Rocks, trees and water define the mountain environment, but increasingly, so do humans.

During our two-day journalism conference in Asheville, we’ll visit the world’s largest collection of weather and climate data — more than 20 petabytes of NOAA weather data collected since the founding of the United States — all under one roof.

We’ll explore a U.S. Forest Service research station 90 minutes south of Asheville, where watershed data has been taken every 5 minutes since 1934; and the North Carolina Arboretum, where seed-banking is underway to save vanishing tree and plant species of the Southern Appalachians before they succumb to climate change, human settlement and invasive pests.

Finally, we’ll stop by The Collider to meet the Asheville entrepreneurs putting together scientists, engineers, businesses and investors in a new “climate technology ecosystem” of opportunities and innovative responses to climate change.


CHECK-IN — Sunday, Aug. 14

6-8 p.m. Check in and join us for a reception, Renaissance Asheville Hotel lounge

DAY ONE – Monday, August 15

8 a.m. Breakfast with speaker at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel — Greg Fishel, chief meteorologist at WRAL-TV in Raleigh.

9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tour of the USDA Forest Service, Coweeta Hydrological Research Station near Otto, NC. Box lunch provided on site.
Speakers include James Clark of Duke University and James Fox of UNC Asheville and the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center. Learn about the National Drought Assessment with and the Forests to Faucets project. Then tour the “electric forest,” a heavily-instrumented experimental forest plot.

6:30 p.m. Dinner-with-an-Expert in downtown Asheville. Small groups, big experts, conversations you can hear and participate in. (Cost of prix fixe dinner and beverages will be your responsibility.)

DAY TWO – Tuesday, August 16

8 a.m. Breakfast with speaker at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel – Robert  Young, director NC Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines. “When Policy And Sea-Level Collide”

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tour and talks at the North Carolina Arboretum, including the germplasm repository. Speakers include Emily Berglund of NC State University: “Cities and People: Urban Water Using a Sociotechnical Approach.” Box lunch provided on site.

1 – 5 p.m. Tour and tutorials at the National Centers for Environmental Information (NOAA). Learn to tap the world’s largest collection of weather and climate data.

5:30 – 8 p.m. Reception at The Collider, an accelerator for businesses based on climate resilience. Tours, demos and conversations with entrepreneurs.

Special note for Broadcast Media:

If you’d like to cover some stories while you’re with us, we’re providing a pool videographer to capture interviews, standups and b-roll that will be uploaded to the cloud for you to share with your newsroom back home. No need to lug equipment or crew; all you need is your own mic flag.

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