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For Release: Friday, April 7, 2023

DEC and NYSERDA Announce Public Webinar Series on Extreme Heat and Climate Change in New York State

Webinar Topics Include Impacts of Extreme Heat and State Actions to Help Communities Prepare and Adapt

Outreach Efforts Advance Governor Hochul's Directive to Develop a Statewide Extreme Heat Action Plan and Help Ensure Equitable Distribution of Extreme Heat-Related Information and Resources

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced today an upcoming public webinar series on the ways extreme heat is impacting New York State. As part of Governor Kathy Hochul's 2022 State of the State directive and interim recommendations (leaves DEC website), work is underway to help New Yorkers and communities better understand and prepare for the impacts of extreme heat, including opportunities to learn about solutions for adapting to and forming partnerships to address extreme heat.

DEC Commissioner and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "New York State's multi-agency effort to address extreme heat, particularly in our most vulnerable communities, is critical to protecting public health and safety and quality of life. The ongoing development of an extreme heat action plan will advance resiliency and ensure protection from frequent extreme weather events driven by climate change. I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in these public webinars to learn about this critical issue and support efforts to prepare for and adapt to extreme heat."

NYSERDA President and CEO and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Doreen M. Harris said, "NYSERDA is proud to partner with our colleagues at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to help all New Yorkers - especially our most vulnerable populations - understand and prepare for extreme heat. As New York continues, under Governor Hochul's leadership, to address the health hazards associated with climate change, it's critical that we arm communities with this knowledge before we head into the hottest months of the year."

Extreme heat is a leading cause of death among hazardous weather events in the United States. Extreme heat affects the health and well-being of communities and individuals across New York State. The impacts of extreme heat are more severe due to climate change, with disproportionately greater impacts experienced by heat-vulnerable populations, urban areas, and disadvantaged communities (leaves DEC website).

This webinar series is part of DEC and NYSERDA's ongoing development of an extreme heat action plan in response to the increased frequency and intensity of extreme heat events caused by climate change. DEC and NYSERDA started convening the Extreme Heat Action Plan Work Group last year. The work group includes more than 20 State agencies working together on immediate steps to address the dangers of extreme heat. The webinar series, hosted by DEC and NYSERDA in conjunction with the Extreme Heat Action Plan Work Group and University at Buffalo, will include presentations by a panel of subject matter experts on topics relevant to State and local planning for extreme heat events.

Webinars are open to the public. Registration is encouraged and available online or at one of the individual webinar registration links below. Webinars will be recorded and shared on DEC's website.

Webinar Schedule

Extreme Heat and the Built Environment

Learn about extreme heat impacts on the built environment, from buildings to transportation infrastructure. Consider impacts across a variety of scales, from the neighborhood level to the regional level. The webinar will also explore what interventions are working to moderate these impacts for individuals and communities.

Date: April 27, 2023

Time: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Registration: Via WebEx (leaves DEC website).

Expert Panel:

  • Dr. Mikhail Chester - Director of the Metis Center for Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering at Arizona State University
  • Dr. Zoé Hamstead - Assistant Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Nicholas Rajkovich - Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo

Moderator:

  • Dr. Susan Clark - Assistant Professor in the Department of Environment and Sustainability at the University at Buffalo
Extreme Heat, Health, and Policy: Strategies Across New York's Many Landscapes

This webinar explores the impacts of extreme heat across New York's diverse geographies and communities, including urban heat islands, rural and suburban communities, and workers. The webinar will also describe the intersection of extreme heat and the housing, energy, and agricultural sectors. Speakers will showcase potential solutions.

Date: May 18, 2023

Time: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Registration: Via WebEx (leaves DEC website).

Expert Panel:

  • Dr. Augusta Williams - Assistant Professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
  • Dr. Diana Hernández - Associate Professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
  • Speaker TBA

Moderator:

  • Dr. Nicholas Rajkovich - Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo
Showcasing Local Solutions and Partnerships

This webinar will showcase local solutions from different communities across New York State and the people behind those solutions. The webinar will illuminate tangible and positive change advanced by partnerships among community organizations, local governments, and the State.

Date: June 8, 2023

Time: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Registration: Via WebEx (leaves DEC website).

*This Expert Panel and Moderator are being finalized and additional information will be provided in coming weeks.

Preparing for Summer 2023: What Individuals and Local Governments Can Do During a Heat Wave

This webinar will highlight concrete approaches for staying cool and safe during heat waves. The presentations will describe individual measures to cool one's home; the various ways in which local governments, emergency response coordinators and community groups can help their communities be safe during extreme heat events; and available resources the State provides to support local preparedness and adaptation.

Date: June 22, 2023

Time: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Registration: Via WebEx (leaves DEC website).

*This Expert Panel and Moderator are being finalized and additional information will be provided in coming weeks.

For additional information on the State's extreme heat action plan, visit DEC's website.

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