While the impacts of climate change are nearly boundless, many of its national and international implications are overlooked. This panel will explore the effects of climate change that do not necessarily first come to mind, such as security issues, community responses to failed government disaster remediation programs, and innovative local climate change mitigation strategies.
- Shirley Laska, Emerita Prof. of Sociology, University of New Orleans and Co-Founder, Lowlander Center
Shirley Laska, PhD, is Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of New Orleans where in 2002 she created the Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology, a center that has developed collaborative approaches to reduce communities’ vulnerability to natural and technological risks and trained over 125 masters and PhD students in such applications and community engagement. Since retirement she co-founded with Kristina Peterson, PhD, the Lowlander Center, a non-profit organization which supports coastal Louisiana communities and their residents to build capacity and resilience for place and people in the context of challenges such as climate change, coastal land loss and technological hazards such as the BP oil spill.Author and co-author of over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles since Hurricane Katrina, as well as a book, book chapters, and reports focused principally on applied hurricane and climate change resiliency response, she pursues with her Lowlander colleagues these objectives both “within the levees” in the urban setting as well ias in the rural areas of coastal Louisiana. She is the editor of the forthcoming volume: Louisiana’s Response to Extreme Weather: A Test Case for Coastal Resilience.
- Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Rear Admiral Ann C. Phillips, U.S. Navy (Retired) is an independent consultant focused on resiliency and climate impact on national security. A Surface Warfare Officer, Rear Admiral Phillips has served in every warfare group of the Surface Navy: Destroyers, Aircraft Carriers, Amphibious, and Replenishment Ships. During her 31 years on active duty she commissioned and commanded USS MUSTIN (DDG 89), and commanded Destroyer Squadron TWO EIGHT, and Expeditionary Strike Group TWO, which included all the Amphibious Expeditionary Forces on the East Coast of the United States. Ashore she was a Senior Fellow on the CNO’s Strategic Studies Group XXVIII, and managed requirements and resources for the Surface Navy as Deputy Director and Director of Surface Warfare Division, (N86) in the Pentagon. While at N86, she served on the Chief of Naval Operations Climate Change Task Force, and Energy Task Force, where she Co-Chaired the Surface Force Working Group – developing and implementing climate change adaptation and energy reduction strategies for the Navy. In addition, she has served overseas in Guam and Lisbon, Portugal, and operated extensively with NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.Upon retirement from the U.S. Navy in 2014 she completed her MBA at The College of William and Mary, Mason School of Business, graduating in 2016. During this time she also chaired the Infrastructure Working Group for the Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Pilot Planning Project. The project worked to develop a collaborative, whole of government and community approach to address the impact of sea level rise across the Hampton Roads region that could be used as a template by other regions facing similar challenges. She continues to work to address sea level rise and climate impact on national security at the regional, state, and national level, appeared in the movie â€œTidewaterâ€, and has served as a panelist and speaker to a broad range of audiences. She also serves on local, regional, and national non-profit Boards including on the Advisory Board for The Center for Climate and Security and the Board of Directors for the American Resilience Project, and Coastal Community Resilience, Inc. (RISE). In her spare time, she is an active member of the Lafayette Wetlands Partnership and coordinates an evolving wetlands restoration project for her Norfolk, Virginia neighborhood.
- David Muth, Director, Gulf Restoration Program
David Muth is a New Orleans native who has spent a lifetime in the Mississippi River delta and on the Gulf coast, studying its geology, ecology, plants, wildlife, history and culture. He took his degree in history at University of New Orleans and became professionally interested in the connection between culture and environment in the context of the delta. He worked for 30 years with the National Park Service at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in south Louisiana, eventually managing its natural and cultural resource programs. At the beginning of 2011, he joined the National Wildlife Federation and is the Director of the Gulf Restoration program.The program works in all five Gulf states, combining advocacy, outreach, education, science, and communications, along with state and federal policy initiatives, to bring about comprehensive, large-scale restoration of Gulf ecosystems, from the Everglades to the Rio Grande. In Louisiana it involves a joint effort among the federation, Environmental Defense Fund and the National Audubon Society, along with local partners like the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, and Restore or Retreat, to bring about comprehensive, systemic restoration of the coast by reconnecting the Mississippi River and its life giving sediment to the dying delta.The Gulf Restoration Program is working to find and seek consensus and national support for an ecologically sound and sustainable program to restore the health of the Gulf and to do so in a way that preserves the communities and culture of Gulf coastal communities to the maximum extent possible.
- Dr. Kristina J Peterson, PhD, Facilitator, Lowlander Center
Kristina Peterson, PhD, helped create the Lowlander Center to address the complex social and environmental impacts of the climate crisis with the inclusion of the local community, ‘Think globally, act locally” for just and sustainable future is a guiding principle of her work. As an applied social scientist who has spent her life as a community activist for sustainable just communities mostly through long-term holistic community based responses to disasters, she has helped create large scale networks of community/regional responses for several of the larger national disasters including technological-environmental, acts of racial violence, economic upheaval and weather events. Her years of justice work within the disaster mitigation field has contributed to the creation of and being a founding board member of both the National Hazards Mitigation Association and the Gender and Disaster Network. Her justice work includes multiple dimensions of safe natural and built environment, holistic planning, adaptation and resettlement.In both her teaching and community work, Peterson embraces principles of Participatory Action Research (PAR) and encourages co-learning to create new knowledges for problem solving. These principles include the honoring the diversity of people, experiences and knowledge types be they academic, local, experienced or traditionally passed knowledge. Creating safe venues for full participation and diverse discourse on coastal issues with and for traditional and indigenous high-risk coastal communities in Southeast Louisiana continues to be her passion. This approach has been applied to her teaching at the University of New Orleans in environmental and hazards planning. It has been a core part of her work with the First Peoples’ Conservation Council and its formation as well as the decade plus years of doing adaptation and now resettlement work with Isle de Jean Charles Tribe. Peterson is an advisory board member of the Thriving Earth Exchange of the Geophysical Union and a fellow in the Society of Applied Anthropology. She has received awards from the Rural Sociology Association , “Distinguished Service to Rural Communities”, the “William Gibson Environmental Award” the “Mother Jones of Disaster Award” and the Spaulding Southern History Award. At home she practices permaculture concepts, and is working towards maximizing total integration of its concepts within her life and work.
- Beaux Jones, Environmental/Coastal Attorney at Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer (moderator)
Beaux is an environmental and coastal attorney with Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer where he represents clients in litigation, transactional and administrative matters. In his previous role as the Environmental Section Chief for the Louisiana Department of Justice, Beaux represented numerous state agencies including CPRA, LDNR and LDEQ on matters ranging from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill to legislative policy. Beaux is originally Ruston, LA, but now calls New Orleans home.