Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments 

E²SHI Director Ben Hobbs has partnered with a team of researchers to help factor uncertainties that come with climate change when making decisions about how we use and protect our coastlines and watersheds. The research program aims to build more resilient Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic communities by building adaptive capacity to climate variability and change.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments, or MARISA, is led by the non-profit RAND Corporation, in partnership with researchers in Penn State University’s Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, and the Johns Hopkins Environment, Energy, Sustainability and Health Institute, along with support from researchers in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. The project was established through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Visit the MARISA website for more information

Research Team

  • Debra Knopman, Senior Principal Researcher, RAND Corporation
  • Klaus Keller, Professor of Geosciences, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Ben Hobbs, E²SHI Director and Professor, JHU Department of Environmental Health and Engineering
  • Melissa Finucane, Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist, RAND Corporation
  • Jordan Fischbach, Full Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation
  • Robert Nicholas, Research Associate, Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, The Pennsylvania State University


The JHU Engineering Magazine featured the project in its summer 2017 issue, "Solving Climate Change Conundrums"

NOAA's Climate Program Office provides information about other regions also conducting research on Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments

NOAA's Office for Coastal Management provides information, tools and training in climate adaptation

The City Dock in Annapolis, Maryland regularly floods with sea level rise that brings the Chesapeake Bay
above the city's existing sea walls. Photo credit: Amy McGovern

I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?
— Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985