Conference Speakers & Panelists

[Sea Level] Rise Up: Realities and Opportunities

Featured Speakers

Friday, April 5

Doug Marcy, Coastal Hazards Specialist, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Douglas (Doug) C. Marcy is a Coastal Hazards Specialist at the NOAA Office for Coastal Management in Charleston, SC. He has been with NOAA 17 years working on flooding and sea level rise geospatial mapping projects, storm surge assessments, and coastal hazards assessment projects contributing to more disaster resilient communities. Doug worked as a Hydraulic Engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District from 1999 to 2002, where he focused on flood control projects, H&H modeling, flood inundation mapping, shoreline change analysis, and coastal engineering. From 1997 to 1999 Doug worked at the South Carolina Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. Doug has a M.S. in marine geology (1997) from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a B.S. in geology (1994) from the College of Charleston. Doug’s current interests include using geospatial technology combined with meteorological, hydrological, and coastal modeling (including sea level change) to enhance inundation forecasting, mapping, and risk assessment. Doug is a co-author for the Southeast Chapter of the 4th National Climate Assessment.

Michael D. McDonald, Dr.P.H.

Dr. McDonald is architect of Resilience Systems and Resilience Networks, which seek to rapidly expand information-sharing environments, open-data systems, and collective intelligence to improve health, economic well-being, resilience, and human security. He coordinates the Florida Disaster Resilience Initiative, which advises on the forecasting and management of strategic and existential threats within Florida, with a special focus on South, Central, West, and Southwest Florida following Hurricanes Irma and Michael. As coordinator of the Global Health Response and Resilience Alliance, he develops game exercises designed to help communities or countries deal with catastrophic events. He directed the Koop Foundation with the former U.S. Surgeon General and coordinated the U.S. Health Information Infrastructure Consortium, which led to the build-out of the $30 billion National Health Information Network, while chairing the U.S. Medical Technology Policy Committee. Through the Resilience Systems, he is overseeing preparations for catastrophic impacts of natural disasters, while also helping businesses and cities thrive within the emerging blue-green economy.

Saturday, April 6

Maya Burke, Science Policy Coordinator, Tampa Bay Estuary Program

Maya Burke is the Science Policy Coordinator for the Tampa Bay Estuary Program. She manages multi-entity habitat restoration, water quality improvement, and environmental policy projects; facilitates a variety of working groups; and translates Tampa Bay-specific research for a broader audience. Maya is a member of the Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel and co-author of the Recommended Projection of Sea Level Rise for the Tampa Bay Region. She has spent nearly 15 years working in water resource management, regulatory compliance, land acquisition, and environmental land use planning. Prior to working at the Estuary Program, Maya coordinated the Agency on Bay Management and the ONE BAY Resilient Communities Working Group for the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and worked for the Southwest Florida Water Management District. She is a graduate of New College of Florida (Political Science and Environmental Studies, 2005) and a native Floridian.

Dr. Joanna Huxster, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Eckerd College

Joanna (Jo) Huxster is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Eckerd College. She teaches classes, public seminars, and workshops on climate change communication and environmental communication. Jo earned both her bachelor’s degree and her doctoral degree at the University of Delaware. She held postdoctoral positions at Drexel University in environmental sociology and at Bucknell University with a philosophy of science program called the Production of Public Understanding of Science. Jo continues to work collaboratively with her colleagues at Bucknell investigating public understanding of the social structures of science, scientific consensus, and public trust in science. The aim of this work is to enhance science communication, especially on politically entangled or publicly controversial topics like climate change. A relatively recent transplant to Florida, Jo has began speaking at various conferences and meetings all over the Tampa Bay area on how to communicate climate change “beyond the choir.”

Conference Program Panelists Confirmed to Date

Lorrie Belovich, Executive Director, The Sustany Foundation

Denise Drews, Loan Officer, Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc.

Whitney Fung, PSR Florida & University of South Florida Public Health Phd. Student

Kelli Hammer Levy, Environmental Management Division Director, Pinellas County

Erica Harris, Climate Adaptation Specialist, AECOM

Jake Holehouse, H.H. Insurance

Hon. Al Johnson, Mayor, City of St. Pete Beach

Hon. Bill Jonson, Former City Council Member, City of Clearwater

John Morales, AMS Fellow Chief Meteorologist, WTVJ NBC 6, Miami

Craig Pittman, Tampa Bay Times

CJ Reynolds, Director of Resiliency and Engagement, Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council

Justin Smith, Sustainability Program Manager, Project Director & Airport Architect, Tampa International Airport

Mike Twitty, Property Appraiser, Pinellas County

Lisa Vanover, The League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area

Rep. Jennifer Webb, Florida House, District 69

Sharon Wright, Sustainability & Resiliency Director, City of St. Petersburg