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Independent Advisory Process and Report

In August of 2017, the current U.S. Administration allowed a federal advisory committee to lapse that was providing advice to federal agencies on how to organize climate assessment activities to better inform decisions likely to be affected by climate change, such as investment by states, cities, tribes, and private-sector firms in transportation, water resources, energy, and related infrastructures.

In January 2018, the committee was recommissioned by Governor Cuomo of NY State on behalf of the US Climate Alliance - a multi-state coalition. New York State joined with Columbia University, the American Meteorological Society, and others in providing financial, professional, and logistical support for this effort.

The core question the committee addressed is how to enable stakeholders, including state and city governments and the private sector, to work alongside the federal government to produce and use rigorous scientific information to help prepare their communities for a changing climate. Changing patterns of extreme events such as droughts, wildfires, floods, and storms make basing such decisions on past climate records risky.


On April 4th, 2019, the Independent Advisory Committee for Applied Climate Assessment (IAC) released its recommendations. These recommendations represented a year-long process from the IAC. One of the core recommendations in the report was to launch an organization like SCAN. See below for access to the report and more about the Science for Climate Action (SCAN).

  • A press release covering the report release and the Science for Climate Action (SCAN) launch is available here.

  • A summary of the report can be found in the Bulletin of the AMS: here 

  • The full report can be found in the Weather, Climate, and Society Journal of the AMS: here

  • And an article focusing on the launch of SCAN can be found in EOS - a publication of the American Geophysical Union: here

The IAC report is based on ideas and inputs from state, local, and tribal officials, researchers in all areas of climate science, experts in non-governmental and community-based organizations, professionals in engineering, architecture, public health, adaptation, and other areas. We thank these individuals and organizations, and particularly the organizations below, and many more who support this work, as well as the committee who volunteered their time and expertise to develop these recommendations and the conveners who are helping to initiate SCAN.

The Expert Members of the Independent Advisory Committee:

  • Dr. Richard Moss, Chair of the Committee; Visiting Fellow, Andlinger Center, Princeton University (formerly Fellow, Columbia University.) 

  • Dr. Susan Avery, Former President, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

  • Ms. Kristin Baja, Climate Resilience Officer, Urban Sustainability Directors Network

  • Dr. Maxine Burkett, Professor of Law, University of Hawai’i,  William S. Richardson School of Law

  • Dr. Ann Marie Chischilly, Executive Director, Northern Arizona University-Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals

  • Ms. Jan Dell, Chief Engineer, Wyland Foundation

  • Mr. Paul Allen Fleming, Microsoft Corp

  • Ms. Kathy Jacobs, Director, Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions, University of Arizona

  • Dr, Andy Jones, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

  • Dr. Kim Knowlton, Senior Scientist, Science Center Deputy Director, Assistant Professor, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health

  • Mr. Jay Koh, Co-Founder and Managing Director, The Lightsmith Group/Global Adaptation & Resilience Investment Working Group

  • Dr. Maria Carmen Lemos, Professor; Associate Dean for Research, University of Michigan, School for Environment and Sustainability

  • Dr. Jerry Melillo, Distinguished Scientist and Director Emeritus, The Ecosystems Center

  • Ms. TC Richmond, Partner, Van Ness Feldman

  • Dr. Raj Pandya, Director, Thriving Earth Exchange, American Geophysical Union

  • Dr. Lynn Scarlett, Co-Chief External Affairs Officer, The Nature Conservancy

  • Mr. Jared Snyder, Deputy Commissioner, Office of Air Resources, Climate Change and Energy, NY Dept of Environmental Conservation

  • Dr. Jessica Whitehead, Coastal Communities Hazards Adaptation Specialist, North Carolina Sea Grant

  • Mr. Daniel Zarrilli, New York City Mayor’s Office

IAC Executive Director: Dr. Anne Waple, Studio30k

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