Mentorship Spotlight: Adaptation in Maryland

Mentee Kate McClure is a Coastal Climate Specialist with the University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program. In this role, she assists residents and decision-makers in coastal communities throughout Maryland with understanding and preparing for the effects of climate change, with a focus on flooding due to sea level rise, precipitation, and storm events. Prior to joining the Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program, Kate was a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Gulf Coast Restoration and received a Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology, and Marine Biology from Northeastern University.

Mentor Marcus Griswold is a coach, scientist, community engagement specialist and founder of Calm Waters Group. He has 15 years of experience communicating science and policy, providing strategic leadership, fundraising, and empowering communities on the most complex and controversial projects. He works on and provides mediation, facilitation, and planning services to non-profits, local, state, and federal governments, and tribes. He believes that communities already know what is needed to solve climate justice, and helps them tell their story, advocate for their needs, and engage with agencies. He has a Masters in Entomology and a PhD in Environmental Engineering with a focus of coastal watershed assessment and recovery from extreme events, supported through the US EPA STAR Fellowship program.

Kate and Marcus quickly discovered that in addition to both working in the adaptation field, they also share strong connections to Maryland – and had experience working with many of the same stakeholders. Marcus grew up in Maryland and started working in climate adaptation there before heading west to the Bay Area. Kate has lived in Maryland for the last three years after coming to Annapolis to begin her climate adaptation career with Maryland Sea Grant Extension. Many of Kate and Marcus’ discussions have focused on sea level rise adaptation at the state and local level. Through these conversations, they have explored similarities and differences in the approaches used in their current states and discussed strategies from California that could potentially be applied in Maryland.

In addition to sea level rise adaptation, Kate and Marcus have also touched on strategies for incorporating equity into climate adaptation, professional development activities, and career opportunities in the climate adaptation field. Marcus’ firsthand experience working on climate in Maryland and across a wide range of sectors has provided Kate with a wealth of insights as she charters a path in the adaptation field. Kate and Marcus have enjoyed learning from each other and connecting on their shared interests in adaptation, the mid-Atlantic, and the outdoors this year.

Thanks to both for sharing what they have learned!