Please join us for the
Earth and Environmental Sciences
GEOS Colloquium

Thursday, March 15th,
5:30pm followed by a reception
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 5th Ave, New York, NY
Room 4201

“Resilience in Jamaica Bay: the science and humanity of it all,”
        Adam Parris, Executive Director, Science and Resilience Institute at 
Jamaica Bay

“Why institutions matter for resilient societies”
        Denise D. P. Thompson, Department of Public Management, John Jay College

 "Why resilience requires democracy: an opportunity for NYC & the role of CUNY"
        Michael Menser, Philosophy and Urban Sustainability Studies, Brooklyn 
College & EES, CUNY GC

Dr. Thompson is assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 
City University of New York where she runs the Master of Public Administration 
(MPA) Saturday program and teaches courses in Policy Analysis, Research 
Methods, International Comparative Public Administration, Emergency Management 
and Organization Theory and Management. Dr. Thompson’s research and 
publications focus on disaster risk reduction and management among the 
small-island developing states of the Caribbean. Among her published works are: 
“Non-linear Policy Change”; “Do Catastrophes in poor countries lead to 
event-related policy change? The 2010 earthquake in Haiti”; “Disaster logistics 
in small island developing states: Caribbean perspective"; and “Leveraging 
Learning to Improve Disaster Management Outcomes”
Her forthcoming book, “Disaster Risk Governance: the missing ingredient in 
Resource Poor Countries”, is scheduled for publication
in 2018.  

Adam Parris, Executive Director, Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica 
Bay:  Having lived near estuaries all his life, Adam Parris is passionate about 
positive change where people, waters, and diverse species converge at the coast 
and about making science more relevant and useful. Currently, he leads the 
Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay in New York City, a partnership 
between governmental, research, and community organizations aimed at improving 
resilience in the region’s coastal waters. Previously, he helped develop the 
Sea Level Rise Tool for Sandy Recovery, an effort to integrate science on 
future sea level rise with flood insurance information for rebuilding and 
recovery efforts. He has been involved in integrating sea level rise 
information into the coastal planning efforts of a number of Federal agencies, 
as well as the states of California, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. From 
2010 – 2015, Mr. Parris directed NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and 
Assessments (RISA) program, a national effort to connect science to climate 
adaptation and preparedness decisions in different regions across the US. With 
50 scientists from the RISA program, he co-edited and co-authored Climate in 
Context: Science and Society Partnering for Adaptation, an in-depth exploration 
of techniques for producing usable knowledge and climate services. He enjoys 
speaking in public and has done so regularly for over 100 audiences large and 
small, including local and national media outlets. Mr. Parris won a 
Presidential award as Climate Champion, a NOAA Administrator’s Award, 
and a Bronze medal from the Department of Commerce. He holds a Bachelor’s 
degree in English Literature and Environmental Geology from Bucknell University 
and a Master of Science in Geology from the University of Vermont. He lives in 
Brooklyn with his wife, two kids and dog, who are a constant source of 
inspiration, humility, and good humor. 

Dr. Michael Menser is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Urban 
Sustainability Studies at Brooklyn College and Earth and and Environmental 
Science and Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center and President 
and Chair of the Board of the Participatory Budgeting Project.  His research 
and publications are on participatory democracy and public participation 
particularly as they pertain to socio-ecological resilience, technology, food, 
and environmental justice and on the commons-infused concept of the 
social-public (in contrast to the more neoliberal public-private partnership).  
He was a member of community based “Alliance for a Just Rebuilding” after 
Superstorm Sandy and contributed to Prospects for Resilience: Insights from 
NYC's Jamaica Bay.  He is the author of We Decide! Participatory Democracy in 
Theory and Practice (Temple University Press 2018).

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