man holding paper
Brad Romine being sworn in to the Honolulu Climate Commission.

A University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (Hawaiʻi Sea Grant) coastal resilience specialist and deputy director of the Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center (PI-CASC) university consortium, was appointed to be one of five members on the Honolulu Climate Change Commission by Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and was officially confirmed by the Honolulu City Council on October 5.

Brad Romine, who earned his PhD and MS in geology and geophysics at UH Mānoa, has many years of experience in working with community and local government on coastal hazard mitigation, planning for climate change and sea-level rise, and bringing the best available science to natural resource management, planning and policy.

Blangiardi said, “Dr. Romine’s service on the City’s Climate Change Commission ensures much needed expertise on coastal management and sea level rise matters. As a coastal geologist and community extension specialist with more than a decade’s worth of experience walking our beaches and documenting shoreline change, Brad has the ability and credibility to bridge science with the concerned voices in our community towards actionable solutions for the many challenges presented by climate change. I want to express my sincere gratitude to Brad for his willingness to serve our community in this critically important role.”

three men smiling
From left, Matt Gonser, Brad Romine and Mayor Rick Blangiardi at swearing in.

Romine is stepping in as his mentor, Chip Fletcher, finishes his service on the commission.

“I’m honored and humbled by the appointment,” said Romine. “I look forward to working with community, elected officials, staff, and university partners in understanding their needs and bringing the latest climate change and sea level rise science to planning, decision-making, and policy through the Climate Change Commission.”

Planning for future climate change

Created in January 2018, the City and County of Honolulu Climate Change Commission is charged with gathering the latest science and information on climate change impacts to Hawaiʻi, with a focus on Oʻahu. The members also provide advice and recommendations to the mayor, city council and executive departments as they draft policy, plan for future climate change possibilities, and work to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Like a lot of my role at Hawaiʻi Sea Grant and PI-CASC, I’m excited to build bridges between the university, community, and government to understand needs and put science to action in planning and policy,” said Romine. “We are there to be a resource to the city, its staff, and elected officials as needed, to address their informational needs related to climate change.”

Romine joins other commission members Rosie Alegado, Victoria Keener, Kiana Otsuka and Melanie Islam, and will serve until June 2025, filling the role of expert on coastal hazards and impacts of sea-level rise.

Romine has published research articles on coastal geology, beach processes, and sea-level rise impacts in Hawaiʻi. He works closely with federal, state and county government offices and communities to support sustainability and climate adaptation across the Pacific Islands.

–By Cindy Knapman