e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Resiliency of the Great Lakes to
Climate and Storm Events
A SUNY Conversations in the Disciplines Program
SUNY ESF, Gateway Center, Syracuse NY

May 22, 12:00 (noon) - May 23, 1:00pm

New York’s great lakes ecosystems are entering a period of change. Stressors range from natural events due to potential changes in the climate, changing precipitation patterns, and variations in ice cover, to human-moderated events. Understanding how the ecosystem services provided by the Great Lakes are affected by such changes is a key challenge for climate change scientists, lake ecologists, land use planners and regulatory agencies alike.

The purpose of this conference is to understand how New York’s Great lakes ecosystem (terrestrial, littoral and pelagic) will respond to storm and climate events and to look toward the development of a research agenda. These are truly interdisciplinary questions, requiring scholarly contributions in meteorology, lake ecology, physical limnology, shoreline engineering processes, coastal design and planning of the human environment, as well as the social sciences.

Goals of the Conference:

  • Gather key scholars from SUNY and other institutions to engage in a facilitated interdisciplinary exchange on recent research and advances in understanding the resiliency of the Great Lakes to changing climate and storm events.
  • Provide relevant information to public officials and scientists in order to enhance the planning process.
  • Identify key information gaps in our understanding of the impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes.
  • Identify areas where future research is needed.

Conference Agenda:

A full conference agenda is available for your review.

Plenary Speakers:

  • Timothy Killeen, President , SUNY Research Foundation:
    “NYS 2100 Commission and the Role of SUNY in Setting the Agenda.”
  • Art DeGaetano, Director, Northeast Regional Climate Center, Cornell University:
    “Climaid and Predicting NY State’s Climate Future.”
  • Kathy Bunting-Howarth, Associate Director, New York Sea Grant: 
    “Lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy.”

The plenary session will be followed by a series of breakout sessions by discipline as well as whole group discussions. Our goals are to identify what we know about resiliency to climate change in the Great Lakes, and what the key issues are. We will identify areas of overlap between the disciplines and what information is missing. Session participants will be asked to prioritize what information is needed, identify what other partners might be doing, and begin discussing specific recommendations that can be made regarding the development of a research agenda.

Poster Session:

In an effort to promote networking, all participants are invited to present informational posters describing their work related to an interest in Great Lakes issues. This is a great way to gain exposure for your research and work on the topic. Registration fees for the program will be waived for individuals presenting posters. Posters can be up to 48 inches high by 60 inches wide. Please contact glrc@esf.edu with any questions.


The registration fee for the workshop is $50.00 and covers all breaks and the evening reception. This fee is waived if you will be presenting a poster. Registration is available online at REGISTER. The deadline to register is May 18th. For more information, contact Greg Boyer (glboyer@esf.edu) at 315-470-6825, or Dave White (dgw9@cornell.edu), NYSG at (315) 312-3042.

Hosted by the Great Lakes Research Consortium in association with SUNY-ESF and New York Sea Grant.