Coasts in Crisis, Panel: Risk and Resilience in New England

Panel discussion featuring professionals addressing societal response to rising seas. Panelists are: Pam Rubinoff, associate coastal manager for URI Coastal Resources Center; Elder González Trejo, director of community programs with the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council; Julie Wormser, deputy director of the Mystic River Watershed Association, and the moderator will be Megan Hall, host for The Public’s Radio podcast Possibly.

Panelist: Pam Rubinoff, Coastal Resilience Specialist, URI Coastal Resources Center/RI Sea Grant. For over 30 years, Pam has linked engineering, natural hazards, and coastal management to provide technical assistance to vulnerable communities. Through her leadership she brings the best available science to incorporate science-based risk exposure and reduction practice to into tangible guidance, outreach tools, and community capacity building approaches.

Panelist: Elder González Trejo, who hails from Guatemala, grew up immersed in the rich and diverse culture of Providence. As an inquisitive child with a strong connection to nature he explored the very few green spaces accessible to him, primarily Donigian Park, located right around the corner of his home. Although his pursuit of higher education was no easy feat, many fellow community members, who shared lived-experiences, helped him along the way. In 2014 he traveled abroad to Guatemala to participate in a pro-bono Veterinary mission that aimed to control the feral dog population, in rural communities, in order to reduce the transmission of diseases. He later earned his B.S. in Environmental Science with a focus in Wildlife Conservation and was awarded the Coastal and Environmental Fellowship for his research on the effects of habitat loss and its impact on the declining Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) population. When granted the opportunity to continue his work as a Wildlife Biologist, Elder relocated across the country and settled in CA. He credits his time spent in the Bay Area for his decision to integrate his environmental work with his growing passion for social justice. Since his return, he’s been active in serving his community through his work as a member of the Human Relations Commission of the City of Providence and his role as Community Programs Director for the WRWC.

Panelist: Julie Wormser is the deputy director of the Mystic River Watershed Association and founder of the Resilient Mystic Collaborative.  Since its launch in September 2018, the RMC has grown to include 20 municipalities and has secured over $2.5 million in funding to pursue regional climate preparedness projects.  As Executive Director of The Boston Harbor Association, Wormser was instrumental in drawing attention to Boston’s need to prepare for coastal flooding from extreme storms and sea level rise.  She coauthored Preparing for the Rising Tide and Designing With Water and co-led the Boston Living with Water international design competition with the City of Boston and Boston Society of Architects.  She has a BA in biology from Swarthmore College and an MPA from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. 

Moderator: Megan Hall is the host of Possibly- a weekly podcast and radio segment on The Public’s Radio that dives deep into the field of sustainability science, reporting out what is known, and what we don’t know, about how the environment is changing and what we can do about it. Possibly’s focus is here in our home state of Rhode Island, but the show answers questions that from people all over the country and the world.  Megan Hall has a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and a master’s degree in public health, both from Brown University.

2021 Speaker List