An Institutional Review

In June, IRI hosted its first-ever review with its International Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee. Staff presented the IRI’s vision for growth as well as highlights of the institution’s work, supported by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for 15 years, to use advances in climate science to address societally relevant problems.

IRI staff at review. Photo: Francesco Fiondella

IRI staff at review. Photo: Francesco Fiondella

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) was created to advance the use of climate information and applications tools in risk management and planning in developing countries. On June 24 and 25, the IRI hosted its first-ever institutional review with its International Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (ISTAC) at Columbia University. The role of the ISTAC is to advise the Board of Overseers and the Director of IRI on relevant issues of science and technology.

The IRI review included members of the ISTAC, as well as external advisors from international research and humanitarian organizations, development banks and various US agencies and universities. Leadership from the Earth Institute and other Columbia University-affiliated centers also attended. Director Lisa Goddard and other staff presented on the IRI’s vision for growth as well as highlights of the institution’s work, which has been supported by NOAA for 15 years, in using advances in climate science to address societally relevant problems.

Audience members heard presentations about IRI’s latest climate and prediction research, and also learned about the institute’s training activities, its work on index insurance design and implementation, its support of international climate services, and its efforts to address data poverty, food insecurity, climate-related epidemics, humanitarian disasters and wildfires. The presentations underscored IRI’s focus on building long-lasting collaborations on the ground at all scales, from local to international.

The review concluded with an open Q&A and follow up discussion, led by ISTAC Chair Dr. Edward Sarachik. The advisory group is expected to issue its report by later this month. For additional information, please contact Lisa Vaughan at the NOAA Climate Program Office at 301-734-1266..

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