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Envisioning Risk of Hurricane Storm Surge and Sea Level Rise

NCAR GIS Program BRIGHTE Workshop Series 2019

July 16, 2019 to July 18, 2019 | NCAR Foothills Lab, Boulder CO - EOL Atrium

Event Application - GIS BRIGHT 2019

NCAR Foothills Lab, Boulder CO - EOL Atrium

Flooding associated with hurricane storm surge and sea level rise presents serious threat to many coastal communities in the United States and around the world. Reducing and managing risks from storm surge is challenging due to the complex relationships among the physical, social, and behavioral dimensions of the hazard, the inherent uncertainty in storm surge forecasting and sea level rise prediction. Novel approaches in geospatial visualization of multi-dimensional scientific information provide exciting opportunities to better understand coastal hazards and visually communicate the risks and threats to the public.

The 2019 BRIGHTE workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to embrace an interdisciplinary approach to science of coastal flooding, explore innovating ways to visualize storm surge forecast and sea level rise projections in 2D and 3D GIS environments, and learn about science communication using Story Maps. The workshop will include science presentations, hands-on GIS training on data visualization, group projects on science communication, and a poster session. The hands-on GIS exercises will include:

  • working with probabilistic storm surge forecasts from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center GIS archive;
  • exploring questions of spatial scale and uncertainties associated with the sea level rise projections;
  • explore different techniques to visual storm surge and sea level rise in a 3D environment;
  • integrating science and geospatial visualization concepts into Story Maps.

Because the problems of sea level rise and preparedness and response for coastal hazards, such as hurricane-related storm surge affect diverse coastal communities in this country, it is especially important that representatives from all communities are engaged in the sciences, decision-making, and effective risk communication strategies. Students, early career researchers, and faculty, who are interested in applying GIS technology in research and education addressing impacts of coastal flooding, will benefit from attending this workshop. Faculty and students from junior colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, and Hispanic-Serving institutions from the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, the Gulf of Mexico and the West Coast are encouraged to apply. All selected participants will receive travel support and per diem to attend the workshop.

Application deadline is May 31, 2019.

Selected participants will be notified of their acceptance by June 5, 2019.

Questions can be addressed to the workshop organizers: Olga Wilhelmi (olgaw at ucar.edu) and Jennifer Boehnert (boehnert at ucar.edu). The workshop is funded through the NCAR’s Research Applications Laboratory Diversity Funding Program.


NCAR GIS Program BRIGHTE Workshop Series 2019:
Envisioning risk of hurricane storm surge and sea-level rise

July 16 – July 18, 2019
Foothills Lab 1 EOL Atrium
DRAFT Agenda

Tuesday, July 16

9:00–9:15        Welcome remarks–Olya Wilhelmi, NCAR

9:15–10:00      Workshop and participants introduction

10:00–10:45    Addressing societal challenges in a changing world – Olya Wilhelmi and Jenn Boehnert, NCAR

10:45–11:00    Tea/Coffee Break

11:00–12:00    Sea-Level Rise–Eduard Heijkoop, University of Colorado

12:00–1:00      Lunch (FL Cafeteria)

1:00–2:00        Hands-on GIS exercise – Intro to ArcGIS Pro–Jennifer Boehnert, NCAR

2:00–2:45        Sea-level rise and coastal vulnerability - Anamaria Bukvic, Virginia Tech University

2:45–3:00        Tea/Coffee Break

3:00–4:30        Hands-on GIS exercise – Visualizing Sea-Level Rise in ArcGIS Pro–Greg Dobson, NEMAC

4:30–6:00        Poster Session and Reception

Wednesday, July 17

9:00–9:15        Check in and goals for Day 2

9:15–10:15      Storm-surge modelling and predictability – Kate Fossell, NCAR

10:15–10:30    Hands-on GIS exercises–publishing data with ArcGIS Online–Greg Dobson (NEMAC)

10:30–10:45    Tea/Coffee Break

10:45–11:30    NCAR Communicating storm-surge risks - Rebecca Morss, NCAR

11:30–12:00    Discussion about group projects

12:00–1:00      Lunch (FL Cafeteria)

1:00–2:00        Esri data and resources–Joseph Kerski, Esri

2:00–3:00        Hands-on GIS training – Visualizing Storm Surge – Jennifer Boehnert, NCAR

3:00–3:15        Tea/Coffee Break

3:15–4:00        Communicating science to decision-makers–Joshua Young, Unidata

4:00–4:50        Science Communication using Story Maps - Patricia Carbajales, Clemson University

4:50-5:00        Wrap up of Day 2

Thursday, July 18th

9:00–9:15         Check in and goals for Day 3

9:15–9:45         Education and Outreach, Rebecca Haacker, NCAR

9:45–10:00     Tea/Coffee Break

10:00–11:00     Hands-on GIS training – Building Story Map, Patricia Carbajales, Clemson University

11:00–12:00     Group Projects

12:00–1:00       Lunch (FL Cafeteria)

1:00–3:15         Group projects

3:15–3:30         Tea/Coffee Break

3:30–4:30         Group project presentations

4:30–5:00         Workshop wrap up and next steps


We have rooms booked for the nights of July 15th, 16th,17th, and 18th checking out on the 19th at the Marriott Residence Inn.  We have made your hotel reservationPlease do not call the hotel. Upon check in, they may collect a credit card from you in the event of incidentals such as movies, etc. However, your card should not be charged for the room itself. A complimentary continental breakfast starts at 6:30 am.


3030 Center Green Drive, Boulder, Colorado 80301 USA

The hotel is walking distance to the workshop, taking about 15 minutes. Walking map here.


The hotel will provide you a continental breakfast. Light refreshments and lunch will be offered at the workshop. Wear your workshop badge so that the café staff will not charge you. Dinner will be on your own (self pay).


We will host reception and a poster session on Tuesday night, July 16th.  Please plan to join us. This will be a great opportunity to get to know the other workshop participants. The reception will be held at NCAR, within walking distance from your hotel.


The Denver International Airport (DIA) is located east of Denver and approximately 50 miles from Boulder. There are websites to show the general location on our website. The Baggage claim is on Level 5 at the main terminal of the airport. Sales counters for most means of ground transportation are on that level also.

We recommend using a shuttle service called the The Green Ride that runs between DIA and Boulder. A one-way fare to the hotel is approximately $30. The shuttle departs DIA typically every hour from the East Side at door 507. Their phone number is 303-997-0238 or reserve on their website. Making a reservation in advance is recommended!

LOCATION OF ACTIVITIES: The NCAR Foothills Laboratory is at 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, CO. A map showing the location can be found at:

Foothills Laboratory

The Workshop will be held in the Foothills Lab, Building 1, EOL Atrium (we will post signs in building to help you find the room).

GENERAL NOTES ON THE AREA: Boulder is situated along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The days are usually warm this time of year (80 to 90 F.) But the evenings can be very nice (60 F). Often there are showers in the afternoon.

Boulder B-Cycles for rent

ALTITUDE: Boulder is a high-altitude city situated at 5,430 feet (more than a mile high). Therefore, if you are visiting from a lower altitude, you might experience some fatigue or dizziness. Do not worry. Drinking lots of water can help to alleviate most symptoms. Do not push yourself to run, or climb stairs quickly. Your body will adjust after a few days.


Please bring your laptop. During GIS exercises, you will be working with Esri ArcGIS Pro 2.3. We will provide all necessary GIS software that you can install on your laptop. Please check if your laptop meets the following system requirements.


Windows 10 Home, Pro, and Enterprise (64 bit)

Windows 8.1 Pro and Enterprise (64 bit)


8 GB

Screen Resolution


Free Space

32 GB


If you do not have a laptop that meets these requirements, please let us know as soon as possible and we will provide you with a laptop for the duration of the workshop!

 Thank you again for your interest, and we look forward to seeing you all soon!

Proj Scientist IV
Sr GIS Coordinator

Event Page