NOAA Water Resources for Planners

NPC17 attendee
APA member
List Price
Group viewing

Certification Maintenance

CM | 1.25

You'll learn about:

  • The goals and objectives of the NOAA Water Initiative, and how it can be leveraged to provide more effective information to plan for extreme water events

  • Identifying data, models, tools, and methods from NOAA and its partners that can be employed to plan for water-related issues 

  • The critical role that partnerships play in the implementation of these water-related information resources within communities 

Whether too much, too little, or of poor quality, water presents a severe risk to our health, safety, environment, and economic security.  These issues are a priority for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its partners as we launch a comprehensive new effort to supply the data, tools, and information services necessary to address the water-related challenges our communities are facing. This session will provide an in-depth look into new information resources that will enhance the ability to address water-related issues though community planning. The NOAA Water Model brings an enhanced network of water level gauges to bear, providing timely information to drive water forecasts at a neighborhood scale. The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) provides the best available science, information and tools to assess the potential impacts of drought.  The Digital Coast is a partnership and user-driven enabling platform that includes information resources for examining coastal inundation risk. Recognizing that the provision of information alone is often not enough to facilitate the development of on-the-ground actions, this session will also explore creative partnerships that are helping communities apply information to support local decision making.

About the Speakers

Claudia Nierenberg
Claudia Nierenberg is the Deputy Division Director for the Climate and Societal Interactions division at the NOAA Climate Program Office. Claudia entered federal service as a Presidential Management Intern with positions at the US Treasury Department and the National Science Foundation. For the last twenty years, she has worked as a science manager in global change research. Claudia has co-chaired inter-agency working groups, contributed to the design of programs and institutions designed to support the use of information for adaptation to climate variability and change, and creatively enhanced federal service with a year as a Research Associate at the Heinz Center for the Science and Economics of the Environment, and a year as an Associate Director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes. She holds a Bachelors degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia and a Masters degree in International Political Economy from Columbia University

Peter Colohan
Peter Colohan is the new Director for Service Innovation and Partnership for the NOAA National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, AL. He previously served as the Assistant Director for Environmental Information in the Environment and Energy Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Peter’s technical work at OSTP focused on Federal budgeting and international cooperation for capital infrastructure in Earth observation satellites, airborne, terrestrial and marine platforms and their associated data management approaches and architectures. He served as the White House chair of the United States Group on Earth Observations (USGEO), a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council. He also facilitated the Climate Data and Tools Working Group of the Climate Resilience and Preparedness Council, and chairs a steering group on water science and technology initiatives under the Committee on Environment Natural Resources and Sustainability (CENRS). From 2002 to 2010, Peter served NOAA as an advisor and program manager in strategic planning and international coordination of Earth observations and environmental monitoring. During this time, he facilitated the establishment of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), an intergovernmental body involving over 90 governments, five United Nations agencies, and more than 50 international organizations. Peter holds degrees from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and American University’s School of International Service.

Nicholas (Miki) Schmidt
Nicholas (Miki) Schmidt is chief of the Science and Geospatial Division for NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management. Previously, Schmidt served as division chief for NOAA’s Coastal Services Center. After serving as a manager of the Center's GIS program for four years, Schmidt became deputy chief of the Coastal Geospatial Services division, which leads the Center's GIS and remote sensing activities. In 2004, he was named division chief. Schmidt originally joined NOAA in 1996. An expert in applying geospatial technologies, Schmidt has had a long career with the federal government. From 1988 to 1991, he served as a civilian remote sensing scientist for the U.S. Army's Strategic Defense Command. He then joined NASA's commercial remote sensing program, working with private industry to develop new remote sensing products and services. Schmidt holds a master's degree in geography and a bachelor's degree in marine science, both from the University of South Carolina.

Nancy Beller-Simms
As Program Director for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Program Office’s, Sectoral Applications Research Program (SARP), Nancy administers an interdisciplinary grants program that supports applications research on how climate information can be better incorporated into decision making within key socio-economic sectors. Currently the program is focusing on the water resource management and urban planning sectors as well as concentrating efforts on coping with extreme events such as droughts and floods. She also co-leads an initiative with the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) on Coping with Drought. Nancy works with SARP and NIDIS-funded investigators to use and transfer newly developed knowledge, tools and methodologies to decision makers, policy makers and climate scientists. Finally, Nancy is co-lead of the Water AND Built Environment theme teams of the Federal Government’s Climate Data and Tools (CDAT) Interagency Working Group, heading the Climate Resilience Toolkit effort for that sector. Nancy has a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Geography with a focus on natural hazard response and adaptation. She also has past experience as a researcher for a local planning commission.

William Cesanek
Bill Cesanek, AICP, is a Vice President and practice leader for environmental and infrastructure planning at CDM Smith. He brings more than 30 years of experience to his work, advancing interdisciplinary approaches to urban and infrastructure planning, and water resource management. Bill has worked closely with several major cities on green infrastructure initiatives, including Philadelphia, Newark NJ, Detroit, and Cincinnati, and led climate resiliency planning projects in New York State and Texas. He chaired the American Planning Association’s Water Task Force/Water Working Group from 2014 to 2017, and currently is co-leader of APA’s Water and Planning Network. Bill recently co-authored the Planning Advisory Service report “Planners and Water”, published in August 2017. He is an adjunct professor in the Bloustein Graduate School of Planning & Public Policy at Rutgers University (2012 to present), teaching sustainable infrastructure planning. Bill is a frequent conference speaker, with a focus on identifying innovative planning methods that promote sustainable development, integrated water resource (One Water) management, resilient infrastructure, and conservation of natural resources.