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During a Special Session on July 16, 2009, the Hawaii State Legislature enacted Act 20 (Senate Bill No. 266, SD2, HD2, CD1), which establishes a Climate Change Task Force within the Office of Planning to assess the impacts of global climate change trends in the State. The objectives of the task force are to: 1) Scope the current and potential impacts of climate change on the people, natural resources, and the economy of the State; 2) Scope the potential impacts of rising ocean levels as a result of climate change on the people, natural resources, and the economy of the State; 3) Estimate the costs to the State of the adverse effects associated with climate change and rising sea levels; and 4) Make recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor on measures that would address near- and long-term effects of climate change. In order to provide the background necessary to support this effort, the presentation will cover the objectives, appropriations, membership, and current challenges of the Climate Change Task Force. In addition, the speakers will explain a few of the mitigation and other adaptation efforts occurring simultaneously in the State.

Speaker Bios

Marnie Meyer

Marnie Meyer is a Planning and Policy Analyst with the State of Hawaii’s Office of Planning, Coastal Zone Management Program where she serves as the coordinator for the implementation and further development of the state’s Ocean Resources Management Plan (ORMP). Ms. Meyer also serves as the Chair of the ORMP Working Group’s Climate Change Caucus. Previous to working for Hawaii CZM, Ms. Meyer worked for NOAA’s National Marine Protected Areas Center and National Ocean Service Special Projects Office as a marine managed areas specialist. Ms. Meyer received a Bachelor of Science in Earth Systems Science and Policy, with a concentration in Marine and Coastal Ecology, from the California State University at Monterey Bay, and a Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington.

Melissa Iwamato
Melissa Iwamoto is a planner for the Hawaii Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program within the State Office of Planning where she spearheads the further development of the Hawaii Ocean Resources Management Plan (ORMP) through the program’s Community-Based Resource Management project. At the Hawaii CZM Program, Ms. Iwamoto pursues her passion of incorporating local knowledge and place-based values and strategies to strengthen the State’s approach to natural and cultural resource management and to help build resilient communities. Due to a recently-embraced sense of urgency related to climate change impacts in Hawaii, Ms. Iwamoto also assists with CZM’s fledgling efforts toward climate change adaptation and planning. Ms. Iwamoto remains a social science researcher for various research endeavors related to the social, cultural, and economic importance of Hawaii’s natural and cultural resources and their effective management. In 2004, Ms. Iwamoto was a member of a research team designed by the USDA Forest Service to investigate the impacts of Typhoon Sudal in Yap State of the Federated States of Micronesia. Ms. Iwamoto examined areas of vulnerability, resilience, and recovery through the perceptions of the local population. Prior to moving to Hawaii in 2003, Ms. Iwamoto was a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Yap where she served as a coastal management specialist for the Yap State Marine Resources Management Division. Ms. Iwamoto holds a Master of Arts in Geography with a specialization in coastal tropical resources from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Bachelor of Arts in Geology from DePauw University. Ms. Iwamoto was honored as the 2006-2007 academic year recipient of the Norman Meller Research Award for the most outstanding master’s thesis written by a UH Manoa student and focusing on the Pacific Islands from a social science or humanities perspective.

Funding provided by the Climate Program Office, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration to the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.
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