PHI's Center for Public Health & Climate Change

Web Forum

Charting the Rapids Ahead:
Western Water, Climate Change and Public Health
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 | 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific

Changes in the earth's climate will have profound impacts on water, and water can have profound impacts on public health. Yet very little discussion is taking place in regard to how the changing climate's impacts on water will affect public health. This lack of discussion is of particular concern in the American West, where climate scientists broadly agree that the impacts of climate change on every aspect of water will be profound, and are already occurring.

Join your colleagues to hear from some of the nation's leading experts working at the intersection of public health, water, and climate about what they believe are the greatest areas of potential concern. Panelists will also address how longstanding divisions between water users, water managers and health officials might play out with a changing climate, and what policy implications are recommended, with a focus on the American West.

This Web Forum is presented in conjunction with PHI and Carpe Diem West's soon-to-be-released information brief also titled Charting the Rapids Ahead: Western Water, Climate Change & Public Health: An overview brief for policy makers, public health advocates, water managers and other key stakeholders.

The Public Health Institute's Center for Public Health & Climate Change contributes to building healthy and climate-resilient communities that have the right tools to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The Center draws upon the significant technical, advocacy and research capacities of the Public Health Institute (PHI) to address one of the most vital and pressing issues of the day - the impacts of climate change on human health.

Carpe Diem West leads a network of water decision makers and scientists in the American West that is developing collaborative, innovative actions and policies to create water security for our communities, the food we grow, our economy and our environment.






    Joan M. Brunkard, PhD
    Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Atlanta, GA

    Dr. Joan BrunkardDr. Joan Brunkard is an Epidemiologist with the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Brunkard has worked for more than 20 years on environmental and public health issues in the U.S., Africa, and Latin America in academic, corporate, government, and non-government institutions. Her research interests include the ecology of infectious diseases, climate change science and policy, and the epidemiology of waterborne and mosquito-borne diseases. Dr. Brunkard represents CDC on the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Water Resources and Climate Adaptation Work Group, the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Subcommittee on Water Availability and Quality, and the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Human Health Working Group. (

    Andrew Comrie, PhD
    School of Geography & Development
    Associate Vice President for Research
    Dean of Graduate College
    University of Arizona
    Tucson, AZ

    Andrew Comrie, PhDDr. Andrew C. Comrie is a climatologist at the University of Arizona. He has a primary appointment in Geography with additional appointments in Atmospheric Sciences, Arid Lands Resource Sciences, Entomology & Insect Science, Global Change, Public Health, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis, and Statistics. After receiving his undergraduate education at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Comrie joined the University of Arizona in 1992. Since then, he has conducted broadly interdisciplinary research in climate variability and change, with particular focus on connections between climate and health. He is currently Americas Editor of the International Journal of Climatology. Dr. Comrie is a partner in Climate Appraisal Services LLC, a University of Arizona technology spinoff company that pioneered address-level climate impact reports. Dr. Comrie also serves as Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Arizona. (, and

    Eli N. Moore, MA
    Senior Research Associate
    Pacific Institute
    Oakland, CA

    Eli N. Moore, MAEli N. Moore is a Senior Research Associate and Co-director of the Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice at the Pacific Institute. Moore is co-author of numerous studies including The Impacts of Sea-Level Rise on the California Coast, and is currently conducting research on socio-economic vulnerability to climate change at the local and state level in California. Moore facilitates community-based participatory research in the San Francisco Bay Area on a range of community health, environmental justice, and sustainable economic development issues.

    The Pacific Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to create a healthier planet and sustainable communities. Founded in 1987, the Institute conducts interdisciplinary research and partners with stakeholders to produce solutions that advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity—in California, nationally, and internationally. (

    Kimery Wiltshire
    President & CEO
    Carpe Diem West
    Sausalito, CA

    Kimery WiltshireKimery Wiltshire is CEO & Director of Carpe Diem West. For over twenty years, Kimery’s work has focused on building strategic, solution-oriented partnerships to meet environmental challenges.

    She is the former Director of the Kenney Foundation, where she worked on initiatives to protect and restore river systems in the western United States. Kimery has led the development of a number of successful projects, including the Diversity Network Project, supporting social justice and housing in the context of urban environmental health; Resources for Community Collaboration, which provided funding and training for western rural communities to more effectively engage in resource decision making; the Sustainable Business Ratings System, an innovative means of assessing companies’ environmental, economic and social performance; and Girl Scouts Save the Bay, which grew to involve the 100,000-strong Northern California Girl Scout community.

    A bred, born and raised daughter of the American West, Kimery has to be reminded that occasionally important things do happen east of the 100th meridian. ( and


    Matthew Marsom
    Director of Public Policy
    Public Health Institute
    Oakland, CA

    Matthew MarsomMatthew Marsom is the Director of Public Health Policy and Advocacy for the Public Health Institute (PHI). The Public Health Institute (PHI) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health, well-being and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world. Mr. Marsom is responsible for designing and implementing PHI strategy for monitoring and influencing public policy, legislation and regulations affecting PHI projects and public health policy relevant to PHI interests. (


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

Brunkard/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Comrie/University of Arizona


Moore/Pacific Institute

Wiltshire/Carpe Diem West




The following document provides important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.


The following websites provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.