Safeguarding California: A State's Updated Adaptation Plan

Webinar Date: 
February 20, 2014


The California Natural Resources Agency, in coordination with other state agencies, is updating the 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy. The draft Safeguarding California Plan augments previously identified strategies in light of advances in climate science and risk management options. The plan is currently open for comment. Join this webinar to learn what California and other jurisdictions are doing as they develop adaptation plans.

There will also be a chance to ask questions about the upcoming California Adaptation Forum. The Local Government Commission and the State of California are organizing the first California Adaptation Forum in the state capital for next summer. This two-day forum will build off a successful National Adaptation Forum held in Colorado in 2013. The attendance of many California leaders there underscored the need for a California-focused event, which will be held every other year to complement the biennial National Adaptation Forum.

This is the second installment of the National Adaptation Webinar Series and is sponsored by EcoAdapt, the California Natural Resources Agency, and the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, and hosted by


This webinar will focus on climate adaptation planning highlighting California's updated Climate Adaptation Strategy.

1:00-1:15 Introduction to State Adaptation Plans 
The State of State Adaptation Plans Lara Hansen, Ph.D., Chief Scientist and Executive Director, EcoAdapt
1:15-1:45 Overview of California's new plan - history, goals, process, next steps Safeguarding California: Reducing Climate Risks Amber Pairis, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Climate Change, California Natural Resources Agency California Climate Change Planning Michael McCormick, AICP; Local and Regional Affairs Advisor, Office of California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Office of Planning and Research
1:45-2:00 Open discussion and questions for panel members


Lara J. Hansen, Ph.D., Chief Scientist and Executive Director, EcoAdapt. Lara thinks climate change is everybody's problem and she wishes someone would bother to do something about it. Her desire for action led her to co-create EcoAdapt with a team of similarly inclined folks in 2008. She is co-author and editor of one of the earliest texts on the issue of natural system adaptation to climate change, Buying Time: A User's Manual for Building Resistance and Resilience to Climate Change in Natural Systems, as well as co-author of one of the newest books on adaptation, Climate Savvy: Adapting Conservation and Resource Management to a Changing World. The team that created these books created an engaged stakeholder process (first known as Climate Camp; now known as Awareness to Action Workshops) to help resource managers create adaptation strategies applicable to their work.  

Amber Pairis, Ph.D., currently serves as the Assistant Secretary for Climate Change, California Natural Resources Agency where she is responsible for assisting in the development and implementation of California’s strategy for adapting to future climate change impacts and assisting in development and implementation of California strategies to reduce climate risks. She is also responsible for assisting with the design of climate tools to support natural resource management and decision making which requires a significant level of coordination both within State Agencies, as well as with federal, tribal, and other interested stakeholders.

Michael McCormick, AICP, is a Senior Planner and serves as the Local and Regional Affairs Advisor at the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research. His focus is at the nexus of local government and State policy, where he works on greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, climate change adaptation/preparedness, sustainability, tools/resource development and communication issues. He is actively working to institutionalize the consideration of climate change across agencies and organizations at the State, regional and local level. Mr. McCormick has experience working in academic, local government and consulting capacities and has been on the boards of several nonprofits, including the Sustainability Academy, the American Planning Association and the Association of Environmental Professionals. For additional information on OPR efforts visit:

Reading & Resources

Safeguarding California Plan
Local Government Commission

Upcoming Forums

California Adaptation Forum
National Adaptation Forum