RISE 2019 Conference, November 18-20, 2019

Transforming University Engagement in Pre- and Post-Disaster Environments: Lessons from Puerto Rico


Join us for a three day series of workshops that will explore how institutions of higher education can strengthen preparedness, response, and recovery efforts in the face of growing threats posed by a changing climate and extreme weather. Sessions are designed to deliver a set of actionable outcomes to build a national platform. 

Led by over 20 universities and colleges nationwide, along with the National Council for Science and the Environment, the RISE 2019 Conference will develop an integrated framework for higher education in pre- and post-disaster environments, using Puerto Rico as a case study.

Development of this conference began in the wake of Hurricane María (2017). It was one of the deadliest disasters that Puerto Rico, home to 3.3 million U.S. citizens, has experienced on record, leading to nearly 3,000 deaths and $90 billion in insured property loss.

In the storm’s aftermath, more than thirty universities traveled to Puerto Rico with the purpose of pursuing quick response research, service-learning, student exchange and humanitarian relief. These efforts focused on disaster response, recovery and resiliency endeavors to help communities in need, while advancing critical research. But they also highlighted challenges, such as the university-community relationship, where significant improvement is not only possible, but also urgent.

RISE 2019 will create a national conversation to help institutions of higher education strengthen preparedness, response and recovery efforts, and in so doing, improve the well-being of communities vulnerable to climate change and weather extremes – arguably the most serious challenge our global society is facing today.


University leaders, faculty scholars and researchers, professional staff and students across a range of disciplines spanning the sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences; as well as key partners from local, state and federal government, first responders, utilities, planners, and non-profits. 


The State University of New York (SUNY), the City University of New York (CUNY), Universidad de Puerto Rico, University at Albany, University at Buffalo, Binghamton University, Stony Brook University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Maritime, the National Council for Science and the Environment, and Pontificia Católica de Puerto Rico.


University at Albany
State University of New York
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222



To register and reserve your spot at RISE 2019, go to:


Price Last Date to Register
Advance Rate $199  November 17, 2019
On Site $249  November 18, 2019
*If you're a student, you will need to register at least one day before the event in order to get your FREE general admission ticket.
Price Last Date to Register
Advance Rate $35 Per Night  November 17, 2019
On Site $35 Per Night  November 18, 2019