Water Resources Center

The Water Resources Center is affiliated with the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and University of Minnesota Extension.

Second Conference on Climate Adaptation

Building Minnesota’s Capacity for Climate Adaptation


The 2014 Conference on Climate Adaptation is designed for local officials, planners, engineers, natural resource practitioners and others who want to know more about climate adaptation strategies. Learn about new plans that have been implemented or tested in various sectors, including human health, local governmental entities, college campuses, resources, recreation, and agriculture. Discover ways in which individual action could impact climate change. Our keynote speakers will provide updates on the increasing number of severe storm events, with continuing discussion in breakout sessions in the morning and afternoon. Registration is 95.00, which includes lunch, breaks and parking. 

November 6, 2014


7:30am Registration
8:15am Conference opens
4:30pm Conference ends

Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis, MN


Conference attendees who require a hotel room may book their reservations online>> 
Call 1-888-421-1442 to change an existing reservation.

Registration Information


The College of Continuing Education (CCE) is managing registration. Please contact them if you have questions about registration or setting up a purchase order:
  • Event ID# is 188562. Please include this number when you contact CCE.
  • Phone: 612-624-4000 or 1-800-234-6564
  • Fax: 612-624-5359.
  • Email: CCEinfo@umn.edu
  • Visit: 20 Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday

Early registration ends 10/24/14. Late registration is 120.00 and begins 10/25/14 and ends 10/31/14.

Refund Policy: If you need to cancel your registration, a refund, minus 10.00 will be issued if you cancel in writing to Cheryel Konate at cheryel@umn.edu by 10/24/14. If you cancel after this date, you will not be eligible for a refund.

Online Registration>>



Conference speakers and breakout sessions:

Plenary Speaker:  Harold Brooks, National Severe Weather Laboratory, NOAA. (Severe) Thunderstorms and Climate Change

High-impact weather associated with thunderstorms (tornadoes, hail, high wind, heavy rain) has a major impact on human activity in North America, particular in the warm season. As the planet warms, it seems reasonable to believe that weather events associated with thunderstorms will change. How that change takes place is not completely clear however. Many aspects of the atmosphere will change and some will be favorable for more severe thunderstorms and others will be unfavorable. A large amount of research has been done in the last seven years. I'll review what we know about the past observations and what we think we know about the future, including the uncertainties and limitations of our understanding. Brooks will provide a  forecast the future of how we'll address those uncertainties and limitations to provide better information.


Luncheon Speaker: Steve Adams, Sr. Program Advisor U.S. Climate Adaptation, Institute for Sustainable Communities

Breakout Sessions (participants should choose three to attend):

A. Individual Actions for Climate Adaptation: This session will describe public outreach and community involvement activities on climate adaptation by Macalester College and the City of St. Paul which include a Ready and Resilient climate adaptation primer for St. Paul residents as well as a series of community climate change conversations. A range of individual actions on climate adaptation which can be implemented at the household level will also be presented. 

B. Recreation/Tourism and Climate: This session will explore climate change adaptation strategies for recreation and tourism in Minnesota through three case study examples. A range of impacts and adaptation strategies for those working within the recreation and tourism fields will be presented and discussed. 

C. Assessing Human Vulnerability to Climate Changes: This session will describe how climate change in Minnesota is affecting people’s health. The session also will describe people and places that are more vulnerable to particular climate-related hazards, including extreme heat, air pollution, vector-borne diseases, flooding and drought. Statewide maps of vulnerability, as well as local examples, will be highlighted.

D. Watershed Management for Extremes: Climate adaptation in watershed management requires an understanding of watershed response to both extremes of drought and floods. New Federal policies require consideration of climate change in hydrologic analyses. This session will describe some of the GIS techniques and modeling tools that engineers and watershed managers have been developing to address climate extremes.

E. Strategies for Addressing Impacts of Climate on Plant Ecology: Plant communities in Minnesota will be impacted by various aspects of a changing climate. This session considers the research on what the likely impacts will be and possible strategies to address these impacts. 

F. Agriculture - Adapting and Managing for Climate Change Extremes: Drought, flooding, extreme heat, excess wind and many other factors affect crop yields and soil health. However, modern agriculture has many new tools and management systems available to farmers to adapt to and manage for climate change extremes. Learn more about how Minnesota agriculture is adjusting to ever changing crop growing conditions. 

G. Impacts on Human Health: Diseases Carried by Ticks and Mosquitoes. This session will describe the ecology of Minnesota ticks and mosquitoes, the disease agents they carry, how climate change may impact disease risks, and what people and organizations can do to reduce these risks.

H. Climate Adaptation in Rural Communities: Climate change has already begun to significantly impact rural communities in Minnesota in a variety of ways. This session will highlight a range of examples from rural community adaptation initiatives throughout the state.

I. Lessons in Campus Climate Adaptation: Colleges and universities have unique potential to serve as climate adaptation hubs, developing the research, knowledge, skills and leaders needed to build resilient communities that will thrive in an uncertain climate future. Faculty, staff and students across Minnesota are using adaptation planning tools and processes to engage and prepare for the impacts of a changing climate. Campus leaders will compare and contrast challenges, opportunities and successes related to their campus’ climate initiatives and provide action steps for other schools interested in following suit.


Taking public transportation? Visit the Metro Transit home page for ride and route options>>

Driving to the Conference? Find written directions from various locations in the Twin Cities here>>.pdf