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Environmental Professionals Network

School of Environment and Natural Resources


Exploring the Interactions between Water, Climate and Communication

Mar 17, 2020, 8:30am - 10:30am

Co-hosted with: the Water Management Association of Ohio, Ohio Water Resources Center, and TerrAqua 

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The EPN is teaming up with the Water Management Association of Ohio (WMAO), the Ohio Water Resources Center, and TerrAqua (a multi-disciplinary student organization at Ohio State) to an online program focused on non-regional and regional climate change effects on water resources, as well as how to communicate about changing weather and climate to water resource managers.

Numerous research agencies, including the U.S. Global Change Research Program, find that in the U.S. Midwest a variety of weather-related challenges are currently, and will increasingly, impact our local communities through such issues as extreme precipitation events and flooding, decreases in lake ice and snow cover, and increases in urban heat islands and drought These water-climate relationships are complex, dynamic and can be challenging to communicate. 

Join this program as we learn about the interactions between the water cycle, changing weather patterns, and how to understand and communicate these issues in natural resource management.  This program is in alignment with the March 22, 2020 World Water Day theme, which is “about water and climate change – and how the two are inextricably linked.” (learn more at Thanks to our colleagues at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at Ohio State for helping to frame this program’s agenda.


8:00 a.m.  Access to the webinar program begins 

8:30 a.m.  Formal program begins. Jeff Sharp, PhD, director, School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), Hannah Comune, president, TerrAqua, and Eugene Braig, program director of aquatic ecosystems (SENR) and board president, Water Management Association of Ohio, provide welcome remarks and program introduction

8:40 a.m.   Bryan Mark, PhD, professor, Department of Geography and State Climatologist of Ohio, and Michael Durand, PhD, professor, School of Earth Sciences, present on the changing cryosphere in Earth's water cycle

9:15 a.m.   Kim Channell, climatologist, Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments presents Climate Change in the Great Lakes 

9:40 a.m.   Robyn Wilson, PhD, professor, SENR, presents Communicating climate change and promoting action in the Great Lakes

10:15 a.m.  Audience Q & A with Dr. Durand, Ms. Channell, and Dr. Wilson

10:30 a.m.  Concluding remarks by Dr. Sharp and Karina Peggau, education and outreach program coordinator, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center 


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Kim Channell, climatologist, Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments

Kim Channell is a climatologist for the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) at the University of Michigan. GLISA supports regional climate change adaptation efforts by providing integrated climate information and support to decision makers throughout the Great Lakes. In this role, Kim supports various GLISA projects and products for their partners and stakeholders, including the development of an annual climate summary under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, a sustained assessment of lake levels, and ongoing collaborations with Great Lakes cities to incorporate climate information into their municipal planning and decision-making. She received an M.Eng. in Applied Climate and a B.S.E. in Earth System Science and Engineering, both from the University of Michigan’s Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering Department.

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Michael Durand, PhD, professor, School of Earth Sciences at Ohio State

Dr. Michael Durand and his research group study land surface hydrology processes, with a focus on utilizing data assimilation methodologies and spaceborne remote sensing measurements to answer open science questions in snow hydrology and in fluvial hydrology. Dr. Durand’s research questions include: What are the process-level connections between observed changes in snowmelt runoff patterns and physiographic controllers for mid-latitude, seasonal snow? How does snow microstructure, grain size, and spatial variability affect spaceborne measurements of snow? How could spaceborne measurements of river elevation be used to estimate river discharge? Funding for exploring these questions comes from the Hydrological Sciences program at the National Science Foundation, the Terrestrial Hydrology Program and the Physical Oceanography Program at NASA, the USGS through the Ohio Water Resources Center, and the Climate, Water, and Carbon program at Ohio State. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.


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Bryan Mark, PhD, professor, Department of Geography at Ohio State and State Climatologist of Ohio

Dr. Bryan Mark is interested in climate-glacier-hydrologic dynamics over different time scales, with a focus on the coupled human-natural systems of water resources of the tropical Andes.  Dr. Mark’s Glacier Environmental Change research group affiliated with the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at Ohio State addresses physical and human dimensions of environmental change in glacierized landscapes in sites all along the American Cordillera, as well as Africa and Asia. His team collaborates with researchers in different institutions internationally, and use multiple methods from paleoclimatology, geomorphology, embedded instrumentation, hydrology, GIS, remote sensing, and biogeochemistry. Dr. Mark received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University from the Department of Earth Sciences, M.A. from Ohio State’s Department of Geography and his B.A. from Brown University.


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Robyn Wilson, PhD, professor, School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State

Dr. Wilson is a behavioral decision scientist studying individual decisions under risk. She is also interested in the development of strategic communication efforts, as well as the design of decision support tools that assist individuals in making more informed choices. Her current research focus is on adaptation to climate-exacerbated hazards, and what motivates and constrains different land use and land management decisions on private and public lands. She is the incoming President of the Society for Risk Analysis, member of the National Academies Board on Environmental Change and Society, and former member of the US EPA’s Chartered Science Advisory Board. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. from Ohio State’s SENR and her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Denison University.