Pre-conference Webinars

Friday, June 16, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

Pastoral Follies and Lived Wisdom

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All webinars are free and open to the public with registration.

Aviva Rahmani's international career includes public art, museum & gallery exhibits and publications. Her work has been written about & awarded numerous grants & fellowships. In 2022 she authored "Divining Chaos; The Autobiography Of An Idea" and co-edited "Ecoart in Action; Activities, Case Studies, and Provocations for Classrooms and Communities." Her ecoart projects include Ghost Nets (1990-2000) & The Blued Trees project (2015 - present), installed & copyrighted to challenge eminent domain takings by natural gas corporations across North America, culminating with an injunction in a 2018 mock trial produced by A Blade Of Grass. Rahmani holds a PhD in environmental sciences, technology & studio art from Plymouth University, UK and a GIS certificate from Lehman College. She received her MFA and BFA from CalArts.

Independent curator M. Charlene Stevens earned a BA in Art History at the University of CA, Los Angeles (UCLA), studied Art Education & photography at CA State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) and Film & Photographic Studies at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. In 2016 she founded a digital art publication, Arcade Project and in 2020 launched a contemporary art gallery, Arcade Project Curatorial. Her curatorial projects include Dark Meat, a series of mixed media works on paper by Elizabeth Axtman at Satellite Art Show, Austin SXSW, 2019, TwistedTwins–XXY, an installation by Eva Mueller, at Satellite Art Show, Brooklyn, in 2019. In 2020 Ms. Stevens curated Gay Guerrilla: New Conversations in Queer Abstraction, an online group exhibition inspired by composer Julius Eastman & Rainbow Country, a solo exhibition of works on paper by Kevin Darmanie at Paradice Palase, Brooklyn. In 2021 she co-curated CURRENT|UNDERCURRENT with Linda Griggs at the University of Massachusetts’ Hampden Gallery in Amherst. She is a contributing writer for Hyperallergic & Foam magazines and has been featured in Forbes, Artnet News, Craft & Grit & Bedford + Bowery.

Noah Gotlib is an architectural designer and researcher based in London, UK. He studied architecture at TMU (formerly Ryerson University) in Toronto, Canada, and the Architectural Association in London, where he gained his M.Arch and AA Diploma with distinction. In 2022, he returned to the AA to teach in its undergraduate design studios. Noah has worked for a number of international practices in the UK and Canada, including Vogt, Alison Brooks Architects, and PARTISANS.


Wednesday, June 14, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Beyond Federally-Funded Buyouts – Local Policies, Tools and Funding Streams

Video from this event will be posted shortly.

While federal resources are critical for providing relocation support to thousands of people living in the U.S., national policies and programs are falling short in addressing the urgency, scale, and complexity of climate-driven displacement. When it comes to buyouts and property acquisitions, accessing federal funds poses significant challenges. Restrictive requirements and lengthy bureaucratic processes can hinder local governments from developing compassionate and locally-responsive programs that prioritize community needs. To overcome these hurdles, local governments can leverage local funding sources to reduce their reliance on federal disaster dollars. By diversifying funding sources, local governments can not only expand relocation assistance beyond individual home buyouts, but also align their programs with local values and broader resilience goals.

Join us for an engaging conversation as we explore innovative approaches and tools for local governments and communities to overcome equity and implementation challenges associated with federal disaster resources. In this webinar, moderated by Urban Ocean Lab (UOL), our panel of experts, including representatives from local governments and nonprofits, will share valuable insights from their experiences on leveraging local funding sources for more just and holistic approaches to climate-driven relocation. 

This virtual panel is presented by Urban Ocean Lab, in partnership with Columbia University's Climate School as part of the 2023 conference At What Point Managed Retreat?: Habitability and Mobility in an Era of Climate Change.

Moderator: Erica Asinas, Policy Advisor at Urban Ocean Lab 


  • Brendan Shane, Climate Director at Trust for Public Land
  • Louise Yeung, Chief Climate Officer at the New York City Comptroller Office 
  • Johanna Lovecchio, Associate Director of the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes at Columbia University
  • Tim Trautman, Flood Mitigation Program Manager at Charlotte-Mecklenburg County 

About Urban Ocean LabUrban Ocean Lab is a think tank that cultivates rigorous, creative, equitable, and practical climate and ocean policy for the future of coastal cities.