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Special Edition: MCAP Award Winners for 2019

Special Edition:  MCAP Award Winners for 2019

The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) hosted the annual statewide conference last week on January 22nd at the University of Minnesota St Paul Campus.  You can learn more about this conference at the Water Resources Center web site.

Each year MCAP presents awards for outstanding accomplishments in the area of climate adaptation.  The awards cover four categories: Business, Institutional, Organizational, and Individual.

I had the honor to host the Awards Program and I wanted to highlight the wonderful award winners in this special edition of Minnesota WeatherTalk.  You can read more online about the efforts of these people at the MCAP Awards Summary.

In the Business Category we have a wonderful example of collaboration from diverse expertise, as well as deployment of interdisciplinary knowledge and technology that created the first biosolar roof top in Minnesota upon the Guardian Building in downtown St Paul.  The collaborators include the Capitol Region Watershed District (with grant monies), Sustology (consultants in sustainability), AD Greenroof (green roof consultants), (Hanging Gardens a Milwaukee-based green roof consultant), Sundial Solar (solar photovoltaic consultants), and AWH Architects.  The biosolar roof on the Guardian building finished November of last year provides watershed protection, renewable clean energy, reduces the urban heat island, and establishes pollinator habitat.  It will serve as a model for the design and deployment of urban roof technology for years to come.  Craig Wilson and John Greene are here to pick up this award.

In the Institution Category our winner is the 2019 Minnesota State Hazard Mitigation Plan-a collaboration of Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management with the Geospatial Analysis Center of the University of Minnesota-Duluth (U-Spatial).  It is the first statewide Plan of any kind to comprehensively integrate climate change and climate adaptation knowledge and data.  The Plan was adopted in March of 2019 and will be used by counties as a basis for their local hazard mitigation plans, and it will undoubtedly be used by other states our region as model for integrating climate change and adaptation knowledge into their plans for hazard mitigation.
Congratulations and work well done.  Jennifer Nelson from the Department of Public Safety-Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Stacey Stark, Director of Geographic Information Systems Lab at UM-Duluth picked up the award.

For the Organization Category we have a salute to the great work from the partnership of the Mississippi Park Connection and the Science Museum of Minnesota.  They took an idea planted by the MPCA and launched a major effort to establish multiple gravel bed tree nurseries and educate the public about the benefits of using them to grow resilient trees.  A gravel bed nursery gives saplings a head-start on successful transplant as trees show less shock and higher survivability and at a reduce cost over the use of containerized or balled saplings.  6,000 bare root trees were planted along the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, including 300 in an area where they replace ash trees lost to Emerald Ash Borer.  As we journey through climate change in coming years, we must broaden the use of tree canopy cost effectively and especially in the urban environment.  This project has been successful in securing investment for continued efforts in expanding gravel bed tree nurseries well into the future.  Bravo!  Mary Hammes and Pat Hamilton picked up the award.

In the Individual Category the MCAP award goes to a well known and highly respected person known throughout the state as MPR’s chief meteorologist Paul Huttner.  Paul has earned the trust and praise of citizens across the great state of Minnesota for his meteorological expertise, not only to deliver a correct forecast (most of the time), but also for his ability to provide insights and knowledge about what went into the forecast.  But since 2013 Paul has broadened his contributions to MPR in developing “ClimatCast”, a one of a kind weekly program which features knowledge and expertise about our changing climate, its impacts, and how we might adapt to climate changes, and move in the direction of mitigating the future pace of climate change.  He has merged the disciplines of meteorology, climatology, and journalism to bring us all greater knowledge about the issue of climate change and its impacts in our own state, challenging us individually and collectively to think about things we can do to slow the trajectory of change, and make our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren more hopeful.  Paul Huttner received the award and thanked his MPR colleagues.


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