Our Story

Adaptation International was founded in 2010 from a desire to help communities look to the future and become more climate resilient. Our founders had experience working with a variety of communities and realized that even as more and more communities and organizations have the desire to address the issue of climate change, they do not have the time, skills, knowledge, or resources to make the necessary changes. Now, more than ever, what they need is a flexible, dynamic, experienced, and energetic company to work alongside them in these efforts. We don't do everything environmental, but we do climate change adaptation really well and look forward to working with you.  

Founders

Alexander (Sascha) Petersen

Sascha has been working specifically on climate change for more than 12 years.  He was the first managing director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, a Lead Author for the Great Plains Region of the National Climate Assessment (2014) and the Pacific Northwest Region of the forthcoming National Climate Assessment. He has worked with both climate scientists and municipal governments and focuses on bridging the gaps between climate change science, policy, and action. 

As a research scientist with Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, NOAA’s first Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program, he helped develop regionally specific projections for sea-level rise in Washington State. He has built on that experience in collaborations with the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, the North Olympic Peninsula, Island County, and Washington Sea Grant to develop probabilistic sea level rise projects across the region. 

Sascha has direct experience with local governments and Tribal communities. He is helping communities from ranging from the Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation in Idaho and the Washoe Tribe in California to the City of Boulder and The City of San Antonio build climate resilience. Before starting Adaptation International, he led the City of Austin's adaptation efforts through his participation in a Climate Resilient Communities advisory group for ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability and has worked with a number of tribal communities and multi-tribal organizations to assess climate vulnerability and develop adaptation plans.

Sascha has a Bachelor's degree in physics from Pomona College and a Master's degree focusing on climate change science and policy from the University of Washington. Prior to working on climate change, he trained astronauts at the Johnson Space Center. He may be reached directly via email: Sascha@adaptationinternational.com    

Liz Rohlich

With experience working as a health care provider in different parts of the world, Liz is concerned with how climate change will affect human health. She supported our project working with the Yurok Tribe to assess the health impacts of climate change and has a particular affinity for working with low-income and underserved segments of communities that are likely the most vulnerable to climate change. 

She has worked in a small town clinical setting in Homer, Alaska and a large level-one trauma hospital in Austin, Texas. As a Peace Corps volunteer, she delivered vaccinations to communities in rural Bolivia, which sometimes required riding for hours down a dirt road in a Jeep that served as the mobile medical clinic. Liz's clinical experience can help communities design effective and efficient resilience strategies.

Liz is a Clinical Nurse Specialist with Master's degree in Nursing and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas in Austin. She may be reached directly via email: Liz@adaptationinternational.com

Affiliates

Ellu Nasser

Ellu is currently coordinating a climate vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning project with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Idaho as well as a climate and human health assessment with the Yurok Tribe in Northern California.  She also helps lead our climate change and human heath work and has nearly ten years of experience working to decrease disparities of environmental effects on community health. She has worked on issues ranging from the health effects of air pollution and green chemistry and nanotechnology initiatives, to built environment and pedestrian safety campaigns and community impacts of housing and other economic development projects such as the Farmer's Field HIA in Los Angeles. 

Ellu’s interests include working to develop public health informed policy initiatives in an effort to address environmental health and justice issues. She achieves this by way of consensus building through broad stakeholder gatherings, developing community-academic partnerships and utilizing Health Impact Assessments. She has a B.A. in Spanish from Willamette University in Oregon, a master’s in public health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, and is fluent in Spanish. 

Jake Bell

Jake has been involved in the Climate Change field since 2007 with a focus on the human health impacts of climate change and collaborating with tribal communities. He is leading our work with the Upper Snake River Tribal Foundation, coordinated our recent project with the North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council, and provides project consulting on climate change public health research in Alaska Native Villages. He remains involved in, and was previously full time staff for, the Center for Climate and Health at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in Anchorage, Alaska aiding in the development of community climate change/health impact scenarios, monitoring of climate-sensitive health outcomes, and furthering local collaboration for relevant adaptation interventions. Previous experiences include climate change health research at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in Washington, D.C. and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Jake holds a degree in Psychology from Pomona College and a Master's degree in Global Health with a focus in environmental health from Trinity College, University of Dublin. He may be reached directly via email: Jakebell@adaptationinternational.com  

Missy Stults

Missy is led our project with the 1854 Treaty Authority, a collaborative tribal organization in Minnesota. She has supported assessment of adaptation across the country in a variety of settings. She a effort to connect science to action and was instrumental in the development of the Adaptation Chapter for the U.S. National Climate Assessment and worked with leading climate adaptation and mitigation experts to identify major themes and trends in national climate adaptation efforts for distillation into the Assessment.  Before joining the University of Michigan, Missy was the national Climate Director for ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability where she worked with over 600 local governments to advance their climate mitigation, climate adaptation, and sustainability efforts.

Missy received her Bachelor's degree in Science from the University of New England in Marine Biology and Environmental Science and her Master's degree from Columbia University in Climate and Society. She is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan, pursuing her doctoral degree in urban adaptation. .   

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Emily Powell

Emily has worked in the fields of climate science and meteorology for more than 15 years. She recently joined the Adaptation International team and co-led project focused on laying the foundation for implementing actions to build resilience in San Antonio Texas. Her experience includes coordinating outreach programs on climate change for the Southcentral Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, assisting communities throughout Louisiana in their resilience planning efforts, and identifying best practices in climate adaptation and resilience through the Louisiana Resiliency Assistance Program. Emily’s work focuses on compiling, synthesizing, and communicating climate information to help guide decision making and action. She has developed and organized training workshops and webinars to over 200 professionals on topics of resilience to climate change and natural hazards. Emily received her Ph.D. in geography from Louisiana State University, focusing on trends in extreme climate with a minor in disaster science management. She received her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in geography both from the University of Georgia.

Michelle Fox

Michelle is a communication designer that specializes in urban climate resilience, climate adaptation, and sustainability. She helps communicate complicated scientific topics and make them easy to understand. She has worked in communications for mission driven organizations since 2006, specifically on climate related issues since 2011, and with Adaptation International since 2013. She is the Chief Creative Officer and owner of The Bridge Studio, a consultancy that provides creative communications, research, and design services to organizations that are working to improve the quality of life for all living things. She has a dual degree, Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts. 

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Kim Rodgers

Kim is a GIS Analyst with expertise in data management, spatial analysis, and cartographic based communication.  Her research has focused on assessing the impacts of climate variability and change on coastal ecosystems, water resources, and environmental management practices. Prior to joining Adaptation International, Kim worked with the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments research group, where she conducted research on drought impacts on commercial fishing and natural resource management, as well as climate change impacts and stakeholder information eeds for stormwater design adaptation.

Kim holds a M.S. in Geography from the University of South Carolina, a Certificate in GIS from Penn State, and B.S. in Geology/Sociology from Bates College.

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Molly Ellsworth

Molly joined Adaptation International as an Intern and is working to support a variety of our projects. She recently graduated from Carleton College where she studied environmental science and got a focus in conservation and development. Her research focused on sustainable agriculture in China, Thailand and Burma where she did field research on the effects of climate change and development on agricultural practices. Molly currently is working at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as an Air Quality Enforcement Coordinator and plans to continue working and learning in the environmental field. Previously, she worked for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Greensteps Cities program, the Science Education Resource Center, and the Wisconsin State Legislature. Molly holds a Bachelor’s degree in from Carleton College.

Rebecca Page

Rebecca is currently a Master's student at the University of Colorado Boulder, pursuing interdisciplinary training in climate change science, policy, and planning. She is a graduate research assistant with the Western Water Assessment, the RISA program for the Intermountain West region, where she studies drought risk management and adaptation among rural water managers in Colorado. Rebecca has 5+ years of international experience working on sustainability capacity building initiatives for public, private, and community-based organizations. Rebecca received her B.A. in Environmental Studies and East Asian Studies from Oberlin College.

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