“Big weather” or increasingly larger storms, fires, floods, drought, and heatwaves are stressing our infrastructure, challenging our critical services, and putting our communities at risk. GEI’s climate adaptation experts have the practical tools and solutions to help you protect people, assets, and critical lifeline services. We can help you find the answers to:

  • Which climate risks might jeopardize your priorities?
  • How soon should you prepare?
  • What steps can protect your assets from harsher weather?
  • Do all infrastructure projects need to consider new climate risks?
  • What creative project adjustments can both increase resilience and help secure grant funding?
  • How can you decrease future liability by assessing and preparing for future conditions?

 

We help you understand your risks, prioritize to reduce harm, find the funding you need, and adjust your plans, projects, and procedures to help you thrive, no matter what comes.

 

01.

Expertise

Critical Issues

Weather whiplash – Intensifying Flood/Drought Cycle
Extreme floods and extreme droughts are becoming more common. As we increasingly hear the vocabulary of extreme weather, from atmospheric rivers to ARkstorms, superstorms to Category 5 hurricanes, bomb cyclones to exceptional droughts, our clients face issues in:

  • Flood modeling and prevention
  • Dam safety
  • Drought management
  • Groundwater recharge
  • Multihazard planning

Sea Level Rise
Marine waters along the U.S. coast are expected to rise, on average, 10-12 inches in the next 30 years, reshaping our coastlines, challenging our estuaries, and profoundly increasing flooding in our coastal communities. Our clients are looking for answers in areas related to:

  • Coastal erosion
  • Wave and flood management
  • Salinity encroachment
  • Resilient relocation

Extreme Wildfire
Eight of the largest twenty fires in California history occurred in 2020 and 2021; sixteen of the largest twenty occurred in the last twenty years. In the depths of winter, December 30, 2021, wildfires near Denver, Colorado forced 35,000 people from their homes. The Western US is dealing with fires that burn hotter, faster, and fiercer than our communities were built to withstand. Technical issues include:

  • Wildfire risk prediction and risk reduction
  • Wildfire ecology
  • Fire-smart policies and planning
  • Post-fire recovery and rebuild
  • Post-fire debris flow modeling and risk reduction

Extreme Heat
The hottest  seven years on record have occurred since 2015.  In 2021, twenty-five countries set heat records. In a June 2021 heat dome event, Portland, Oregon power cables melted in the heat. Our infrastructure is not alone in vulnerability: extreme heat kills spawning fish and growing crops, spawns toxic algae in our waters, and stretches our health care systems to breaking. From ecology to infrastructure, our clients need help with:

  • Heat projections and heat island mapping
  • Climate-smart ecological restoration
  • Heat-resilient infrastructure
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Habitat migration

Climate Equity
Too often, those with the fewest resources face the highest climate risks. Resilient solutions can support vulnerable populations and improve the well-being of everyone, not just those with means. To make this a reality, projects must consider:

  • Equity-focused risk analysis
  • Equity-based outreach
  • Equity-focused solutions
  • Deep consideration of both unintended consequences, and multi-benefit solutions.

Ecological and Environmental Specialties

02.

Services

Our Services

GEI goes well beyond the basics of modeling and design, bringing the critical extras that lead to project success.

GEI’s climate services can inform every step of a project lifecycle. We help you understand what’s at stake, and how to protect what matters most.

Vulnerability Analysis

We help you understand which of your assets, people, or services might be harmed by large weather.

Vulnerability Summaries
We avoid analysis paralysis by summarizing existing, appropriate climate threat risks, and assessing which of your critical system components may be threatened.

Climate Modeling and Forecasting
When existing data is not adequate, we have the knowledge and capacity to model.

 

For inquiries about work in a specific region please contact:

West: Rebecca Verity and Kwabena Asante

East: Russell Titmuss

South: Elizabeth Savage

Central: Cam Davis

Risk Assessments

We help you understand the larger risks to your business or community if a vulnerable asset fails.

Lifeline-based Risk Analyses
When big weather hits, the impacts can be broad, unexpected, and impactful. We use FEMA’s 7 community lifelines as a baseline to assess how climate threats may impact your business’s or community’s (1) Safety & security; (2) Food, water, and shelter; (3) Health & medical access; (4) Energy & fuel availability; (5) Communications; (6) Transportation; and (7) Hazardous materials. We walk through the cascading impacts of each potential failure on your top priorities, to help highlight areas that most need additional redundancy, resilience, collaboration, or other adaptation to safeguard your bottom line.

Cost/Benefit and Feasibility Analyses
Choosing the best approach for climate adaptation depend on clear understanding of options, costs, and feasibility. We are skilled in every level of cost/benefit and feasibility analyses, from very simple, to complex state- and federal-required processes.

For inquiries about work in a specific region please contact:

West: Rebecca Verity and Kwabena Asante

South: Elizabeth Savage

Central: Cam Davis

Adaptation and Resilience Planning

We create opportunities to help you thrive no matter what comes.

Some of our many climate planning documents include: Regional Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plans, Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plans, Climate and Transportation Plans, Drought Management Plans, Urban Water Management Plans, and Wildfire Resilience Plans.

For inquiries about work in a specific region please contact:

 

 

West: Rebecca Verity and Kwabena Asante

East and Canada: Shelley Hazen

South: Elizabeth Savage

Central: Cam Davis

 

Implementation

Our designs and build projects seamlessly incorporate climate planning for stronger outcomes, every time. From coastal engineering and waterfront planning to transportation, and dams to groundwater,  incorporating our climate adaptation services into your project will improve your bottom line.

Infrastructure Engineering, Design, Build
We work with communities, cities, and agencies to plan, engineer and construct infrastructure that meets the challenges of an ever-changing environment. Our clients include municipal, transportation, power, communications, water supply, ports and marinas, and industrial.

Water Supply, Storage, Conveyance, and Management
We work with water agencies, state, local and federal governments, developers, utilities, and industry to effectively plan, design, engineer, and construct projects that meet the challenges of an ever-changing environment.

Local Administrative Tools
The quickest way to support local implementation of adaptation is through adoption of local policy, stricter codes, and higher standards. Our team assists local, state and federal agencies implement these changes – developing policies, guidance and manuals to strengthen local development activities.

Capability And Capacity Building
We understand the climate learning curve can be steep. We provide training and support at all levels to meet our clients where they are, identify a path to where they want to be and assist in developing client staff whenever possible. We take the time to understand the needs of our clients and partner with them to create a better tomorrow.

For inquiries about work in a specific region please contact:

West: Rebecca Verity and Kwabena Asante

East: Michael Koontz

South: Elizabeth Savage

Central: Cam Davis

Full Project Lifecycle Services

GEI’s climate adaptation team knows that great projects require great collaboration, solid funding, and stakeholder buy in. We go well beyond the basics of modeling and design, bringing the critical extras that lead to project success. Our full lifecycle services include: grant identification and preparation to bring critical project funds; stakeholder outreach and engagement, with diversity and equity inclusion, to build community support; policy research and development, and training and facilitation, to pave a path forward.

For inquiries about work in a specific region please contact:

West/United States: Rebecca Verity


SEE ALL
Meet the Team

Rebecca Verity, M.S., M.S.

Senior Climate Advisor/Climate Adaptation Practice Leader

Kwabena Asante, Ph.D., P.E.

Senior Hydrologist, Climate Science Lead

Cameron Davis, J.D.

Vice President

Shelley Hazen, M.A., B. Envs.

Climate Change Specialist

Elizabeth Savage

Senior Professional, Water Resource Practice Lead

Denise Jurich GEI

Denise M. Jurich, R.P.A.

Senior Archaeologist/Project Manager

Sarah B. Skigen-Caird

Ecology Division Manager/Senior Environmental Scientist

Ryan Jolley

Senior Environmental Practice Leader, CEQA | NEPA | Environmental Compliance

Jennifer Williamson Burt, Ph.D.

Senior Restoration Ecologist

Michael Yako, P.E.

Nicholas A. Tomera

Senior Professional

Matthew Powers, P.E.

Senior Engineer/Project Manager

Chad Masching, P.E.

Leonard Sansone, P.E., G.E.

Principal Geotechnical Engineer

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