New York State webinar series will feature pair of UB climate change experts

Graphic depicting climate change.

Release Date: April 17, 2023

Susan Clark, PhD.

Susan Clark, PhD

Nicholas Rajkovich, PhD, associate professor of architecture.

Nicholas Rajkovich, PhD

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Two University at Buffalo climate change experts will be participating in a public webinar series on extreme heat and climate change in New York State.

Extreme heat, a leading cause of death among hazardous weather events in the United States, affects the health and well-being of communities and individuals across New York State. The impacts of extreme heat are more severe due to climate change, with disproportionately greater impacts experienced by heat-vulnerable populations, urban areas, and disadvantaged communities.

As part of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s 2022 State of the State directive and interim recommendations, work is underway to help New Yorkers and communities better understand and prepare for the impacts of extreme heat, including opportunities to learn about solutions for adapting to and forming partnerships to address extreme heat.

The series is part of the ongoing development by both the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) of an extreme heat action plan in response to the increased frequency and intensity of extreme heat events.

DEC and NYSERDA started convening the Extreme Heat Action Plan Work Group last year. The work group includes more than 20 State agencies working together on immediate steps to address the dangers of extreme heat.

The webinar series, hosted by DEC and NYSERDA in conjunction with the Extreme Heat Action Plan Work Group and University at Buffalo, will include presentations by a panel of subject matter experts on topics relevant to State and local planning for extreme heat events.

Registration is encouraged and available online. Each webinar will be recorded and shared on the DEC’s website.

The first webinar is from 2-4 p.m. April 27 and will focus on extreme heat and the built environment. It will be moderated by Susan Clark, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Environment and Sustainability in UB’s College of Arts and Sciences.  Panelists include Nicholas Rajkovich, PhD, associate professor of architecture in the School of Architecture and Planning.

This webinar will discuss how extreme heat impacts everything from buildings to transportation infrastructure, and some of the interventions being employed to mitigate these impacts.

Rajkovich will serve as moderator for the second webinar, scheduled for 2-4 p.m. May 18, which will explore the impacts of extreme heat across New York State’s diverse geographies and communities, including urban heat islands, rural and suburban communities and workers. This webinar will also explain how extreme heat affects the housing, energy and agricultural sectors.

Clark’s research focuses on the sustainability and resilience of critical infrastructure to climate change, including water, energy and transportation systems. Among other topics, she has investigated the social burden of power outages caused by natural disasters and other extreme events.

Rajkovich conducts research at the intersection of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and adaptation to climate change in buildings and in Great Lakes communities. His work focuses in part on strategies for making cities and buildings — ranging from homes and apartments to office and commercial spaces — more efficient and resilient to extreme weather events.

Media Contact Information

David J. Hill
Director of Media Relations
Public Health, Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning, Sustainability
Tel: 716-645-4651