The Regional Integrated Science and Assessments (RISA) Program resides in the Climate Program Office’s (CPO) Climate and Societal Interactions Division (CSI). CSI has traditionally been a home for high-impact science, catalyzing some of the earliest U.S. government investments in regionally scaled, societally relevant, interdisciplinary climate research and engagement focused on reducing vulnerability and risk through the use of climate knowledge and information. Today, CSI continues to work with partners to enhance community and national resilience in the face of climatic changes, through human-centered research and engagement activities designed to connect innovative science directly to complex and dynamic preparedness, adaptation, and resilience challenges. Programs managed by CSI are a key component of NOAA’s cutting-edge research enterprise, which has evolved over time to include the private sector, NGOs, interdisciplinary teams and the social sciences at large. Moving forward, the CSI Division is reorganizing to include the new Adaptation Science Program (AdSci) as well as continuing to support the RISA Program, in order to streamline, expand, and build upon past investments, and address emerging topics in adaptation science—a critical cornerstone to a more resilient future.
The RISA program builds relationships that help local decision makers and researchers collaborate on adapting to climate change. Through regionally-focused and interdisciplinary research and engagement teams, RISA expands the Nation's capacity to adapt and become resilient to extreme weather events and climate change. RISA teams accomplish this through applied and co-developed research and partnerships with communities. A central tenet of the RISA program is that learning about climate adaptation and resilience is facilitated by and sustained across a wide range of experts, practitioners, and the public. As such, the RISA program supports a network of people, prioritizing wide participation in learning by doing, learning through adapting, and managing risk with uncertain information.
Early decades of the program focused on understanding the use of climate information at regional scales (e.g., through experimental seasonal outlooks), improving predictions and scenarios, building capacity for drought early warning, and advancing the science of climate impact assessments. Much of this work is now the focus of other federal programs. More recently, emphasis has shifted to address the growing urgency to advance approaches that tackle the complex societal issues surrounding adaptation planning, implementation, and building community resilience that incorporate the intersection of multiple natural hazards and social stressors. To do so, RISA continues to prioritize collaborative approaches that incorporate multiple knowledge sources and integrate social, physical, and natural science, resulting in longterm support of and increased capacity for communities. In addition, RISA supports cutting-edge social science on the impacts of climate change on communities, challenges and opportunities for adaptation, and inclusive methods of engagement. As the adaptation community in the United States advances and evolves, RISA seeks to support new creative, solution-oriented approaches that are both responsive to communities and that integrate across silos of scientific knowledge and expertise.
The RISA program encourages applicants and awardees to support the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion when writing their proposals and while performing their work. Ensuring justice and equity means paying particular attention to populations most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which are often low-income communities, historically marginalized communities, indigenous and tribal communities, those already overburdened by pollution, those who lack economic or social opportunity, and people facing disenfranchisement. Diversity here is defined as a collection of individual attributes that together help organizations achieve objectives. Inclusion is defined as a culture that connects each person to the larger organizing structure. Promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion improves the creativity, productivity, and vitality of the communities in which the program engages.
- Letters of Intent: Oct. 19, 2021
- Full applications: Jan. 11, 2022