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Urban Climate Adaptation Virtual Symposium

We invite you to the upcoming Urban Climate Adaptation Virtual Symposium, a showcase of climate adaptation strategies and partnerships in urban and suburban ecosystems with an emphasis on environmental justice needs and collaborations. The symposium will be held virtually through Teams on Thursday April 4, from 1 PM to 5:30 PM ET. 

Symposium Overview 

More than 80% of people in the U.S. live in urban areas. Ecosystems in and around these communities harbor a wide variety of natural and cultural resources, from key watersheds and historical landmarks to wildlife corridors and pollinator habitats. These resources and the people that use and benefit from them face interacting and compounding challenges from climate change and human development. These impacts, such as urban heat island effects and increased flooding, make urban environments particularly vulnerable to climate change and in high need of climate adaptation research.  

Hand-drawn circular diagram showing continuum of wildlands, with little human development, to dense urban town centers.
Diverse ecosystems are located within the areas where people live and work, from city parks in large urban centers to connected greenways weaving through suburbs. In this symposium, we will explore climate adaptation in ecosystems in suburban, residential, urban, and urbanizing areas, as well as along the wildland-urban interface, collectively referred to as “urban ecosystems” here.

Yet climate adaptation in urban ecosystems is understudied relative to predominantly natural landscapes. The lack of targeted research and associated benefits in areas with greater human impacts affects all communities, but particularly environmental justice communities. Developing equitable urban climate adaptation solutions requires a deep understanding of community needs, partnerships based on trust, and critical evaluation of both benefits and potential unintended harm. 

In the Urban Climate Adaptation Symposium, we invite audiences from across government, academic, Tribal, and non-profit sectors to consider how climate change is impacting urban ecosystems across the country and what communities and resource managers can do to adapt to a changing climate. Through invited presentations and audience discussions, we will showcase climate adaptation research and resource management happening in urban areas, with an emphasis on environmental justice needs and collaborations. We hope these conversations will encourage researchers to consider urban systems in their work and to develop a deeper understanding of ethical research and engagement practices with marginalized communities. Together, we will build community with like-minded researchers and resource managers to identify ways our science can better serve under-resourced urban populations. 

Goal: To showcase urban climate adaptation research, resource management, and partnerships happening across USGS and other Federal agencies and discuss ways in which USGS science can better serve under-resourced urban and urbanizing populations to facilitate equitable urban climate adaptation outcomes. 


The virtual symposium will be held from on Thursday April 4, 2024 from 1 PM – 5:30 PM ET.  



Welcome & Kickoff 


1:00 - 1:30 PM ET 
Opening Keynote 

Presentation followed by Q&A 

1:30 - 2:00 PM ET
Session 1: Equitable partnerships in urban climate adaptation 

Presentations followed by Q&A 

2:00 - 3:05 PM ET
Session 2: Research spotlights on urban climate impacts & adaptation strategies 

Lightning talks followed by panel-style Q&A 

3:15 - 4:15 PM ET

Facilitated breakout groups  

(Separate, limited registration) 

4:30 - 5:30 PM ET


How to Register 

This symposium will be broken into two events, each requiring their own separate registration.  

The first will include all welcome sessions and presentations. This event will be formatted as a webinar, where non-presenter participants will be muted and can ask questions via a live chat. Register for the main symposium here >> 

The second event will include the breakout group discussions. This will be interactive, where audience members can participate in discussions on-camera and through the chat. The discussion section will be capped at 100 registrants. Register for the discussion session here >> 



Presentations and associated question and answer sections within the symposium will be recorded and will be posted to this page with full captioning and transcripts. The second discussion event will not be recorded.