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Reference | Agenda | Argonne National Laboratory

America Resilient Climate Conference Agenda

America Resilient: Projecting and Preparing for the Effects of Climate Change — A virtual climate conference convened by Argonne National Laboratory on April 14, 2021.







8:00 AM Welcome and Opening Remarks
Paul Kearns, Director, Argonne National Laboratory

Juan de Pablo, Vice President for National Laboratories, Science, Strategy, Innovation and Global Initiatives and Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago; Senior Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory 

8:10 AM Keynote
Justice40 and Energy Justice: A Transformative Vision for the Department of Energy
Shalanda H. Baker, Deputy Director for Energy Justice & Secretary's Advisor on Equity, U.S. Department of Energy

8:40 AM Panel Discussion
Equipping Local and Regional Communities to Act: The Path to High-Resolution Climate Models Informing Adaptation Strategies
To build resilient communities, leaders and community members need information about the potential impacts of climate change decades in the future. This discussion will focus on high-resolution climate projections and how they guide the development of local actions and strategies optimized to minimize climate impacts. Speakers will also discuss the need for two-way communication between researchers and community members to enable science-driven solutions for communities' biggest challenges, and the path toward cutting-edge science providing the best possible guidance to stakeholders as they invest in climate resilience.


  • George Crabtree, Director, Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, Senior Scientist and Distinguished Fellow, Argonne National Laboratory, and Distinguished Professor of Physics, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Kristie Ebi, Professor of Global Health, University of Washington
  • Gary Geernaert, Director, Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences Division, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Katharine Hayhoe, Chief Scientist, The Nature Conservancy and Distinguished Professor and Chair, Texas Tech University
  • Donald J. Wuebbles, Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Illinois (moderator)

9:30 AM Science in Action
U.S. Department of Energy National Labs Advancing Actionable Climate Projections
New advances in computing, including artificial intelligence, are revolutionizing the accuracy of climate models. In this conversation, researchers from U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories will outline the path and vision for developing models that meet two key needs: projecting climate impacts decades in the future and delivering highly accurate data for individual regions and cities. They will discuss how these high-resolution climate projections will provide actionable information that individual communities can use to build resilience.


  • Peter Caldwell, Research Scientist, Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Rao Kotamarthi, Chief Scientist/Department Head, Atmospheric Science and Climate Research, Argonne National Laboratory (moderator)
  • Lai-yung Ruby Leung, Battelle Fellow, Earth Science, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

9:50 AM Break

10:05 AM Keynote
Climate Policy in the 117th Congress
U.S. Representative Sean Casten

10:35 AM Science in Action
Climate and Environmental Justice in Urban Communities
More than 80% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas, where the weather systems that affect climate locally are complex and poorly understood. This conversation will explore how the climate modeling community can incorporate the needs of all communities — especially those historically left out of climate discussions and decisions — and provide the data and models to create cities where all communities are equally resilient to climate change and benefit from investments in a clean energy society.


  • Georges Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
  • Luis Bettencourt, Director, Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, University of Chicago

11:00 AM Panel Discussion
Improving Resilience: Developing Strategies and Overcoming Barriers to Proactively Adapt to Climate Change Risks
Climate change affects the critical functions of communities nationwide — disrupting the provision of health care, education, and financial services; cutting people off from electricity, natural gas, phone, and internet; and shrinking viable real estate and transportation byways. This panel discussion focuses on how industries, governments, and other private and public organizations have increased their resilience in the face of climate change, what is needed to further improve resilience, and the kinds of data and tools being developed to proactively and effectively reduce disruptions.


  • David K. Brannegan, Division Director, Decision and Infrastructure Sciences, Argonne National Laboratory (moderator)
  • Alice C. Hill, David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Adrienne Lotto, Vice President and Chief Risk and Resilience Officer, New York Power Authority
  • Lucia Schmit, Recovery Project Manager, Office of Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, City of Seattle

11:50 AM Science in Action
Increasing Infrastructure Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Impacts
Industries grapple with the impacts of climate every day as they plan for future service delivery and growth. The telecom industry is no exception, and AT&T has used leading-edge climate models to better plan their response and growth given current climate projections. This case study details how AT&T uses regional-scale projections to anticipate and improve resilience to climate change and, in doing so, strengthens their infrastructure and operations decades into the future.


  • Gavin Anderson, Principal-System Engineer, AT&T
  • Shannon Thomas Carroll, Director of Global Environmental Sustainability, AT&T
  • Thomas A. Wall, Program Lead, Engineering & Applied Resilience, Argonne National Laboratory (moderator)

12:10 PM Break

12:30 PM Improving Resilience
Adaptation Across America: Local and Regional Perspectives on Climate Resilience
Regional and local officials often find themselves at the front lines of climate adaptation as they seek to meet the needs of communities facing increasing threats from climate change. In this session, three officials from across the United States will discuss the actions being taken within their regions in response to climate change, the knowledge basis used to drive these actions, and offer their perspective on the pathways needed to enhance climate resilience into the future.


  • Cameron Davis, Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Vice President, GEI Consultants, Inc.
  • Susanne DesRoches, Deputy Director, Infrastructure + Energy, NYC Offices of Sustainability and Resiliency
  • Jennifer Jurado, Chief Resilience Officer, Deputy Department Director, Broward County Government

1:25 PM Keynote with Q&A 
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm

2:00 PM Event Concludes