Upcoming Climate and Energy Webcasts for State and Local Governments

For the month of October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is offering climate and energy webcasts from the EPA, the Department of Energy (DOE) and others. All webcasts are offered free of charge, but space may be limited.

EPA Webcasts

  • October 4, 9:30-11:00 AM (PDT) Counting Consumption: Measuring the Impact of What We Consume
  • October 4, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) Public Health Effects of Climate Change: Part I
  • October 18, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) Public Health Effects of Climate Change: Part II
  • October 26, 2011 1:00-2:15 PM (EDT) Long-term Green Power Contracts


  • October 4, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) K-12 Benchmarking 101
  • October 13, 12:00-2:00 PM (EDT) Portfolio Manager: Advanced Features
  • October 18, 2:00-3:15 PM (EDT) Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments
  • October 20, 2:00-3:15 PM (EDT) Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR

DOE Webcasts

  • October 11, 3:00-4:00 PM (EDT) Conducting and Using Energy Efficiency Potential Studies for States
  • October 25, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) Communicating Success: Measuring Improvements, Sharing Results

NOAA Webcasts

  • October 5, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) Community Resilience, Part II: Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Case Studies

Water Consumption: How Low Can You Go?

David Sampson, PhD will challenge the audience with questions regarding the amount of water we use for everyday activities and discuss the tradeoffs in water-reduction management, as well as compare conservation measures to traditional and new approaches to demand management. The Sustainability Presentation will be held on September 30, 2011 from 12:00-1:30pm in Wrigley Hall 481.

David is a research scientist and systems modeler working on DCDC’s signature water simulation model, WaterSim. This model has been implemented for the Central Arizona region and used primarily in four ways: (1) Understand the dynamic nature of managing a complex water supply and demand system for urban regions; (2) Explore the effectiveness of various water management policies; (3) Explore the uncertainty of regional growth and climate change by understanding the impact different growth and climate change scenarios may have on the region’s complex water system and management policies; (4) Explore how people make decisions for highly complex problems that are subject to high uncertainty.

This event is part of ASU’s “No Impact Week,” a week-long series of events and experiments in low-carbon living and is co-sponsored with ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability.

EPA Excessive Heat Events Guidebook

In June 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency produced the Excessive Heat Events Guidebook, with assistance from federal, state, local and academic partners.

Designed to help community officials, emergency managers, meteorologists, and others plan for and respond to excessive heat events, the guidebook highlights best practices that have been employed to save lives during excessive heat events in different urban areas and provides a menu of options that officials can use to respond to these events in their communities.

The Guidebook was developed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Municipal officials in both the U.S. and Canada provided useful information that can be used to help the public cope with excessive heat.

6th Southwest Hydrometeorology Symposium

DCDC researchers will participate in the poster reception for the 6th Southwest Hydrometeorology Symposium being held September 27-28 at Arizona State University’s Memorial Union. The two day event includes interactive climate and weather forecasting sessions that will focus on impacts of forecasts and feedback on how NOAA products are used. Topics for discussion will include drought, water resources, NOAA’s climate services, and extreme weather events including, but not limited, to excessive heat, severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, dust storms, and hail. Providers and users of weather and climate information will be given a forum at this Symposium with the goal to 1) improve in product usefulness to the user communities and 2) discover/address information gaps which currently exist between providers and customers.

DCDC posters on display include:

  • Hawkins, G.A., E.R. Vivoni, T.H. Mahmood, and H.A. Moreno. 2011. Distributed hydrological modeling of the Beaver Creek watershed: A platform for land cover and climate change assessment. Poster presented September 19-20 at the Arizona Hydrological Society 24th Annual Symposium, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Middel, A., A. Brazel, P. Gober, S. Myint, H. Chang, and J. Duh. 2011. Impacts of weather variability on turbulent heat fluxes in Phoenix, AZ and Portland, OR. Poster presented at the January 13, 2011 13th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium, Tempe, AZ
  • Ruddell, D.M., A. Brazel, J. Declet, P.G. Dixon, P. Gober, S. Grossman-Clarke, S.L. Harlan, S. Kelley, and E.A. Wentz. 2011. Environmental tradeoffs in a desert city: An investigation of water use, energy consumption, and local air temperature in Phoenix, AZ. Poster presented at the January 13, 2011 13th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium, Tempe, AZ
  • Sampson, D., and D. Sailor. 2011. Coupled energy and water use in the Phoenix metro area as influenced by drought and climate change; empirical observations and simulation analyses. Poster presented at the January 13, 2011 13th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium, Tempe, AZ
  • Withycombe, L., A. Wiek, K. Larson, and D. Shaffer. 2011. The water system in Central Arizona-Phoenix: Current state, future scenarios and sustainability vision. Poster presented on May 4, 2011 at the Community of Undergraduate/Graduate Research Scholars (COURS) Poster Session, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Psychology and Global Climate Change

In line with DCDC’s Water/Climate Briefing theme for 2011-2012, “The Psychology of Environmental Decision-Making,” American Psychologist, the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association (APA), published a special issue on Psychology and Global Climate Change. The May-June 2011 issue contains seven peer-reviewed articles that are based upon and update the contents of a 2009 APA task force report. All eight of the task force members, who work in a variety of areas across psychology, contributed to the writing of the articles in the special issue.

“Changing Planet” Town Hall

changing planet event

Water – its scarcity and adapting to its future – took center stage in the thirsty Southwest at Arizona State University, Aug. 25, for a town hall videotaped by NBC Learn. The fast-paced event will be broadcast in November on The Weather Channel and featured in the December issue of Discover magazine.

Panelists included former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, climatologist Heidi Cullen, Nevada water manager Pat Mulroy, and ASU sustainability scholar and senior research fellow Grady Gammage Jr.

NSF Hazards Research Expo

Each year in the United States, natural and man-made disasters cause hundreds of deaths and cost billions of dollars by destroying homes and critical infrastructure as well as disrupting commerce. Arizona’s water supply is vulnerable to hazards such as long-term drought and the effects of climate change, which is likely to lead to a warmer and drier climate in the region and potentially reduced water supply for Arizona. Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) was invited by the National Science Foundation to display our decision making under uncertainty research at the Showcase of NSF-Funded Hazards Research on September 6-7, 2011 at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. Introductory remarks were provided by Florida Senator Bill Nelson of the Congressional Hazards Caucus.

This event highlighted the extensive research into natural and human-induced hazards and human responses related to hazardous events and showcased NSF-funded basic research in recognition of National Preparedness Month in September and in light of the recent East Coast earthquake and hurricane. Interactive demonstrations illustrated the power and potential of new tools that enable policymakers and response teams on the federal, state, and local levels to better predict, prepare for, mitigate and respond to hazards that affect human life and property. DCDC Co-PI and Associate Director Dave White presented an exhibit at the event showcasing DCDC’s research, education, and outreach focused on water sustainability and urban climate adaptation. At the event, White demonstrated a mobile application of the DCDC WaterSim model, which is used to investigate how alternative climate conditions, rates of population growth, and policy choices interact to affect future water supply and demand conditions in Phoenix. Visitors, including congressional staffers, NSF staff, and members of the public, explored alternative scenarios and discussed the interactions and tradeoffs among environmental services, social equity and economic well being. The interactive demonstration illustrated the potential and power of tools such as WaterSim that enable scientists, policymakers, and others to better understand, predict, prepare for, mitigate, and respond to hazards that affect sustainability. The two-day event began on September 6 at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA with the final exhibit on September 7 at the Senate Hart Office Building where congressional members and their staff learned about DCDC research.

White was accompanied by DCDC GRA and sustainability doctoral student Lauren Withycombe Keeler and Decision Theater Media Specialist Dustin Hampton.