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Nearly 200 Years—Learn More About Norwich

Building Resilient Communities through Interdisciplinary Research and Design Collaboration

Tara Kulkarni, PhD, PE

2019 Resilient Vermont Conference


Linking Resilient
Land, Water, Energy, and People


The 2019 Resilient Vermont Conference
Norwich University, Friday and Saturday, June 7–8, 2019


Come to the 2019 Resilient Vermont Conference and help build lasting solutions for a stronger and more resilient state for all Vermonters. This interactive event brings together Vermont leaders, community members, planners, agencies, municipal officials, nonprofits, funders, and more. Join us for two full days of inspiring talks, deep discussions, success stories, and new tools to build more resilient land, water, energy, people, and community.

  • Friday is geared toward professionals, with an emphasis on defining the challenges and promising statewide approaches, emerging tools and strategies tools, case studies of what’s working on the ground, and a “hazard hackathon,” a chance to put heads together and create solutions on the spot.
  • Saturday is Community Day, geared toward community organizers and local resilience groups. Join us for The Extreme Event Game—an inspiring role-playing simulation—plus practical sessions on leadership development, project funding, and community outreach. Community Day also includes a resilience fair and resilient-youth keynote and performance.

Check back soon for a full developing schedule. 
In the meantime, please check out our growing roster of conference participants
and peruse some conference highlights, below, for an overview of what's to come.

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Ed Thomas is an expert on working with communities and people to help prevent foreseeable processes of nature becoming disasters. He has worked on recovery operations for over 200 disasters, assisting individuals, businesses, farms, and communities to carefully craft acceptable efforts to recover as quickly as possible, while striving to relocate damaged properties and develop environmentally acceptable solutions. Ed, a widely published author and frequent lecturer, is the president emeritus of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association. He is an elected fellow of the American Bar Association (ABA) Foundation, and a member of the ABA Disaster Response and Preparedness Committee and the ABA State and Local Government Law Section’s Resilience Task Force. In addition, Ed serves on the Steering Committee of the Climigration Network and Advisory Committee of the Natural Hazards Center of the University of Colorado. He is a member of the National Institute of Building Sciences, and the Association of State Wetland Managers. He also serves as the senior legal liaison to the Association of State Floodplain Manager’s No Adverse Impact Committee. During his career at HUD and FEMA, Ed served as the president’s representative and the federal coordinating officer. He manages a private practice of Law, Edward A. Thomas Esq., LLC and lives with his wife in the floodplain of beautiful Marina Bay Massachusetts.


The world is changing quickly, and Vermont is working hard to keep up. What are the hazards and challenges facing our environment and natural resources, our communities, and our infrastructure and utilities? Join our top agency leaders for a glimpse into how the State of Vermont is prioritizing and tackling climate adaptation and resilience.

Julie Moore is the secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), the state agency with primary responsibility for protecting and sustaining Vermont’s environment, natural resources, wildlife and forests, and for maintaining Vermont’s beloved state parks. Moore was named to that position by Governor Phil Scott in January 2017. As ANR secretary, Moore shapes Vermont’s environmental agenda, focusing on water quality, the forest economy, and the importance of conservation. She currently serves on the boards of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center. She earned a BS in civil engineering, cum laude, from the University at Buffalo and an MS in environmental science and policy from the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. She is a registered professional engineer in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Erica Bornemann was appointed director of Vermont Emergency Management in January 2017. She has been a member of VEM since 2007 in various roles, including chief of staff, Planning Section chief, and emergency management planner. Bornemann currently serves as U.S. co-chair of the International Emergency Manager’s Group and Preparedness Committee chair of the National Emergency Manager’s Association, and is an appointee to the Emergency Management Accreditation Program Commission. Bornemann holds a BA in political science from Western New England College and a Master of Public Administration from Norwich. She lives in Morrisville, Vt., with her husband and two sons.

J. Riley Allen is the deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service. Allen’s work encompasses a focus on rate design, alternatives to traditional rate-of-return regulation, and long-range planning efforts by distribution utilities. Allen formerly served as global research manager at the Regulatory Assistance Project, senior policy advisor to the Vermont Public Service Board, and planning director for the Vermont Department of Public Service. Allen holds an MA in economics from the University of Virginia and a BA from the University of Florida.

Representative Amy Sheldon of Middlebury, Vt., holds a BA in economics from Middlebury College and an MS in Natural Resource Planning from the University of Vermont. She is a consulting Natural Resource Planner and River Scientist at Landslide Natural Resource Planning, Inc. Amy is also a senior faculty member at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), based in Lander, Wyo. Amy served on the Middlebury Planning Commission for ten years, on the District 9 Environmental Board for Act 250, and on the Board of the Middlebury Area Land Trust before being elected to the Vermont House in 2014. In her first biennium in office, she served on the Fish, Wildlife and Water Committee.


Have you got what it takes to find solutions to our greatest hazards? We’ll put the RVT brains to work in our first-ever hazard Hackathon. You’ll have one hour to join up with a group of conference attendees to come up with a real solution to a real resilience problem.


Choose from concurrent sessions in four tracks: Land, Water, Energy, and People. These fast-paced sessions will include top speakers from state agencies, municipalities and non-profits, consultants and more. Learn what’s new in each topic area and where our policies need to go, find out about cutting edge strategies and best practices, dive into discussions about how to solve resilience challenges, and apply these ideas in your work.


End the day with a field session. Take a tour of a local farm, check out Northfield’s Dog River mitigation projects, and look at practical energy solutions.


Community Day
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Resilient Youth

Guest keynote speaker Raquel Mattos is a 15-year-old Latina freshman from Essex High School. She loves to be involved in rallies for immigrant justice and other important problems such as climate change and women's rights. Raquel is extremely excited to speak at this conference and she cannot wait to share her ideas and thoughts. 

PERFORMANCE: Burlington High School Dance Team

A celebration of youth active in resilience.


Do you have what it takes to build a resilient community? Start the day by diving into this simulation game. Work in teams to plan for resilience and respond to challenges on the fly.


Choose an in-depth training that will help you build resilience on the ground: local leadership, funding and grant-writing, and community outreach and marketing.


Close the day by exploring stations and booths with a range of fun resilience resources.


Watch this page and sign up to receive conference news. We’ll be posting full session descriptions and schedules, speaker bios, and additional features soon.


Registration ends June 1, 2019. Register today.


Join us as a sponsor and support Resilient Vermont, while showcasing your work and organization.


Tara Kulkarni
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director, Center for Global Resilience and Security
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This event is brought to you by the Resilient Vermont Network coordinated by the Norwich University Center for Global Resilience and Security with funding by the High Meadows Fund (Vermont Community Foundation).

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