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Pace Recognized for Leadership in Environmental Resilience and Research Services

(By Stephen Deal)

Photo: AwardEach year, members of the Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice (COP) give an award recognizing an individual who has done an exemplary job of communicating climate challenges in the Gulf of Mexico. This year, the group named Niki Pace, a research attorney at Louisiana Sea Grant, as the recipient of the Spirit of Community Award.

Pace is no stranger to the COP, having been a member of the planning committee since the first meeting was held in 2010. She has also been an active contributor to a number of unique COP projects, such as various working groups and small grant award review panels. In her time performing legal research at the Louisiana Sea Grant Law and Policy Program and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium Legal Program (where she worked previously), she offered technical assistance to numerous coastal communities on a wide variety of topics. Pace has handled numerous relevant research and outreach topics, including the National Flood Insurance Program, the Community Rating System, living shorelines and green infrastructure.

In addition to her formal responsibilities as research attorney, Pace is actively involved in floodplain management. As a certified floodplain manager, she has used her knowledge of best practices in floodplain management to assist jurisdictions in the state of Louisiana. Following the aftermath of Hurricane Ida (2021), Pace volunteered her time to go door to door with local government leaders to provide information in the hardest hit parishes on how individuals can start rebuilding after a flood.

“She is extremely skilled in extension and outreach, with the ability to provide detailed legal information in a way that resonates with stakeholders.” Melissa Daigle, LSG research attorney, wrote in Pace’s nomination letter. “The legal information she provides is necessary for communities to address resilience and climate issues. Niki’s work without a doubt promotes the ideals of the COP – she engages communities with relevant legal information using highly refined outreach methods to improve community climate awareness and resilience.

Her personal and professional accomplishments show a history of active participation in the Climate and Resilience COP and a commitment to engaging with a wide array of individuals, groups and agencies in promoting positive environmental change within the Gulf region. Her hard work and dedication signify the drive and spirit that are critical in ensuring that the Climate and Resilience Community of Practice can meet new environmental challenges head on.

For more information about the Climate and Resilience Community of Practice.