CIRCA are part of a $1 million 2017 NOAA Coastal Resilience Grant to the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) and New England Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Agencies (ME, NH, MA, RI, and CT) with partners from the Nature Conservancy. An additional $500,000 in matching funds was provided by the partners to undertake the work.
NOAA announced that this grant and 18 others from across the country were recommended for funding out of a total of 167 proposals received. Projects are expected to begin by October 1, 2017.
James O’Donnell, Executive Director of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation and Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut will lead a team of researchers at UConn, in partnership with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, lead restoration ecologist at Sacred Heart University, to monitor the Stratford Point living shorelines site with sensors and a modeling effort. The monitoring data will inform how well this living shoreline performs to reduce coastal erosion under real-world conditions, including the storms and ice that we experience in Connecticut. Representatives from CIRCA and the Connecticut Coastal Zone Management program at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will also participate in the development of regional policy and practice guidance as well as engagement with regulators, natural resource management, practitioners and the general public on nature-based infrastructure. The grant and matching funds awarded to support this work in Connecticut total more than $180,000.
The living shoreline at Stratford Point utilizes ‘reef balls’ to dissipate waves at the shoreline thereby protecting the restored dune and restored wetland habitats located there. The ‘reef balls’ are concrete structures designed to reduce waves, but also to allow for a continuous connection between the water and the upland shore, while also providing habitat for marine life. Data collected from this project will measure how much sediment accumulates around the reef balls and the extent to which the reef ball design and placement reduce wave height. This information will inform the design and construction of living shorelines throughout Connecticut and New England.
This project builds on extensive previous work at CIRCA to evaluate the effectiveness of living shorelines in Connecticut, including an award from the 2016 NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience Grants on Advancing High Resolution Coastal Forecasting and Advancing Living Shorelines Approaches awarded to CIRCA as part of a grant to NROC and the Northeast Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS). CIRCA also previously awarded a $91,000 CIRCA Matching Funds Program grant to Professor Jennifer Mattei at Sacred Heart University to purchase an additional 273 reef balls at the Stratford Point living shoreline site, providing an ideal pilot site for this extensive new study. CIRCA was also launched in part through a grant from NOAA on Enhancing Coastal Resilience in Connecticut with Sandy recovery funds. That project yielded near-shore wave height statistics for use in the design of living shorelines.
“The coastal management community in the Northeast clearly recognizes the potential of developing an approach using natural systems, including living shorelines, to enhance the resilience of coastlines in our region, yet we have little practical experience with these methods,” said Connecticut DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee. “With this grant, we are able to leverage the power of region-wide partnerships to improve our understanding of how to appropriately design, implement and measure the success of natural systems of varying types and scales.”
James O’Donnell, the lead Project Investigator on the grant and Executive Director of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation and Professor of Marine Sciences said, “this project will help us take lessons learned from the living shoreline site at Stratford Point to develop improved guidance for municipalities and the state for the appropriate design and construction of other potential living shorelines sites in Connecticut based on sound science.”
Jennifer Mattei, the lead restoration ecologist on this project and Professor at Sacred Heart University said, “the Stratford Point living shoreline will be a model for the use of nature-based solutions to abate wave energy and prevent shoreline erosion in New England.”
The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation at the University of Connecticut is a multi‐disciplinary, center of excellence that brings together experts in the natural sciences, engineering, economics, political science, finance, and law to provide practical solutions to problems arising as a result of a changing climate. The Institute combines the world‐class research capabilities of UConn and the progressive policies and practical regulatory experience of the CT DEEP to translate sound scientific research to actions that can ensure the resilience and sustainability of both the built and natural environments of the coast and watersheds of Connecticut.
For press inquiries please contact Dr. Rebecca A. French, Director of Community Engagement for CIRCA (email@example.com; Ph: 860-404-9228).
More about the Coastal Resilience Grant awarded to UConn as partner with the NROC and the Nature Conservancy:
Grant Title: Reducing Flood Risk in New England with Nature-Based Infrastructure
Applicant: The Nature Conservancy
Recommended Federal Funding: $999,999
This regional effort to reduce flood risk in New England is focused on increasing the effective use of nature-based infrastructure for flood protection. The project team will develop region-specific information on suitable natural infrastructure types and benefits and will work with several communities to implement and monitor a range of nature-based coastal infrastructure projects. The experience gained here will benefit communities across the region and help to advance local, state, and national policies to promote effective use of the approach to reducing flood risk. The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with a consortium of state coastal zone management programs, is leading the project.
Project Partners: Maine Coastal Management Program, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program, Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Rhode Island Coastal Resource Management Council, University of Connecticut, Northeast Regional Ocean Council
The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) is pleased to announce a new call for Research Proposals. Up to $200,000 is available for research proposals that address resilience of Connecticut’s communities through a two-phase proposal process. While projects involving multiple investigators are encouraged, the principal investigator must be a member of the University of Connecticut faculty.
PRIORITY RESEARCH TOPICS
Proposals should address research on at least one of the following CIRCA priority topics:
Socioeconomic impacts of climate change on Connecticut coastal municipalities;
Innovative approaches to resilient engineering and adaptation in Connecticut (e.g. green infrastructure for stormwater management);
Innovative financing approaches for adaptation in Connecticut; and
Effectiveness of “living shoreline” approaches to coastal erosion control in Connecticut.
Short pre-proposals will be solicited and reviewed by the CIRCA Executive Steering Committee and those that are most consistent with the CIRCA mission and these four research priorities will be encouraged to submit a full proposal. The CIRCA share of project costs should not be less than $40,000 or exceed $80,000. All proposals should include a plan to disseminate the results through community engagement.
Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation
Municipal and Research Project Forum
Thursday, May 4, 2017 12:30-2:30 pm
Rome Commons Ballroom
University of Connecticut, Storrs
You are invited to this event that will bring together municipal and state agency staff, UConn faculty, and CIRCA Advisory Committee members. The following agenda has current poster topics that highlight the important research, products, and partnerships currently addressing resilience of vulnerable communities along Connecticut’s coast and inland waterways to the growing impacts of climate change. Rob Klee, Commissioner of CT DEEP and Jeff Seemann, UConn’s Vice President for Research, will also be attending.
THIS IS THE NEW DATE FROM THE MEETING WHICH WAS CANCELLED, DUE TO WEATHER, ON MARCH 10, 2017.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
DIRECTIONS AND PARKING INFORMATION
Directions from Hartford:
I-84 East to Exit 68 (Rt.195)
Head south on Rt. 195
Go through campus
Take right on Mansfield Rd
Left on Gilbert Rd
Right on Hillside
Park in South Parking Garage
Walk to Rome Ballroom
Directions from Points South and Windham:
Rt. 195 North to Mansfield
As you enter the campus take a
Left on Mansfield Rd
Follow remaining directions from Hartford
For attendees with a UConn parking sticker or hang tag you will park in any Area 2 lot. The closest are just behind the Rome Commons, S Lot or Lot 1. Other close options are Lot 8 and Y Lot, see link to map below.
Any other visitor can park in the South Garage just behind Gampel Pavilion on Jim Calhoun Way, see link to map below.
WALKING DIRECTIONS FROM SOUTH PARKING GARAGE TO ROME BALLROOM
It is approximately an 8 minute walk.
Take a right out of the Parking Garage. Take a right onto Hillside and walk past the UConn Co-Op. Take a left onto Gilbert Road. Take a right on Gilbert Road Ext (Follow signs towards Nathan Hale Inn). The Rome Ballroom is in the Lewis B. Rome Commons Building across the driveway circle from Nathan Hale Inn (If you are facing the Nathan Hale Inn Entrance, the Lewis B. Rome Commons is directly behind you across the circle.) The ballroom is on the second floor.
By Hannah Spicer, CIRCA Undergraduate Program Assistant Intern, 2016-2017 Academic Year
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk was a recent recipient of a $485,000 grant awarded by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration in the United States Department of Commerce. They were one of five to receive this 2016 Environmental Literacy Grant out of 170 applications emphasizing the need for education projects that build resilience. This is the largest federal award the Aquarium has ever received in their 28 year history.
The Aquarium will use the funding over the next three years on their initiative “Sound Resilience- Get On Board!” This project will include the involvement and professional development of middle and high schoolers and their teachers in Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Wilton, Weston, Fairfield, and Bridgeport. The initiative focuses on how severe storms, erosion and environmental hazards threaten these communities, and how communities can mitigate these forces. “Sound Resilience- Get On Board!” has four main goals for students, teachers, and guests. These goals include identifying environmental threats like hurricanes, storm surge, flooding, winter storms, erosion, and runoff; identifying locations and activities vulnerable to those hazards; understanding the science behind those threats and how to measure them; and discovering current and potential mitigation and minimizing efforts of those threats.
The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) was pleased to support the Maritime Aquarium’s proposal during the grant application process. The Aquarium initiative directly relates to CIRCA projects and interests like infrastructure resilience, living shorelines, and coastal and inland flooding. In CIRCA’s letter of support, the Institute encouraged the use of CIRCA’s local climate information and community resilience solutions to guide the initiative’s materials. The CIRCA Director of Community Engagement, Dr. Rebecca French, agreed to sit on the Advisory Committee for the project as well.
This year CIRCA also partnered with the Fairfield Museum and History Center in their recent exhibit, Rising Tides, Fairfield’s Coast: Past to Future. This exhibit, which ran from September 29, 2016 to February 28, 2017, displayed photographs, artifacts, and documents to examine our shoreline’s long history of coastal resilience and how climate change presents new challenges for the future. CIRCA consulted with the museum as the exhibit was constructed. Rising Tides benefitted from CIRCA expertise on the relationship between sea level rise and increased flood risk as well as example solutions for coastal adaptation. Rising Tides also included community engagement and conversation programs. On February 16, 2017, Dr. Rebecca French spoke at their “Museum After Dark: Resilient Bridgeport & Coastal Connecticut” event, which addressed shoreline resilience and change, as well as community impacts of climate change and extreme weather. She was joined on the panel by David Kooris, Director of Rebuild by Design and National Disaster Resilience; Dr. James Biardi, Fairfield University; and Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Sacred Heart University. (Dr. French’s presentation)
CIRCA participates in these partnerships to broaden the audience for climate adaptation and resilience information. As a multi-disciplinary center excellence at the University of Connecticut, CIRCA delivers actionable science to ensure the resilience and sustainability of both the natural and built environment of the coastal and inland waterways communities of Connecticut. Outreach and engagement organizations like the Norwalk Aquarium and Fairfield Museum provide an accessible window for the public into the challenges that they will face as residents of coastal municipalities and the solutions that they will need to implement going forward. If you belong to an organization that might benefit from CIRCA’s tools and expertise, please contact Rebecca French at email@example.com.
The training is currently full and registration is now closed.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Check-in at 8:30 AM
9:00 AM to 4:15 PM
(coffee, snacks, and lunch will be provided)
See agenda below
Location: Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation, University of Connecticut Avery Point Campus, Groton, Connecticut
Save the date on Tuesday, May 23rd to join a FREE training on Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience hosted by the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) at the University of Connecticut and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management. Training staff from NOAA and CIRCA will introduce participants to fundamental green infrastructure concepts and practices that can play a critical role in making coastal communities more resilient to natural hazards. The agenda also features green infrastructure projects from CIRCA grantees in Stratford and MetroCOG as well as presentations from New Haven, Eastern CT Conservation District, and the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research. Through group discussions and activities, participants will learn what they can do to support green infrastructure implementation in their coastal communities.
“Green Infrastructure” incorporates the environment with constructed systems that mimic natural processes in an integrated network to benefit nature and people. A green infrastructure approach to community planning helps balance environmental and economic goals.
Six hours of certification maintenance credits for this course have been approved by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Five core continuing education credits have been approved for certified floodplain managers.
Funding for this workshop is provided by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management 2015-2016 Regional Coastal Resilience Grant Program to the Northeast Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) and state coastal program members of the Northeast Regional Ocean Council along with other partner organizations and research institutions. This grant program is designed to help coastal communities improve their resilience to adverse events by improving their ability to prepare for and respond to a variety of coastal threats, including extreme weather events, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions. The focus is on comprehensive regional approaches that use science-based solutions and rely on collaborative partnerships to ensure success.