Climate Change and the News: A Seminar for News Leaders

Program Summary | Agenda | Participant List | Resources List
Seminar for Great Lakes Journalists | Climate Change and the News Initiative | Training

September 18, 2014
American Society of News Editors & Associated Press Media Editors Annual Convention
Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 E. Wacker Drive
Chicago, Illinois

Speaker Bios

Steve Adams is senior program director at the U.S. Climate Adaptation Program’s Institute for Sustainable Communities. Since 2011, he has led ISC’s climate change adaptation programming in the United States with projects completed or underway in New England, Southeast Florida, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, Intermountain West and the Pacific Coast. From 2009 to 2011, he was the managing sirector of the Climate Leadership Initiative, where he managed community-based and sector-based adaptation projects in the Pacific Northwest, catalyzed the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact as a model for regional scale adaptation and co-founded the American Society of Adaptation Professionals to serve as a community of practice for practitioners working in various sub-fields of climate adaptation. From 2007 to 2009, Adams served in the administration of Florida Governor Charlie Crist where he directed energy and climate change policy development, managed the staff of the Florida Energy and Climate Commission, and secured over $170M for Florida in energy-related funding under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. In 2007- 2008, he served as the staff director for the Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change and played a key role in developing and passing Florida’s landmark 2008 Energy and Climate Bill. Previously, he served as the policy director for Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection where he led agency-wide policy development on issues ranging from ocean protection to energy to information technology. In 2002-2003, he served at the U.S. EPA as senior advisor to Administrator Christie Todd Whitman’s Environmental Indicators Initiative, an effort that resulted in the publication of EPA’s first national environmental and human health assessment using environmental indicators. In 1997-1998, he developed and implemented the FDEP Environmental Performance Management System, an initiative that twice won recognition in the Innovations in American Government program sponsored by the Ford Foundation, the Council for Excellence in Government, and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Chad Berginnis, CFM, is the executive director for the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), a national non-profit organization of over 16,000 members and 35 state chapters whose mission is to promote education, policies, and activities that mitigate current and future losses, costs, and human suffering caused by flooding; and to protect the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains–all without causing adverse impacts. Berginnis has over 20 years of experience in various aspects of natural hazard management, flood loss reduction, and land use planning and programs at the state, local and private sector level. As a state official, Berginnis worked in the Ohio Floodplain Management Program and was Ohio’s State Hazard Mitigation Officer. He has been involved in creating and administering the Appalachian Flood Risk Reduction Initiative, and he administered the FEMA Community Assistance Program, revised model state floodplain management regulations, oversaw state hazard mitigation operations after three Federally declared flood disasters and authored the 2008 update of Ohio’s mitigation plan. As a local official, Berginnis administered land use, economic development and floodplain management programs in Perry County, Ohio.  In the private sector, he was the national practice leader in hazard mitigation for Michael Baker Jr. Inc.  Berginnis is a recognized national expert in floodplain management and hazard mitigation, having participated on national research and focus groups, providing agency (FEMA, USACE, OMB, CRS, IG, CBO, others) and Congressional testimony, and was selected to participate on an advisory panel to the Chinese government on the development of a national floodplain management strategy. He is also past insurance committee chair, Mitigation Policy Committees’ coordinator, vice chair, and chair of ASFPM, and previously served as an appointed planning commissioner for Licking County Ohio. Berginnis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resources from Ohio State University and is a Certified Floodplain Manager.

Michel A. Boudrias is principal investigator of Climate Education Partners (San Diego Region) and department chair of Environmental and Ocean Sciences at the University of San Diego. He earned a Ph.D in oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, an M.Sc. in biological oceanography from Oregon State University and a B.Sc. in marine biology from McGill University. Boudrias has been department chair of since 2006 where he teaches courses in marine biology, biological oceanography and coastal environmental science. His primary research area focuses on long-term ecological studies of shallow-water coastal habitats impacted by human activities in San Diego as well as in developing countries. He has been very active in sustainability strategic planning for the University of San Diego. As the academic director of sustainability, he is responsible for long-term strategic planning and implementation of inter- and multidisciplinary courses and research projects related to sustainability and climate change education both across the curriculum and across academic units. He is currently part of an interdisciplinary group developing a Continuing Education Certificate program that would integrate climate science, energy policies, sustainable supply chain and other business related courses centered on the training of sustainability directors. Since 2010, Boudrias has been the principal investigator on two prestigious National Science Foundation grants dedicated to climate change education for decision makers and key influential leaders. He leads Climate Education Partners, a team of climate and social scientists, formal and informal educators, policy makers and community leaders dedicated to informing San Diego and the nation about the impacts of climate change and how we can work together to find creative solutions to maintain our quality of life for future generations. Phase I of this program focused on developing climate science educational materials, communication strategies and approaches for working with Key Influentials, the thought leaders, decision makers and community leaders in San Diego County. Phase II has begun to implement many of the strategies developed in Phase I with an additional goal to replicate the model and expand its scope to a national scale.

Lieutenant General John G. Castellaw, United States Marine Corps (Retired), is Advisory Board member at The Center for Climate and Security and president of the Crockett Policy Institute (CPI), a non-partisan policy and research organization chartered in Tennessee. Castellaw served in the Marines for 36 years, holding several operational commands and flying more than two dozen different aircraft. His duties included service with the UN during the Siege of Sarajevo, command of a U.S. joint force in a multi-national security and stability operation in East Timor, and as the chief of staff for the U.S. Central Command during the Iraq War. Other service included assignments ashore and afloat in Africa, Europe, the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. His last tours on active duty were in the Pentagon where he first oversaw Marine Aviation and then the Marine Corps budget creation and execution. After the Marine Corps, he returned to Crockett County, Tennessee and to the family farm from where he remains involved in national security issues. He is also on the National Security Advisory Council of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, the board of the American Security Project, and is a teaching fellow in the College of Business and Global Affairs at the University of Tennessee, Martin. In addition to managing his family farm, he is board member of the Bank of Crockett, works with economic development organizations, and advises corporations on management and strategic planning. Castellaw recently completed his final term as the National Commander of the Marine Corps Aviation Association.

Anna Claussen is director of rural strategies of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. The IATP was founded in 1986 as an outgrowth of the family farm movement. It works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems and has worked for decades on climate, farming, local food and rural development–becoming a trusted convener, stakeholder and organizer for farmers and farm organizations. As the director of rural strategies at IATP, Claussen focuses on the creation and retention of natural and social wealth within rural communities in order to improve the quality of life for all residents. Of particular interest is the impact of extreme weather and changing climate on rural communities and the opportunities for an emerging bio-based economy that can produce clean food, energy and materials. A landscape architect by training, Claussen bridges years of practice in urban design and planning with a life deeply rooted on a Minnesota family farm. Over the last decade, she has focused on creating resilient communities through the creation of alternative land-use plans, regional greenway studies, city comprehensive plans, and park and trail system plans for communities across Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Claussen has a bachelor’s degree in geography and studio arts from Gustavus Adolphus College and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the College of Design at the University of Minnesota.

Projjal K. Dutta is the first ever Director of Sustainability for the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority. He has two primary responsibilities: to reduce the environmental footprint of the MTA and to verifiably measure the carbon benefits that accrue to the region due to the MTA. In a carbon-constrained future, this could generate resources. He is also the chair of the recently established MTA-wide Climate Change Task Force. Dutta was instrumental in the measurement and verification of MTA’s carbon footprint, and its registration with The Climate Registry. He has played a leadership role in the transit industry’s effort to quantify its carbon benefits. He has lectured and written extensively on the subject of ‘transit avoided carbon,’ including at Harvard, Yale and Columbia Universities. He is a published author and a regular contributor to publications, both physical and digital, focused on the environment. His work has been cited in The New York Times, on NPR and other outlets. Dutta blogs at and tweets @projjal.

Andrew Gronewold is a physical scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), and he holds an adjunct appointment in the University of Michigan’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Gronewold conducts research on a range of hydrological science projects that explore methods for quantifying and communicating uncertainties arising within long-term hydrological monitoring networks and data, and incorporating those uncertainties into models and risk-based water resource management decisions. His recent research has focused on monitoring, analyzing, and forecasting the long-term water budget and water levels of the Great Lakes. Gronewold completed his undergraduate research at Cornell University in civil and environmental engineering and conducted his graduate research at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment with Drs. Ken Reckhow and Robert Wolpert. Prior to joining NOAA, Gronewold completed a post-doctorate fellowship in U.S. EPA’s office of research and development in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. His career also includes several years in the environmental consulting field as a professionally-licensed engineer. Gronewold currently sits on several international panels and committees that coordinate international data collection and modeling efforts across the Great Lakes basin.

Jerry L. Hatfield is the laboratory director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service’s National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment and director of the Midwest Climate Hub in Ames, Iowa. His personal research focuses on quantifying the interactions among the components of the soil-plant-atmosphere system to quantify resilience of cropping systems to climate change and development of techniques to quantify plant response to the environment. He has served in numerous roles representing agriculture on the National Climate Assessment, member of the IPCC process that received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and Lead Author on an IPCC Special report on the Effects of Climate Extremes. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America and Past-President of the American Society of Agronomy and member of the American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union and Soil and Water Conservation Society. Hatfield is the recipient of numerous awards including the USDA Superior Service Award in 1997, the Arthur S. Flemming award for Outstanding Service to the Federal Government in 1997 along with the Distinguished Service Award, Kansas State University in 2002, Distinguished Alumni Award from Kansas State University in 2011, 2011 Conservation Research Award from the Soil and Water Conservation Society, and 2014 Soil and Water Conservation Award for Research Paper with Impact and Quality, and he was elected to the Agricultural Research Service Hall of Fame in 2014 for his research on improving agriculture and environmental quality. Hatfield is the author or co-author of 414 refereed publications and the editor of 15 monographs.

Michael Hawthorne is an award-winning investigative reporter who focuses on environment and public health issues for the Chicago Tribune. His stories have prompted new laws and health reforms at the federal and state level, including a U.S. ban on the export of mercury, rules to eliminate toxic, ineffective flame retardants in household furniture and tougher safety requirements for Illinois water utilities. He began his journalism career in Daytona Beach, Fla., and reported for newspapers in Illinois and Ohio before joining the Tribune in 2004.

Tracey Holloway is a professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with appointments in atmospheric and oceanic sciences and in civil and environmental engineering. She leads an air quality research program in the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), where her team uses computer models and satellite data to understand links between regional air quality, energy, and climate. Holloway is deputy director of the NASA Air Quality Applied Sciences Team and a 2011 Leopold Fellow, with research supported by NASA, U.S. EPA, National Institutes for Health and other sources. She is president and co-founder of the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN), an international peer-mentoring organization to support the career development of women in the geosciences. Her work with ESWN was profiled in Nature in April 2014, and from 2009 to 2013 Holloway was co-principle investigator on a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support ESWN. In 2012, Holloway was honored as the first ever recipient of the MIT Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Awards’ award in Education and Mentoring and the Council on Undergraduate Research in the Geosciences Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. She served as SAGE director from 2008 to 2011, and she is currently on the executive board of the journal Environmental Research Letters. Holloway earned her Ph.D. in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from Princeton University in 2001, and she completed a certificate in science, technology, and environmental policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Her undergraduate degree (Sc.B.) is from Brown University in applied mathematics, and her post-doctoral work was done at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

Andrew Logan is director of Ceres’ Oil & Gas and Insurance Programs. Since joining Ceres in 2002, Logan has launched and directs two program areas for the organization. The first focuses on working with investors to engage the oil sector on key sustainability issues including climate change, biodiversity and water. His second area of focus is the insurance sector, particularly the role that insurers could play in encouraging solutions to climate change.
He has a background in corporate strategy from his work with Bain & Company, a leading management consultancy. While with Bain, he developed high-level strategy for companies in the finance, e-commerce, manufacturing, retail and media sectors. Prior to Ceres, Logan directed U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s corporate campaign to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College.

Frank Szollosi is manager of regional outreach campaigns for National Wildlife Federation based in Ann Arbor and works with a team of public policy and advocacy professionals to build the power of the conservation movement to address the risks of climate change and to promote resilient communities. Szollosi served as a press secretary on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and was elected twice himself to serve as a Toledo City Councilman.  He recently earned both a Master of Science and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Michigan and his undergraduate degree is from the University of Utah.

Karen Weigert is chief sustainability officer for the City of Chicago. She was appointed in 2011. As chief sustainability officer, she works to guide the City’s sustainability strategy and implementation, bringing innovative, practical solutions throughout the work of the City. Prior to her appointment Weigert served as senior vice president of ShoreBank (later Urban Partnership Bank) where she built a national consumer group that generated deposits to support environmental sustainability and community development in low to moderate income urban neighborhoods. Before her work in community banking she was a strategy consultant at McKinsey, where she served clients on topics including transportation, finance, energy and land use. Weigert began her career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and later served as an appointee in the Clinton administration focused on global environmental issues and agriculture. She is a producer and writer for the documentary film Carbon Nation, which is focused on solutions to climate change. She is a former board member of CNT Energy, Foresight Design Initiative and Earth School Educational Foundation. Weigert graduated from the University of Notre Dame (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Business School.

Donald J. Wuebbles is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois and an affiliate professor in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was the first director of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment at Illinois, the first director of the Environmental Council at the University, and head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences for many years. Wuebbles is an expert in numerical modeling of atmospheric physics and chemistry. He has authored over 400 scientific articles, relating mostly to atmospheric chemistry and climate issues. He has been a lead author on a number of local, regional, national, and international assessments related to concerns about climate change, and on atmospheric chemistry, including the effects of human activities on stratospheric and tropospheric ozone. He has led past assessments and analyses of potential impacts of climate change and air quality on urban areas like Chicago and on various sectors for larger regions like the Midwest and the Northeast. Wuebbles and colleagues received the 2005 Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has been honored by being selected a Fellow of three major professional science societies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society. He shares in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the international Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Wuebbles was a coordinating lead author for the major international IPCC assessment of climate change published in late 2013 and was a leader in the U.S. National Climate Assessment published in May 2014, including leading the chapter on climate science and being a member of the Executive Secretariat and the Federal Advisory Committee. He was one of six U.S. scientists selected by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to work with counterparts representing the U.K. Royal Society on a special report on climate change; the resulting report was published in February 2014. He is also a leader in the WMO-UNEP assessment of stratospheric ozone, and co-leads the chapter on policy analyses, that is to be published in late 2014. Wuebbles received the Cleveland Abbe Award from the American Meteorological Society in February 2014 for outstanding accomplishments and service given to society.

Funding for this Climate Change and the News seminar is provided by The Grantham Foundation.


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