Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments

Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (MARISA)

Helping Mid-Atlantic communities become more resilient to a changing climate through improved data, place-based decision support, and public engagement.

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What's New

  • November 30, 2017

    An Ambitious Plan to Stop the Ground from Sinking

    Southern Chesapeake Bay region Hampton Roads is tackling land subsidence, while also mitigating risks of sea level rise, through an innovative water treatment project. Read the story.

  • November 28, 2017

    New Report: Resilience to a Changing Climate in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

    The MARISA team have published a synthesis of stakeholder views on activities related to resilience and adaptation to climate variability and change in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Read the report here.

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About Us

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (MARISA) program was established in September 2016 through a five-year grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). MARISA supports integrated, flexible processes for building adaptive capacity to climate variability and change in diverse settings in the Mid- Atlantic region, with an initial focus on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

MARISA is led by the non-profit RAND Corporation, in partnership with researchers in Penn State University’s Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, and the Environment, Energy, Sustainability and Health Institute at Johns Hopkins University, along with support from researchers in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University.

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. U.S. Department of Commerce
  • RAND Corporation
  • Penn State
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Cornell University

What We Do

MARISA will rely on scientific models and information alongside close interactions with stakeholders and decisionmakers to achieve its objectives.

  • Collaborating and integrating research and outreach

    Work closely with community leaders, policymakers, practitioners, and academics to create information and decision-support tools that strengthen resilience to climate variability and change.

  • Assessing risks and vulnerabilities

    Develop climate data and tools to understand vulnerabilities in diverse contexts, including a comprehensive flood risk assessment for Chesapeake Bay communities.

  • Improving adaptation and planning strategies

    Develop planning tools to help ensure sustainable freshwater availability, ecosystem vitality, and economic prosperity.

  • Educating students and communities

    Train graduate and undergraduate students and community members to understand real-world challenges and opportunities in the Mid-Atlantic region.

  • Supporting regional climate assessments

    Inform and organize national and regional climate assessments through coordination with other regional climate programs.

  • Evaluating progress

    Evaluate MARISA’s progress and the combined impact of multiple, adjacent regional climate programs. Periodic program-based evaluation will improve planning and operations.

Our Team

Lead Principal Investigators

Debra Knopman, PhD

Senior Principal Researcher, RAND Corporation

Klaus Keller

Klaus Keller, PhD

Professor of Geosciences, The Pennsylvania State University

View all project staff and Advisory Committee members

Get in Touch

If you’d like to find out more about our work, upcoming projects, or connect with a member of the MARISA team, get in touch with one of our Co-Program Managers.

Elizabeth Thornton

Co-Program Manager for Operations and Outreach
Policy Analyst, RAND Corporation

Jordan Fischbach

Co-Program Manager for Operations and Outreach
Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation