Carolinas Integrative Sciences and Assessments (CISA) - RISA
CISA is a member of NOAA's Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program, which supports climate research for decision-makers and policy planners at a regional level. CISA is committed to improving the range, quality, relevance, and accessibility of climate information for decision-making and resource management in North and South Carolina. CISA's initial research focus areas included water supply and quality modeling, and have more recently turned to climate impacts on public health and coastal communities.
CISA supports North Carolina climate outreach and integration specialists to help engage decision makers and stakeholders in addressing the impacts of climate variability and change on public health, coastal resiliency, and water conservation.
CISA is collaborating with the Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC) to investigate linkages between climate and human health, with respect to heat stress vulnerability and waterborne disease. Working with data from the North Carolina Disease Event Tracking and Epidemiologic Collection Tool (NC DETECT), researchers are developing empirical relationships which can be exploited to build a public health toolbox that translates recent, current, and predicted weather conditions (e.g., temperature and precipitation) across the Carolinas into useful information regarding the probability of public health emergencies. Specific to CISA, the toolbox has been used to investigate vulnerability to heat stress and waterborne disease.
Among other coastal resiliency focused projects, CISA is collaborating with researchers, Sea Grant staff, and community partners from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to conduct and evaluate a participatory process to help local governments build capacity to better visualize, understand, and plan for local coastal hazard risks. The team will use the Vulnerability, Consequences, and Adaptation Planning Scenarios (VCAPS) process to engage with the partner communities, and will also evaluate the effectiveness of VCAPS in supporting different stages of the resilience planning process.
Regarding water resources, CISA is working to improve the understanding of current climate variability and projected future changes in the Carolinas, and provides information to help incorporate climate information into water resources management. As an example, in collaboration with utility representatives in North Carolina, CISA is assessing the raw water supply available to determine its vulnerability to changing climatic conditions. The project focuses on modeling the water system’s response to climate in order to understand its vulnerability to facilitate the consideration of climate change in the utility’s long range planning.
Phone: (803) 777-2482