Newsletter Archive

HARC Newsletter | September 2017 | Resilience Issue

Improving Regional Resilience after Hurricane Harvey: The Need for New Strategies and Engagement
Resilient communities are better able to prepare, adapt and withstand disasters. Resilience strategies will help the region move forward, toward improved environmental, social and economic health and well-being.
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Gavin Dillingham discusses Hurricane Harvey Impacts and Aftermath “From the Inside, Looking Out”
HARC's Gavin Dillingham, Program Director, Clean Energy Policy, comments on the impacts and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, with true Houstonian perspective.
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Reducing Vulnerability of Electric Power Grid to Extreme Weather Events
The primary story line for Hurricane Harvey is the amount of rain that it dropped on southeast Texas. Some estimates have the total amount at about 27 trillion gallons of water, approximately 86,000 Astrodomes. Much of the region saw significant flooding and recovery will take some time. Fortunately, Hurricane Harvey did not cause significant, long-term power outages. There were a large number, estimates range up to 800,000 customers, but my no means the power outages that were seen during Hurricane Ike, where 2.1 million customers in CenterPoint’s territory alone lost power1. Many of these customers were without power for several weeks. Hurricane Irma looks to put millions of utility of customers in the dark, as well.
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Watershed Protection Planning: Bacteria

This is the third article in a series on Watershed Protection Plans; to read the others see Texas Watershed Protection Planning and Watershed Protection Planning in Galveston Bay.

The previous articles discussed the ways in which watershed protection planning restores and protects water quality in the Houston-Galveston Region. Watershed protection plans are guidance documents developed by watershed stakeholders detailing voluntary management measures that restore and protect water quality. One of the projects highlighted was the Double Bayou Watershed Protection Plan, an effort in which HARC coordinated with local stakeholders to develop a watershed protection plan for the Double Bayou Watershed in Liberty and Chambers counties, on the Eastern shore of Galveston Bay.

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Featured Projects
DOE Southwest Combined Heat and Power TAP
HARC has been working on climate mitigation and adaptation applications and technologies through the research and application of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy resilience through combined heat and power (CHP). Combined heat and power, also called cogeneration, provides both electric power and thermal energy (heat) from a single on-site source, such as a turbine or reciprocating engine. The waste heat is used to provide additional services to the facility, such as steam for heating, heat for refining and manufacturing applications, domestic hot water, or cooling through absorption chillers or steam driven turbines.
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Featured Researcher
Lisa Gonzalez
President and Chief Executive Officer
Lisa Gonzalez is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC). She is responsible for the strategic direction of HARC and its research programs which are designed to facilitate sustainable management of air, energy and water resources. She served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of HARC from 2012-2016, overseeing the implementation of HARC’s 5-year strategic plan, development of HARC’s communication strategy, a reorganization of administrative operations and the design and construction of HARC’s new green headquarters.
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Announcements & Upcoming Events
October 24, 2017 People & Nature Speaker Series: Governor Bill Ritter
On October 24, 2017, HARC will continue its People & Nature Speaker Series featuring an evening with Bill Ritter, Jr., 41st Governor of Colorado and the founder of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University.
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Gavin Dillingham to participate in ABA Section on Environment webinar - Disaster Recovery and Urban Resilience
HARC Program Director for Clean Energy Policy, Gavin Dillingham, PhD will be participating in the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy Resources webinar titled “Disaster Recovery and Urban Resilience” on Friday, September 29, 2017 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST.
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Texas Water Journal publishes work by HARC researchers Dr. Stephanie Glenn and Ryan Bare
HARC researchers Dr. Stephanie Glenn, Ryan Bare and Brad Neish recently had “Modeling bacterial load scenarios in a Texas coastal watershed to support decision-making for improving water quality” published in the Texas Water Journal, Volume 8 No 1 issue.
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HARC in the news
HARC's Erin Kinney featured in post-Harvey coverage
HARC Coastal Ecologist Dr. Erin Kinney interview on NOS Dutch TV on Hurricane Harvey, its causes and impacts.
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Friday, September 1, 2017
Why Did Houston Flood?
Why did Houston flood? Watch a video by NOVA PBS discussing challenges and strategies for Houston.
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017
A Storm Forces Houston, the Limitless City, to Consider Its Limits
The New York Times discusses the history of Houston’s development and flooding, citing Dr. Erin Kinney’s research on wetland loss in the Houston-Galveston region. Read the original blog post and view our Watershed and Wetland Permit Planning Tool and Galveston Bay Report Card Wetland loss grade.
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Houston’s flooding shows what happens when you ignore science and let developers run rampant
HARC's Geospatial Technologies researcher Bill Bass contributes maps to article discussing Houston flooding and the need for current data. For more information, explore HARC researchers Lisa Gonzalez and Erin Kinney’s Texas General Land Office sponsored
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Tuesday, August 28, 2017
What makes Houston so vulnerable to serious floods?
HARC President Lisa Gonzalez speaks on rapid development as a contributing factor to flooding in many Houston neighborhoods affected by tropical storm Harvey. .
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Monday, August 21, 2017
HARC teams up with RPSEA to determine emissions profile of marginal wells
The Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) will team up with HARC and other US oil and gas industry partners to conduct and manage a real-world survey that will more accurately determine levels of methane emitting from marginal wells in the United States.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Saving the Bay
Houston Chronicle editorial board speaks on the Galveston Bay Report Card highlighting the need for coastal data.
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Monday, August 14, 2017
U.S. Cities Increasingly Focused on Resilience, but Funding Challenges Persist
HARC’s Marina Badoian-Kriticos, Research Scientist, Energy and Natural Resource Policy, discusses the increasing emphasis of and need for resilience strategies in the built environment.
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