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Climate Change & Transportation series addresses challenges

Climate Change & Transportation series addresses challenges

Last October, Volpe --our National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts-- launched an eight-session speaker series on Transportation System Resilience, Extreme Weather, and Climate Change. Given the tremendous damage imposed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the long snow-filled winter we're emerging from, and the dramatic climate events predicted for the future, this series is tackling a very important challenge.

Soon after President Obama rolled out a comprehensive Climate Change Action Plan, last summer, I had the pleasure of kicking off the first session at Volpe. The series is designed to explore transportation system resiliency and the escalating threats our changing climate poses on our transportation system. It features leading experts taking on complex multimodal and multi-sector issues and their impact on transportation.

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So far, key stakeholders from nearly every state DOT, officials of regional and local government from Maine to Oahu, academics from more than 40 colleges and universities, representatives from industry, decision-makers from across the federal government, and colleagues from international governments --some from as far away as the Fiji Islands-- have attended the series either personally or via the webcast.

If you haven't tuned into one of the sessions yet, there's still time. We're holding the final session this Thursday, April 10, at noon, and you can catch it in person or online. This final session features Professor Jerry Melillo, PhD., speaking on The Third National Climate Assessment – lessons learned, paths forward. Dr. Melillo is a distinguished scientist from Woods Hole and also chair of the federal advisory committee overseeing the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s (USGCRP) ongoing assessment activity  USGCRP is the Federal program coordinating and integrating climate science and global change research across 13 government agencies.

I hope you can join us for the series finale this Thursday.  And if not, you can catch up through videos from the series on the Volpe website.

Advancing transportation resiliency and integrating climate change considerations into the U.S. transportation system will not be easy. We look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to help ensure the continued transportation safety and efficiency Americans rely on every day.

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