About Us


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.  


Alexander (Sascha) Petersen

Sascha has been working specifically on climate change for more than 13 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 2018 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:  

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:



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. 


Alex Basaraba

Alexa Basaraba Photo.jpg

Alex works at the interstice of environmental conservation, climate change, and human well-being using visual story-telling, research, and planning. Prior to joining the Adaptation International team, Alex’s work included collaborations with National Geographic Expeditions, the U.S. Department of Defense, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Most recently, his work has focused on environment and development issues on Tribal lands, specifically with the Three Affiliated Tribes in North Dakota and research on cattle, rangeland, and climate change for the Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation. He holds a Master’s in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and a Bachelor’s in Biology, both from Colorado State University. 


Nyssa Russell


Nyssa is currently identifying and communicating climate-related risks and possible adaptation strategies for coastal flooding and sea-level rise for the Town of Corte Madera. She is providing support and assistance on work with Eagle County and with the Shoshone-Paiute, Lac de Flambeau, Lower Elwha, and Pueblo of Laguna Tribes. She is also finishing up work in Alaska with the U.S. Geological Survey as an Alaska Sea Grant Fellow, where she has focused her work on ways in which the USGS can make its research more accessible and useful for decision-makers and communicate programmatic successes and impacts in science delivery. Her previous experiences includes working with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game throughout Western Alaska as a fisheries research biologist.

Nyssa holds a Master’s in Marine Affairs and Certificate in Climate Science and Communication from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University.  


Trevor Even


Trevor is an applied researcher focusing on issues of how humans and environments interact, and how we as a global society can learn to manage these interactions in ways that ensure long-term social and ecological sustainability. He is a spatial analysis expert and social scientist. Trevor’s previous work has included assessing community recovery from natural disaster and the vulnerability of land-based livelihoods (such as ranching, outdoor recreation, and farming) to changes in climate. My current work blends anthropological, geographic, climate, and ecosystem science to investigate how different value systems, technologies, ways of understanding nature, and modes of resource governance shape water security and sustainability at the hydrological basin scale. Trevor is a PhD candidate at Colorado State University in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability.


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.



We know that preparing for climate change and building resilience is truly a team effort and we are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with many organizations and communities.


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