Drought Policy: Comparison Of Australia And The United States

Wednesday, June 30 2010

Senate Capitol Visitors Center 209

10:30 am

There are lessons to be learned from recent experiences with drought in Australia and the United States. Drought presents strikingly similar challenges in the U.S. and Australia in terms of the biophysical environment, the jurisdictional challenges of federal systems and the more general economic and social challenges facing farming in developed economies. Australia introduced its National Drought Policy in 1992 and the policy has just undergone a major review, which may contain useful lessons for the U.S. about drought policy development and implementation.


Mark Brusberg, Meteorologist, World Agriculture Outlook Board, Office of the Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Donald Wilhite, Director of the School of Natural Resources and Former Director of the National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Roger Pulwarty, Physical Scientist and Director, National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Linda Botterill, Fellow in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University and Director, National Institute for Rural and Regional Australia

Speaker Biographies

Donald Wilhite is Dean of the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he has been on the faculty since 1977. He founded and was the first director of the National Drought Mitigation Center. His research centers on drought management, monitoring, and preparedness, the policy implications of climate variability and climate change, and the effects of climate on society and societal responses to extreme climate events, particularly drought. In conjunction with this research, he has conducted training seminars and workshops in developing and developed countries to help governments create drought preparedness plans. Wilhite received his master’s degree in geography from Arizona State University and his doctorate degree in climatology and water resources from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Roger Pulwarty is the director of the US National Integrated Drought Information System at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder Colorado. His research and publications are on climate science, climate impacts and adaptation. From 1998-2002 he was the program director for the NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments. Dr. Pulwarty is a lead author on reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) including Working Group II on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (2007), the Technical Report on Climate Change and Water (2008), and on the forthcoming Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Adaptation (2010)” He has served in advisory capacities on climate impacts assessments, water resources, and climate services development to national and international organizations including the World Bank, the UNDP, UNEP and the Organization of American States. Roger has a Ph.D. in Climatology from the University of Boulder at Colorado (1994).

Linda Botterill is a Fellow in the Politics and International Relations Program in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University and Director of the National Institute for Rural and Regional Australia. Her research interest is in the area of Australian rural policy, with a focus on drought, rural adjustment, farm welfare, food regulation and the grains industry. She is Australia’s leading expert on drought policy and is regularly invited to speak internationally on Australia’s experience of implementing a risk management approach to drought. Dr Botterill has been collaborating with members of the National Drought Mitigation Center for nearly a decade, comparing drought policy approaches in Australia and the US. Before commencing her academic career, she had extensive experience in public policy development in the Australian Public Service, as a ministerial adviser and as a policy officer in two industry associations. She has a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from the Australian National University.


American Geological Institute

Geological Society of America