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Climate (In)Securities
in Great Lakes Communities:
A Critical Conversation

Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 19-20, 2022, University Club, Chicago

For its fourth Critical Conversation, iSEE is bringing together diverse stakeholders for a two-day forum to discuss critical climate (in)securities affecting the Great Lakes region, particularly its vulnerable communities. Academics, industry, government, and nongovernment experts, as well as indigenous group representatives, will provide their perspectives on issues related to physical, social, economic, and environmental (in)securities in the context of a changing climate in the Great Lakes megaregion.

By following the Chatham House rules for conversation, we aim to have an inclusive and engaging discussion on the sources and potential solutions to these climate-driven issues. This multi-stakeholder conversation will seek to inform future research and initiate a collaborative network that will continue to consider multiple perspectives in developing a research agenda geared toward finding actionable solutions. After the two-day event, we aim to develop a high-profile publication that outlines a collaborative vision for a structured research program and innovative research projects that can deliver regional solutions to these critical issues.

Critical Conversations are supported by a gift from the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund, iSEE’s founding benefactor, administered by Joel Friedman and Loretta Namovic. The 2022 Critical Conversation also has received generous funding from the Great Lakes Higher Education Consortium (GLHEC).

Given the binational aspect of the topic, a team consisting of both U.S. and Canadian collaborators is organizing this Critical Conversation. In addition to iSEE staff led by Associate Director Luis Rodríguez, the organizing team includes:

  • Jan Adamowski, Professor of Bioresource Engineering, Director of the Integrated Water Resources Management Program, and Associate Director of the Brace Center for Water Resources Management, McGill University
  • Sierra Chmela, graduate student in Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Jane Gross, graduate student in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • McKenzie Johnson, Assistant Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Praveen Kumar, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Executive Director, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Nicholas Mandrak, Professor of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Mary Pat McGuire, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of The Water Lab, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • R. Michael McKay, Professor of Environment and Executive Director, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor
  • Ashish Sharma, Adjunct Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Research Climatologist, Illinois State Water Survey
  • Process consultant and Facilitator Sarah Fisk, Senior Consultant, Community at Work

The event will include a public keynote on the evening of Sept. 19, followed by a day-long workshop on Sept. 20, where invited participants will tackle the myriad issues of climate (in)securities in the Great Lakes. The Critical Conversation will be hosted at the University Club in Chicago.

COMING SOON: An agenda, plus more information on the keynote speaker, invited panelists and participants, and the venue.