UAlbany hosts conference on climate change, Hurricane Maria

WNYT Staff
Updated: November 18, 2019 12:34 PM
Created: November 18, 2019 12:32 PM

ALBANY – The moment came early Monday. A long, emotional pause from someone who has seen it all when it comes to extreme weather.

"It'll bring you to tears...and it did,” she said after hearing first-hand stories from when Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico in September 2017. And then, after gathering herself adding, “…it'll strengthen your resolve” followed by another pause and a biting of her lip.


It came from what would have otherwise been pointed but general opening statements of a conference on climate change and extreme weather. And it came from Jenni Evans, the head of the American Meteorology Society, Director of the Institute for CyberScience and Professor of Meteorology at Pennsylvania State University.

The three-day international conference at UAlbany called RISE 2019 brought together more than 100 institutions and 400 participants to explore how higher education can strengthen preparation, response and recovery.

"We as institutions of higher education have a moral responsibility and an imperative to understand these situations no matter our best intentions,” said UAlbany Pres. Havidan Rodriguez.

Jorge Haddock-Acevedo, Pres. of the Univ. of Puerto Rico, addressed the crowd at the campus center as well: "I think that it's going to take the universities to do the cutting edge research, it's going to take the private companies obviously to do the commercialization and it's going to take the government to create the infrastructure."

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