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January 24: Preparing for Climate Change

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stratton Student Center, Cambridge, MA

Urban and community forestry professionals face the tremendous challenge of developing and implementing management actions that help urban forests respond to climate change. This session:

  • Provided information on the current and anticipated effects of climate change on the Boston region and its urban forests and natural areas
  • Described resources and tools that can be used to integrate climate change into urban forest management
  • Outlined adaptation concepts and strategies in the context of sustainable forest management
  • Highlighted real-world examples of adaptation projects 

This session was geared to municipal foresters, planners, parks managers, consulting arborists, nursery professionals, and others who are interested in learning more about adapting urban forests to climate change. 

January 25: Forest Adaptation Planning & Practices (limited space available)

Cambridge City Hall Annex, Cambridge, MA

This active, hands-on training was held for a limited number of participants. Urban forestry professionals and planners incorporated climate change considerations and identified actions for adaptation in their own real-world projects. 

This session was being organized by the Northern Institute of Applied ClimateScience, US Forest Service, USDA Northeast Climate Hub, USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub, The Trust for Public Land, City of Cambridge, MIT Office of Sustainability, Massachusetts DCR, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

Presentations (pdfs available below):

  • Changing Climate in the Boston Region by Paul Kirshen, Professor and Academic Director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab, UMASS Boston
  • Regional/Local Climate Resiliency Planning: A Focus on Natural Resource Conservation and Restoration by Julie A. Conroy, AICP, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
  • Managing Gas Leaks for a Healthier Urban Forest by Patrick Roche, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
  • Climate-Smart Cities: Harnessing Data for Climate Solutions by Shaun O’Rourke, Green Infrastructure Director, Trust for Public Land
  • Adaptation Resources in Massachusetts by Katie Theoharides, Director of Climate and Global Warming Solutions,MAExecutive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs
  • Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity of Boston Area Trees by Leslie Brandt, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, US Forest Service
  • Adapting Urban Forests to Climate Change: Approaches for Action by Leslie Brandt, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, US Forest Service
  • Assessing Your Community’s Tree Canopy by Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne. Director, University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Laboratory
  • Green Streets Project-Springfield by David Bloniarz, Research Scientist, US Forest Service
  • Greening the Gateway Cities by Bob O’Connor, Director, Division of Conservation Services, MA EEA
  • “As if you were There”: Climate Adaptations in Worcester by Erin Lane, Coordinator, USDA Northeast Climate Hub
  • Examples of Adaptation in the City of Cambridge’s Urban Forest by David Lefcourt, City Arborist and Tree Warden, City of Cambridge
Co-hosts and collaborators

Leslie Brandt - Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science & US Forest Service

Leslie serves as coordinator for the Urban Forestry Climate Change Response Framework. She has led trainings for the general public and urban forestry professionals on climate change impacts and adaptation in the Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia, and Twin Cities regions. She also coordinates the Central Hardwoods Climate Change Response Framework in Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri and is currently involved in a climate assessment for the state of Indiana.