Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

NC CASC Webinar Series

The Challenge of Planning for Extremes in Natural and Cultural Resources

Presented by Dr. William R. Travis, North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center and Dept. of Geography, University of Colorado Boulder

Register in advance for this meeting:

Resource systems in our region and beyond seem to be awash in extreme weather and climate events, mega-drought in the Colorado River Basin, floods in Yellowstone and Death Valley, “heat domes”, “flash droughts,” and wildfire conditions that defy even the most carefully planned and conducted prescribed burns. Extreme events pose a number of distinct challenges to resources planning and management, starting with the analytical effort needed to assess and detect their physical characteristics (frequency, magnitude, etc.), evaluate the threat they pose to natural and cultural resources, their likely evolution in a changing climate, and how to configure these insights into management plans. Managers know that “unexpected” conditions may arise, surprises are likely, and they cope and adapt plans in various ways. The toolkit for dealing with extremes might benefit from lessons from other fields, ranging from aviation to nuclear safety, disaster analysis and reduction, and we will examine some of these approaches, but also apply the most common strategy of all: drawing lessons from recent cases. Webinar participants are encouraged to have a case of extreme conditions or surprising system behavior in mind to offer for discussion.


Thursday, September 8, 2022
11:00 am to 12:00 pm




  • CIRES employees
  • CU Boulder employees


  • Seminar