About the Experts
Donald Boesch is a Professor of Marine Science and President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and also a resident of Anne Arundel County. Dr. Boesch is a biological oceanographer who has conducted research in coastal and continental shelf environments along the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, eastern Australia and the East China Sea. He has published two books and more than 90 papers on marine benthos, estuaries, wetlands, continental shelves, oil pollution, nutrient over-enrichment, environmental assessment and monitoring and science policy. Presently, his research focuses on the use of science in ecosystem management. He is active in extending knowledge to environmental and resource management at regional, national and international levels. He has served as science advisor to many state and federal agencies and regional, national and international programs, and has chaired numerous committees and scientific assessment teams, including the Maryland Commission on Climate Change’s Scientific and Technical Working Group. Dr. Boesch served on the National Research Council's Committee that produced the report America's Climate Choices. He presently is the Chair of the NRC's Ocean Studies Board.
Zoë Johnson is the program manager for Climate Change Policy at the Office for a Sustainable Future, Maryland Department of Natural Resources. She has been actively involved in climate change planning and policy initiatives in the State of Maryland since 1998 and is the author of various reports and publications on climate change and sea level rise adaptation. She serves as key staff to Maryland’s Commission on Climate Change Adaptation and Response Working Group. The Working Group released Phase I of Maryland’s Strategy for Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change: Sea Level Rise and Coastal Storms in 2008; and its Phase II Strategy: Building Societal, Economic and Ecologic Resilience in January 2011. Using the Phase I and II Strategies as a guide, she is currently pursuing the development of state-level policy, as well as the execution of on-the-ground projects to implement a suite of natural resource adaptation priorities. Zoë holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Western Washington University (1992) and a master of marine affairs degree from the School of Marine Affairs at the University of Washington (1998).
Jessica Grannis is author of the report Adaptation Tool Kit: Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Land Use published in 2011 by the Georgetown Climate Center. She is an attorney at the Georgetown Climate Center, and is a staff attorney and adjunct professor at the Harrison Institute for Public Law, which is looking at strategies to help state and local governments adapt to climate change impacts. Prior to coming to the Harrison Institute, she was staff counsel for two California state agencies, the State Coastal Conservancy and the Ocean Protection Council. Prior to her work in state government, she worked as an associate for a civil litigation firm focusing on real property disputes. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, a law degree from University of California Hastings, and a masters in law from Georgetown University Law Center.
Frank Biba is a native of Maryland from Prince Georges County and received a BA and Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University. After working for several years as a consultant in the oil exploration industry, Mr. Biba took a position in 1985 with the City of Annapolis where he held environmental positions in the Public Works and Planning and Zoning Departments. He has been the Chief of Environmental Programs in the Department of Neighborhood and Environmental Programs since 2002. Mr. Biba has also received an MBA from Johns Hopkins and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a LEED Approved Professional.
Brian Batten is a Senior Coastal Scientist at Dewberry, the engineering firm responsible for development of the Future Coast coastal flooding and sea-level rise viewer. He serves as the technical lead of coastal aspects of climate change adaptation services and provides management and technical support of coastal flood insurance studies for Dewberry. Prior to joining Dewberry, Dr. Batten led research on the impact of navigation channels on regional and local coastal erosion for the USACE Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory. Present projects include the North Carolina Sea Level Rise Impact Study, the FEMA Sea Level Rise Advisory Layer, and coastal hazard assessments for FEMA.
About the Discussion Moderators
Todd La Porte
Todd M. La Porte is an associate professor in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. His current research interests include climate change adaptation policy and governance, organizational and social resiliency, and public organizations. He has also worked on governance and the use and impacts of networked information technologies, for which he has received NSF and Pew Foundation support, public attitudes to technology and homeland security, with DHS funding, critical infrastructure protection, and organizational responses to extreme events, such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. His most recent publication in this area is as contributor to and co-editor of Seeds of Disaster, Roots of Response: How Private Action Can Reduce Public Vulnerability, with Philip Auerswald, Lewis M. Branscomb, and Erwann Michel-Kerjan, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Dan Nataf is the director of the Center for the Study of Local Issues at Anne Arundel Community College. He is frequently quoted by the local press and often invited as a guest speaker to local entities such as political clubs and service organizations. He has provided color commentary during the 2002, 2004, and 2006 elections on Annapolis-based radio station, WNAV. He has also appeared on television on several occasions. Dan obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Both his master's and doctorate in Political Science were obtained at the University of California, Los Angeles. He specialized in comparative politics, political sociology and research methods. He has taught at several colleges and universities including UCLA and UMBC. Since 1995, he has been with Anne Arundel Community College.
Howard Ernst serves as an Associate Professor of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy and Senior Scholar at University of Virginia's Center for Politics. He directs the Environmental Leadership Program at Gettysburg College's Eisenhower Institute and is the Director of the Kohler Environmental Center at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT. Howard received his Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia in the spring of 2000. His research focuses on the American political system and gives close attention to citizen influence over the environmental policy process.