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.
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Objectives and Activities
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
Integrating researchers and communities through a problem-driven, interactive and transparent approach. MARISA will work closely with community leaders, policymakers, practitioners, and academics, to create useful information and decision-support tools that strengthen the resilience of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and other parts of the region to climate variability and change.
Assessing risks and vulnerabilities
Closing knowledge gaps about climate-related risks and responses across the Mid-Atlantic region. MARISA will 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
Developing planning tools to identify and evaluate adaptive integrated water resources management options. The tools will help to ensure sustainable freshwater availability, ecosystem vitality, and economic prosperity in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and elsewhere in the region.
Educating students and communities
Training graduate and undergraduate students and community members to understand real-world challenges and opportunities in the Mid-Atlantic region. The trainings will equip stakeholders with the skills necessary to assess and address climate risks in the region.
Supporting regional climate assessments
Informing and organizing ongoing national and regional climate assessments through coordination with other regional climate programs.
Evaluating MARISA’s progress and the combined impact of multiple, adjacent regional climate programs. Periodic program-based evaluation will improve planning and operations.
About the NOAA RISA Program
Other NOAA-supported RISA teams include:
- ACCAP: Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy
- CISA: Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments
- CLIMAS: Climate Assessment for the Southwest
- CIRC: Climate Impacts Research Consortium
- CCRUN: Consortium on Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast
- GLISA: Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center
- PIRCA: Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment
- SCIPP: Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program
- WWA: Western Water Assessment
MARISA Principal Investigators
Debra Knopman, Ph.D.
Klaus Keller, Ph.D.
Department of Geosciences
The Pennsylvania State University
MARISA Co-Program Manager for Science and Analysis
Jordan Fischbach, Ph.D.
MARISA Co-Program Manager for Operations and Outreach
MARISA Climate Information Office
Robert Nicholas, Ph.D.
Earth and Environmental Systems Institute
The Pennsylvania State University