Evaluating Local Climate Risk and Identifying Resilience Opportunities

Reno, Nevada

Featured image for the project, Evaluating Local Climate Risk and Identifying Resilience Opportunities

Photo by Dianne Phelps - Courtesy of the City of Reno


The community of Reno, Nevada is a community in transition. The community has recently completed a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and is developing its first climate action plan. Through the Compact of Mayors, Reno has also committed to identifying climate hazards, assessing climate related vulnerabilities, and development and implementing a climate adaption plan. Through this partnership and project, the City of Reno would like to evaluate climate hazards risks and vulnerabilities and identify opportunities to increase resilience with a focus on the community’s most vulnerable populations.


The scientist(s) would work primarily with Lynne Barker, Sustainability Manager.

Lynne and the City of Reno commit to identifying key stakeholders including departmental liaisons, local research institutions, county, health district, regional planning agency, emergency management agencies, Sierra Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Partnership, and others; developing the engagement process; facilitating the dialogue between scientists, community, and civic leaders; and, forming an interdepartmental team within the city to collaborate on development of strategies.

Scientist Wanted

Lynne Barker is looking for a scientist(s) with climate science, adaptation, mitigation expertise who could work with the community to evaluate local risks related to climate change and identify high impact opportunities to increase resilience.

This collaborative research must be local and should engage both scientists and civic leaders broadly.

The community is open to scientific partner(s) bringing in students to support this work.

The community anticipates that the scientific partner(s) will identify and recruit academic stakeholders with a variety of expertise. Also, review the current resilience study and provide local data and context. She/he/they will participate in dialogues with civic leaders; and, identify strategies to increase resilience.  

TEX asks all scientific partners to work with the community to help define a project with concrete local impact that they can contribute to as pro-bono volunteers and collaborators.  This work can also position the scientists and communities to seek additional funding, together, for the next stage.


Timeline and Outcome

The collaboration between the community and the selected scientific partner(s) should start within the first quarter of 2017.

The community anticipates that this project will take approximately 12-18 months.

The primary deliverable(s) for this project will be an ongoing partnership between the City of Reno and the university/institution; a literature review of more current and localized studies on climate risks and vulnerabilities; and, a gap analysis of the county’s  2014 Washoe County Regional Resiliency Study using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit  Vulnerabilities include impacts to human health, ecosystem vitality, economic well-being, social dynamics, and infrastructure. Through research and community engagement, the scientific partner will assist in identifying opportunities to increase resilience in the identified priority areas with a focus on the community’s most vulnerable populations. Ultimately, this work will help Reno prioritize local actions for reducing risk and increasing resilience with attention to vulnerable populations that may be disproportionately impacted, such as the elderly, very young, and low-income populations.


Desired Skills and Expertise

  • Expertise or experience in evaluating resilience studies
  • Climate science with adaptation experience
  • Ability to identify and evaluate scientific research to find the pieces most relevant to the project goals
  • Ability to translate scientific knowledge to local officials and/or community members
  • Experience and willingness to develop deliverables that meet community needs and/or allow local solutions to be adapted by other communities. This will be in addition to any scientific products (e.g. papers).
  • Commitment to regular in-person meetings to revisit progress and plan steps