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UAlbany Hosts National Conference to Explore the Power of Higher Education in Pre- and Post-Disaster Environments

'RISE 2019' Will Bring Together Educators, Industry and Government Leaders for Three-Day Event in November.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 29, 2019) — UAlbany, in partnership with the University of Puerto Rico, National Institute for Energy and Island Sustainability (INESI), and National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), are convening a national conference, “RISE 2019: Transforming University Engagement in Pre- and Post-Disaster Environments: Lessons from Puerto Rico,” to be held on the Uptown Campus from Nov. 18-20.

RISE stands for “Resilience In Sustainable Reconstruction.” The conference is designed to explore ways that higher education institutions can strengthen disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts in an era of increasingly extreme weather caused by climate change.

“Increasingly frequent extreme weather associated with global climate change is arguably the most serious challenge facing society today. As leaders in higher education, we must think more holistically about our role in the future of disaster preparation, response and recovery,” said UAlbany President Havidán Rodríguez. “As the host of RISE 2019, UAlbany is proud to set the scenario for a national conversation that looks to transform university-community engagement in pre- and post-disaster environments, and strengthen resiliency.”

The concept for RISE grew out of the experiences of universities and colleges nationwide after Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico in 2017. The storm killed nearly 3,000 people and caused $90 billion in damage. Under the leadership and guidance of Governor Cuomo’s New York Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative, more than 1,000 volunteers from SUNY and CUNY were deployed to the island to provide humanitarian relief.

November's conference will bring together more than 90 institutions of higher education. It will feature panel discussions, roundtables, workshops and keynote addresses led by university and college presidents, scholars, community leaders and governmental officials.

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson and CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez jointly announced conference details earlier this month.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than
120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.