Class questions climate

UVMs new Climate Action Seminar: Responding to the New Normal, is an environmental science course introduced to promote education and awareness of climate change and extreme weather patterns that have begun to emerge with increasing regularity.

Faculty sponsors Amy Seidl and Cecilia Danks and seminar instructor Rachael Beddoe are using this seminar series to engage the community to face climate challenges that have become concerns of the present rather than of the future.

This is an exciting series that we hope will stimulate discussions across campus about response to climate change through adaptation and mitigation, with an underlying theme of campus sustainability at UVM, Beddoe said.

Central topics of the course include the new normal weather conditions and extreme weather events, like recent record-breaking global temperatures, wildfires and Hurriane Irene, that require adaptive responses.

Sponsored by UVMs Clean Energy Fund, the seminar will also touch upon strategies to reduce carbon emissions and how to move UVMs carbon footprint closer to a neutral level.

The seminar features well-known speakers from sectors of state government, nonprofit organizations and academic departments who will help the Burlington community and UVM students find ways to build a culture of response to climate change.

UVM is committed to a Climate Neutral Pledge, which requires preparation for a changing climate.

The office of sustainability, the forest and carbon communities research group and the environmental program started the seminar series in an effort to meet this pledge.

According to Beddoe, UVM will be making important decisions about meeting the climate neutral pledge, so the climate action seminar series will give students an opportunity to learn about carbon offsets and provide some feedback regarding which offsets are most appropriate.

We need an entire generation of climate and sustainability-literate professionals, Beddoe said. Climate change is the biggest problem to face mankind ever, some would say. Its imperative that we not ignore the difficulties, but embrace them as a united front.

For more information about the Climate Action Seminar: Responding to the New Normal, contact seminar instructor Rachael Beddoe at [email protected]