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Updated 8 February 2007

US National Assessment of
the Potential Consequences
of Climate Variability and Change
Region: Mid-Atlantic


For additional information, see the Northeast Mega-Region

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Links to Material from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Assessment Group:

Related Articles from the National Assessment's Newsletter, Acclimations.

Links to other Relevant Material

The Workshop

The workshop for the Mid-Atlantic, part of the series of US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) regional climate change workshops, took place on September 9-11, 1997 at Pennsylvania State University. This series of workshops is seen as a first step in a U.S. national assessment of the potential consequences of climate variability and change. The Mid-Atlantic workshop brought together a broad spectrum of interested parties, with a wide range of training and employment including academia, industry, government, and environmental organizations. The workshop focused on the watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River and Bay, which include portions of seven states. A significant portion of the meeting was dedicated to the efforts of small working groups to: a) identify and discuss potential climate impacts in the context of other stresses on the region; b) ascertain what is known now and what needs to be known in order to make informed decisions in response to opportunities and challenges posed by climate variability and change; and c) determine early actions designed to address the potential impacts of climate change and climate variability. The groups relied on three background papers, presentations during plenary sessions, and individual experience and expertise. They emphasized both the challenges and the opportunities posed by future climate variability and change.

Issues for Analysis

The follow-up assessment consider a limited number of key sectors and issues that are critical in the Mid-Atlantic region. The key sectors include: Water, Coasts, Health, Forests, and Agriculture with additional emphases on Cross-cutting issues including: Climate Change and Variability, Biophysical (ecosystem) Impacts, Human Impacts (economic and social), and Stakeholder Involvement. To the extent possible, impacts were quantified, including economic aspects. Additionally it is recognized that some of the current stresses in the region are complicating factors.

Strategy for the Assessment

Given the diversity within the region and the short time available, the strategy was to focus on case studies that illustrated the integrated regional assessment methodology as well as a range of impacts by type and location. A continuing activity, such as this regional assessment, invites input and feedback from stakeholders. To ensure that the assessment information meets their needs, stakeholder involvement can include serving on the Advisory committee, using the website, or participating in public meetings of different sizes and in various locations. The assessment documents are available on the web.

Principal Investigator Ann Fisher, Pennsylvania State University
Co-Principal Investigators David Abler, Eric Barron, Richard J. Bord, Robert Crane, David De Walle, Wm. Easterling, C. Gregory Knight, Ray Najjar, Egide Nizeyimana, Robert E. O'Connor, Adam Rose, James Shortle, Brent Yarnel
All affilitations: Pennsylvania State University
Coordinating Federal Agency U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Agency Representatives Joel Scheraga, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Janet Gamble, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Additional Involvement U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, National Science Foundation, Penn State University's Center for Integrated Regional Assessment and other Penn State University units
Key Sectors/Issues
  • Water
  • Coasts
  • Health
  • Forests
  • Agriculture
  • Climate Change and Variability
  • Biophysical (ecosystem) Impacts
  • Human Impacts (economic and social)
  • Stakeholder Involvement

Assessment Team (Penn State Faculty):
  • David Abler
  • Eric Barron
  • Richard J. Bord
  • Robert Crane
  • David De Walle
  • William Easterling
  • Ann Fisher
  • C. Gregory Knight
  • Ray Najjar
  • Egide Nizeyimana
  • Robert E. O'Connor
  • Adam Rose
  • James Shortle
  • Brent Yarnel
  • Epp, Donald, Dept. of Ag. Econ. & Rural Soc., Penn State University
  • Evans, Barry, Environmental Resources Research Institute, Penn State University
  • Galbraith, Hector, Stratus Consulting (CO)
  • Handcock, Mark, Department of Statistics, Penn State University
  • Iverson, Louis, Forest Service (OH)
  • Kalkstein, Laurence, University of Delaware
  • Kennedy, Vic, University of MD, Horn Point Lab
  • Lynch, James A. School of Forest Resources, Penn State University
  • Matthews, Stephen, Population Research Institute, Penn State University
  • Megonigal, Pat, George Mason University (VA)
  • Orr, Wil, and Hoyt Johnson, Prescott College (AZ)
  • Patz, Jonathan, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (MD)
  • Petersen, Gary, Penn State University
  • Pielke, Roger, Jr., National Center for Atmospheric Research (CO)
  • Price, Jeff, American Bird Conservancy (CO)
  • Psuty, Norbert, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University (NJ)
  • Richards, Bruce, Center for Inland Bays (DE)
  • Rogers, Catroina, EPA/ORD (DC)
  • Sorenson, Lisa, Boston University (MA)
  • Thornton, Kent, FTN Associates (AR)
  • Walker, Hal, EPA/ORD (RI)
  • Ward, Bud, Environmental Health Center, National Safety Council (DC)
  • Wilbanks, Thomas, Oak Ridge National Lab/NCEDR
Advisory Committee Members (as of January 6, 1999)
  • Balbus, John, Dept of Environmental & Occupational Health, George Washington U (DC)
  • Ball, Christopher, Ozone Action (DC)
  • Banfield, Timothy, Allegheny Power (PA)
  • Bechis, Maria, Sierra Club (PA)
  • Birdsey, Richard, USDA Forest Service (Radnor, PA)
  • Bissell, Perry, Consul, Inc. (coal) (PA)
  • Bloomfield, Janine, Environmental Defense Fund (NY)
  • Brooks, Irene, PA DEP, Office for River Basin Cooperation
  • Buchanan, Claire, ICPRB Potomac River Basin, MD
  • Butt, Arthur, VA DEQ
  • Calaban, Michael, NY DEC
  • Carson, Charles, U.S. Steel (PA)
  • Carter, Lynne, National Assessment Coordination Office (DC)
  • Colket, Peter, American Reinsurance Co. (NJ/MD)
  • Connor, Betty, PA League of Women Voters (PA)
  • Cronin, Tom, USGS (DC or VA)
  • DeMoss, Thomas, Chesapeake Bay Program (MD) (Eric Walbeck, alternate)
  • Donaldson, Guy, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
  • Esposito, Gerald, Tidewater Utilities (DE)
  • Falconer, John, American Forests (alternates, too) (DC)
  • Featherstone, Jeffrey, DRBC (Richard Fromuth, alternate) (NJ)
  • Flemming, Agnes, Norfolk Department of Public Health (VA)
  • Freudberg, Stuart, Washington Area COG
  • Garvin, Don, Trout Unlimited (WV)
  • Gilbert, Phyllis, Sierra Club (PA)
  • Glotfelty, Caren, ClearWater Conservancy (PA)
  • Hoffman, Joe, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
  • Jarrett, Jan, PA Campaign for Clean Affordable Energy
  • Kaiser, Marshall, Safe Harbor Water Power Corp./Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (PA)
  • Kalkstein, Larry, U. of Delaware
  • Kauffman, John, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (former chairman, PP&L) (PA)
  • Kunreuther, Howard, University of Pennsylvania
  • Kusler, Jon, Association of State Wetland Managers (NY)
  • Leathers, Daniel, DE State Climatologist
  • Ed Linky, U.S. EPA Region 2 (NY and NJ)
  • MacSparran, John, SRBC (Gil Hirschel, alternate) (PA)
  • Markham, Adam, World Wildlife Fund (DC)
  • Mortsch, Linda, Environment Canada (Waterloo, Ontario)
  • Nagourney, Stuart, NJ DEP
  • Nichols, George, Washington Area COG
  • Nunez, Albert, ICLEI, Tacoma Park, MD
  • Pearsall, Sam, The Nature Conservancy (NC)
  • Pena, Michelle, Climate Institute (DC)
  • Penn, Robert C., Vanguard Management Group, Baltimore (MD)
  • Pitelka, Lou, U of MD Center for Environmental Science
  • Plaut, Jon, NAFTA Environmental Commission (NJ)
  • Raman, Sethu, NC Climatologist
  • Ratzell, Lynn, PP&L environmental manager (PA)
  • Richards, Bruce, Center for Inland Bays (DE)
  • Ross, Sharon, Allegheny Power, MD
  • Rudd, Ralph, ClearWater Conservancy (PA)
  • Scheraga, Joel, U.S. EPA (DC)
  • Schmidt, Michael, CIGNA (PA)
  • Schultz, Gwynne, MD DNR Coastal Zone Management Div. (Zoe Johnson, alternate)
  • Schwarzwaelder, David, Columbia Gas (PA)
  • Small, David, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DE)
  • Smith, Betsy, US EPA National Environmental Research Lab (NC)
  • Stevens, Jack, Professor of Management, PSU
  • Swanson, Ann, Chesapeake Bay Commission (MD)
  • Thornton, Kent, FTN Associates (AR)
  • Way, Brooks, Way Fruit Farm (PA)
  • Wertz, Fred, PA Department of Agriculture
Corresponding Members:
  • Bernabo, Chris, Rand Corporation (formerly Science and Policy Associates, Inc.) (DC)
  • Burns, Doug, USGS (Troy, NY)
  • Denworth, Joanne, 10,000 Friends of PA
  • Falke, Tom, coal industry (PA)
  • Friedman, David, American Forest and Paper Association
  • Goldberg, Annette, PA Economy League
  • Gornitz, Vivien, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Columbia University (NY)
  • Herkness, Diane, CIGNA (PA)
  • Hunter, Scott, Philadelphia Energy Coordinating Agency
  • Arch McDonnell, Penn State University, Environmental Resources Research Institute
  • McKinnon, Hugh, U.S. EPA National Risk Management Research Lab (OH).
  • Mongan, Edward, DuPont (DE)
  • Parks, Nancy, Sierra Club, PA
  • Pitelka, Lou, U. of MD Center for Environmental Science
  • Reichert, Joshua, Pew Charitable Trusts (PA)
  • Shinn, Robert, NJ DEP Commissioner
  • Simms, Larry, MD Watermen's Association
  • Smith, Joel, Stratus Consulting (CO)
  • Tropea, Larry, AMP (PA)
  • Tulou, Christophe, Secretary, Dept of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DE)
  • James J. Winebrake, James Madison University (VA)
Others invited:
  • Barros, Anna, Dept. Of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Penn State University
  • Blankenship, Karl, Bay Journal (PA)
  • D'Amico, Mike, Sierra Club (DE)
  • Friedman, Naomi, National Association of Counties (DC)
  • Friedman, Robert, Heinz Center (DC)
  • Gilson, Susan, Flood and Storm Water Management (DC)
  • Grambsch, Anne, Office of Policy, US EPA (DC)
  • Mercado, Edgar, MD Department of the Environment
  • Mulkey, Lee, US EPA National Risk Management Research Lab (OH)
  • Porter, Frances, Virginia Seafood Council
  • Slimak, Michael, US EPA National Center for Environmental Assessment
  • Smith, Thomas, Department of Environmental Sciences, U. of VA
  • Spencer, Charles, WVA forests
Other Penn State Faculty:
  • Epp, Donald, Dept. of Ag. Econ. & Rural Soc., Penn State University
  • Evans, Barry, Environmental Resources Research Institute, Penn State University
  • Handcock, Mark, Department of Statistics, Penn State University
  • Lynch, James A. School of Forest Resources, Penn State University
  • Matthews, Stephen, Population Research Institute, Penn State Univeristy
  • Petersen, Gary, Penn State University
Post-Docs/Research Associates:
  • Patti Anderson
  • Keith Benson
  • Jeff Carmichael
  • Bahar Celikkol
  • Mary Easterling
  • Patricia Kocagil

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