From: Marla Perez Lugo <>

Dear friends:

I hope this email finds you well.  In light of the recent seismic activity
in PR, we write this message in an attempt to activate a community of
interest within the RISE Network to participate in strategic activities of
service to the people of PR.  As you know, the RISE Network is supposed to
work as a mesonet of universities serving as radars of local and regional
vulnerabilities to leave “no blind spots”.  We have an opportunity to act
in a preemptive manner:

1. Identifying relevant expertise that can have an impact at this time of
high uncertainty in the island;

2. Engage universities that have been doing work in PR post Maria to gather
information and knowledge about vulnerabilities found on the ground, either
in terms of physical infrastructure and/or social organization, etc.;

3. Put together a rapid response team that can make itself available to
local colleagues, managers, communities, etc, to collaborate in activities
such as public service announcements, press conferences, consulting, or
other activities that local stakeholders see appropriate.

I feel we have a lot to offer in this time of uncertainty. This is what the
RISE Network is meant to do. We are on our way to Washington DC to
participate in the NCSE Annual Conference.  If you would like to be a part
of this effort, please contact us as soon as possible. We will connect you
with a group of local experts which is already designing educational,
capacity building and public outreach efforts.

Take care and see you soon
Marla and Cecilio

On Sat, Dec 7, 2019 at 6:25 PM Cecilio Ortiz García <>

> Good evening colleagues. I hope you all are well. Right now the
> centrifugal forces of our multiple institutional commitments suck us back
> in to finish the semester. The grading, putting  out reports and
> visualizing what the Spring of 2020 brings, overtake our agendas. While we
> do not have a class load (thanks to Penn State) we are working hard to turn
> all the data generated by RISE 2019 into a usable report. As such, we will
> be convening several debrief sessions and analysis activities in the next
> few weeks. I want to take a minute of your time to thank each and everyone
> of you from the bottom of our hearts for the countless hours of
> conversation, debate, arguments, proposals, presentations, meetings, etc.
> all of you have so elegantly afforded us. After all the travels and visits
> made to our friends in this email list, we are thankful that those
> collaborative efforts have now been validated by the kind of successful
> activity we all enjoyed at RISE 2019.  I am forever in debt to President
> Rodriguez and the outstanding Albany team and for Michelle and Valerie at
> NCSE who’s unyielding level of commitment convinced us to take this leap of
> faith along with our family. In fact, by virtue of the tremendous
> investment in RISE 2019, President Rodriguez should have the honor of
> passing the ceremonial “baton” to the next President that steps up to
> continue the journey on the path he has so gallantly helped set RISE on.
> Today I do not want to talk about money. No funding euphemisms, business
> models, fiscal schemes or financial arrangements.
> I want to talk to you, our RISE close circle of friends and colleagues
> that have either suggested hosting a workshop/observatory activity or
> stepped up to support the sustainability of our fellowship. I would like to
> have a conversation about concrete steps that with all of you we need to
> take to successfully accelerate the obvious momentum the conference has
> generated generated.
> I call your attention to several opportunities:
> 1) Our colleagues Dr. Daniel Soto (Sonoma State) and Cheri Chastain
> (Sustainability Officer, UC-Chico) have made a call for the RISE Network to
> design a workshop activity around socio-demographics pressures associated
> to wildfires (Daniel and Cheri please correct me if I am missing the
> correct issue definition) to occur this Spring 2020 in California before
> the next wildfire season. This particular issue is a particularly wicked
> one, connecting fire, water, energy, housing, migration, across
> jurisdictions, social stakeholder groups and communities. We could
> accompany our colleagues to make a call to the UC system and offer the RISE
> Network’s collaboration. Certainly exploring wildfires as socio-ecological
> hazards, have a lot to offer in the co production of new knowledge about
> community resilience.
> 2) Professor Jacob Mans is spearheading an effort to bring the RISE
> Network to collaborate around the serious issue of homelessness in
> Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro Area. Issues of energy security and justice,
> housing, migration, public health, etc. convergence to make the
> homelessness issue a nation wide threat to the health and wellbeing of our
> communities. Similar the the wildfires, homelessness is a boundary object
> with direct impact on community resilience. Let’s make ourselves available
> to assist his efforts in perhaps putting a RISE workshop together on Spring
> 2020.
> 3) Professor Isabel Rivera Collazo, one of our most valuable advocates on
> the disaster research ethics area, has identified a modest amount of
> funding towards furthering this discussion. I cannot underscore enough the
> importance of formalizing the RISE Network protocols for disaster research
> ethics and student mobility as climate refugees. These are the  pillars of
> the RISE concept and along with an ethics of peer to peer relationships,
> constitute the foundation of what a RISE Network membership commitment is
> all about. Perhaps Lori and Joan will find it beneficial to collaborate in
> this event.
> 4)I had an opportunity to speak briefly about RISE in an outstanding
> Sustainability Institute Workshop at Penn State this last week. The event
> brought together key institutional stakeholders from a multiplicity of
> disciplines, at multiple levels. There is I believe interest in exploring
> the opportunity for Penn State to become a RISE Hub. As a Land Grant
> institution, enhancing community resilience as a core mission, a possible
> project could materialize that looks at PSU campuses as community
> resilience collaboratories/observatories. While this might not be an
> immediate project, it’s capacity to illustrate what becoming a RISE Hub
> will be in the future is significant.
> Other conversations include  colleagues at UTRGV about a 2021 workshop on
> island resilience to be held at South Padre Island, and with colleagues at
> UPR Mayaguez and Catholic University about a Caribbean Observatory and a PR
> Hub respectively. These opportunities keep us hopeful that the momentum
> RISE 2019 has generated will not die down soon. Our colleagues Cory and
> Dean Vanegas have even mentioned Texas A&M as a possible future site for
> RISE 2020! Whether Marla and I are or not able to see these promising
> activities through before our fellowship ends it’s not the point. RISE is
> much bigger than us. Today though, we’ll do whatever we can to push forward
> the best all these efforts.  We truly believe true leadership is shown by
> taking positive steps in seeing these initiatives through. The value
> proposition that RISE brings to each one of our universities, as Cory so
> elegantly said it,  is the opportunity for each one of our institutions to
> show leadership nationwide through the RISE Network. The Network will be as
> strong as its weakest link, and these colleagues at their own institutions
> are telling what issues threaten the resilience of their communities. Let’s
> step up!
> We will be putting our energy research hats for the next couple of days as
> we visit NREL in Boulder Co. As such I would  ask from all of you to check
> your calendars to see if we could find a date to have a Skype or Zoom
> meeting to discuss these events. Again, our California colleagues have an
> obvious interest in us acting swiftly. Let us know what you think and what
> would be a good date to have this meeting. If needed we can send a doodle
> poll to check availability.
> Abrazos!
> Cecilio
> --
> *Cecilio Ortiz Garcia, PhD*
> Senior Fellow, RISE
> National Council for Science and the Environment
> 787-508-57766 | <> |
> @NCSEGlobal
> Join Us for the NCSE 2020 Annual Conference
> <> in Washington, D.C.
> *Support NCSE 2020: Exhibit, Sponsor, or Collaborate*
> --
*Marla D. Perez Lugo, PhD*
Senior Fellow, RISE
National Council for Science and the Environment
202-804-7376 | <> | @NCSEGlobal
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See you at the NCSE 2020 Annual Conference
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*Marla D. Perez Lugo, PhD*
Senior Fellow, RISE
National Council for Science and the Environment
202-804-7376 | <> | @NCSEGlobal
Sign up for email updates from NCSE

*NCSE moved offices on December 6, 2019. *
*Please note my new phone number and our new address: *
*1776 Eye Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, D.C. 20006*

See you at the NCSE 2020 Annual Conference
January 6–9, 2020 | Washington, D.C.
*#NCSE2020 on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn*
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