Senior Advisor for Coastal Inundation and Resilience, National Ocean Service, NOAA
Mark Osler takes pride in leading the effort to align NOAA’s vision in communicating science-based information about sea level rise at the coast. He has also worked to synchronize the efforts of other organizations such as USGS, NASA, FEMA, USACE, DOD and the broader federal science community in addressing this issue.
From these efforts, leaders are on the cusp of a paradigm shift in how the federal government approaches the provision of sea level rise science for the nation.
“Mark showed an amazing ability to understand the complex policy and technical nuances of sea level rise across NASA, NOAA, USACE, and USGS mission spaces, in such a way to build consensus quickly,” said Paul Scholz, NOAA deputy assistant administrator for ocean services and coastal zone management. “His self-effacing style engenders trust and allows for open dialog and group decision-making to quickly advance a topic critical to national interests ⏤ community risk and vulnerability to a rising sea level.”
The collaboration between the federal government, private sector and academia in providing climate services is a key topic. For over 50 years, NOAA has delivered foundational science and services that support informed decision-making and adaptation. Recent investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act are empowering the agency to improve its provision of science, services and grants, particularly for climate preparedness along the nation’s coasts.
“Whether it is severe weather or the impacts of climate change, the federal government’s role is to bring its human, fiscal, legal and policy resources to bear in a manner designed to lift up and support our state, local, tribal and territorial governments in understanding and engaging with these challenges on their own terms, within the context of their geography, their history, their priorities, and their aspirations for the future,” Osler said. “Our challenge then is one of coordination and cooperation, undertaken with organizational humility and with a single-minded focus on improving outcomes on the ground.”