First Reflections

Last week, I joined 14 other leaders in climate science, social science, education, and climate resiliency in Washington D.C. for the inaugural meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment. It was an honor for me professionally, and also speaks to the credibility and recognition that Climate Generation has gained at a national level over our last 10 years of pursuing solid, science-based work with educators, youth, the public and policymakers.

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Members and USGCRP staff present at the inaugural meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment

As a member of the committee I will join my colleagues a few times a year to pool our expertise and wrestle with a number of questions. The big overarching question that guides us is: “How do we ultimately advise the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to provide the nation with the information they need to know about climate change in a sustained way?” Although the USGCRP is mandated to release a National Climate Assessment report every four years, there is a realization that the continuously evolving nature of climate change mandates a process that is not just every four years, but continuous and sustained.

Throughout the three days of our first meeting, speakers included members of various branches of the federal government and other experts, all of whom provided a foundation of understanding on the work of the US Global Change Research Program, the needs that it fulfills, and the role we might play.

A consistent theme of the presentations, which were kicked off by the President’s Science Advisor Dr. John Holdren, was that the National Climate Assessment (NCA) must be usable, accessible and actionable. As a committee, we will work on developing stronger connections and partnerships with the current and potential users of the NCA, making it possible for the information and data shared to be more user-driven. Additionally, we will be looking at the current products of the National Climate Assessment and identifying gaps that may be filled by working groups and new assessment reports, such as the recent Climate Change and Food Security and Climate Change and Health reports.

I look forward to the relationships I will make and the knowledge I will gain through my time with this committee over the next three years, as well as acting as an ambassador of Climate Generation and sharing insights from our great work! You can read more about the committee and dig into some of the documents that were shared by visiting the Advisory Committee home page.

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