RISE 2019 Conference

Transforming University Engagement In Pre- and Post-Disaster Environments: Lessons from Puerto Rico

Joel Scheraga

Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


havidan rodriguez photo

Dr. Joel Scheraga is the Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation in the Office of Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He leads EPA’s work on climate adaptation to ensure the agency continues to fulfill its mission of protecting public health and the environment even as the climate changes. Since states, tribes, and local communities are essential partners with the EPA, a central focus of this effort is supporting them as they prepare for and increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Dr. Scheraga led the development and deployment of EPA’s Climate Change Adaptation Resource Center (ARC-X). Launched in October 2016, the ARC-X was designed to help all 40,000 communities across the nation anticipate and prepare for climate impacts. This online system supports local government officials in every community, regardless of their level of expertise or experience dealing with climate impacts. Using the ARC-X, decision makers can obtain an integrated package of information tailored specifically to their community’s needs and interests. EPA is also supporting development of state-level versions of the ARC-X. Work is underway with the University at Albany, State University of New York, to develop versions of the ARC-X for New York and Puerto Rico. In December 2015, Dr. Scheraga was honored with a Presidential Rank Award, the highest honor given to career members of the federal Senior Executive Service. Dr. Scheraga was a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.