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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  • April 29, 2019

    Responding to the Risk of Extreme Heat in New York City

    RAND’s Jaime Madrigano, working with the Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN), partnered with the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and others to develop a heat vulnerability index (HVI) for NYC and address the impacts of extreme heat on city residents. The HVI informed many of the initiatives in Cool Neighborhoods NYC, the mayor’s plan to protect against the worst effects of rising temperatures from climate change. Watch a video on the project or read the report.

  • March 27, 2018

    Adapting to Sea Level Rise in Rural Coastal Communities

    What are the effects of sea level rise on rural coastal communities? And as sea level rises, how will coastal communities adapt to the growing challenge of marsh migration and increased flood frequency? MARISA scientists Pamela Braff and Carl Hershner spoke to the Daily Press about the impacts of recurrent flooding and sea level rise on roads and buildings in coastal localities. Read the article.

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MARISA Releases

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, k0206

Debra Knopman, PhD

Senior Principal Researcher, RAND Corporation

Klaus Keller, PhD

Professor of Geosciences, The Pennsylvania State University

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Get in Touch

If you’d like to find out more about our work or upcoming projects, get in touch with our program manager.

Krista Romita Grocholski

Krista Romita Grocholski, PhD

MARISA Program Manager
Associate Physical Scientist, RAND Corporation