Climate Change and the News: Impacts in the Great Lakes

Program Summary | Agenda | Participant List | Resources List
Seminar for News Leaders | Climate Change and the News | Training

September 19, 2014
WBEZ Chicago
Navy Pier
848 N. Grand Avenue
Chicago, Illinois

Speaker Bios

Sally Eisele is WBEZ’s managing editor. She oversees a staff of more than forty editors, reporters, hosts, producers and interns who produce local content for WBEZ 91.5 and Since her arrival at WBEZ in 2005, she has organized a Public Affairs Department that is committed to multi-platform coverage of the important news stories of the day, long term enterprise and investigative work as well as the simple stories of people and place that reveal surprises about the region and those of us who live here. Under her leadership, the talented staff at WBEZ has won dozens of local, regional and national awards for that blend of journalism. Eisele also oversees Chicago Public Media’s ambitious local midday programming, The Morning Shift, Worldview and The Afternoon Shift. These programs feature produced editorial content from WBEZ and CPM’s second service, Vocalo, along with interactive conversations with newsmakers, journalists, and community members that are often provocative and sometimes just plain fun. Eisele also works closely with the web team on implementation of a rapidly evolving digital strategy that is key to our institutional future. This strategy relies heavily on podcasts and social media to distribute content to a broader audience. She comes to WBEZ from KQED in San Francisco, where she worked for twelve years. She started as Morning Edition host and assignment editor. She went on to host a political program, reported stories for KQED and NPR and was the founding senior producer of the acclaimed California Report, a statewide news service featuring a daily Morning Edition module and weekly statewide newsmagazine program. Eisele is a Midwest native who studied journalism at Michigan State University where she was news director of the largest campus radio network in the country. She began her public media career in Michigan at WKAR in East Lansing and was managing editor of the Michigan Public Radio Network and host of the daily statewide news magazine program State Edition.

Mark Fisher was appointed chief executive officer of the Council of the Great Lakes by the Council’s board in 2014. He is a seasoned professional with 13 years of experience in policy-making, strategic business planning, corporate communications, stakeholder engagement, public advocacy, and issues management. He brings a wealth of experience in international affairs, with a focus on advancing the United States-Canada relationship in the areas of trade, security, natural resource development and environmental protection. Fisher also brings extensive experience providing advice to key decision-makers and influencers, including the Prime Minister of Canada, provincial premiers and ministers, parliamentarians, and C-level executives from the private and not-for-profit sectors.

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.

Tom Henry began his journalism career 33 years ago and has focused on Great Lakes environmental-energy issues for most of his 21 years at The (Toledo) Blade. His many awards include one this year from the International Association for Great Lakes Research, which honored him as the first newspaper journalist to receive its prestigious Jack Vallentyne Award. IAGLR created that award a few years ago to recognize one person each year it believes has made a contribution to the public’s understanding of the Great Lakes through a sustained, high level of science communications for at least 20 years. Henry also became the first two-time recipient of a Vermont Law School fellowship this year. He studied legal issues pertaining to environmental justice from Barry E. Hill, a U.S. EPA lawyer who headed up the agency’s national environmental justice program for nine years. In 2008, Henry spent ten days in Greenland researching what became a four-day, nine-story series about climate change connections between Greenland and the Great Lakes region. The package was cited by Columbia Journalism Review, the Knight Science Tracker and the Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media. Henry is a former Society of Environmental Journalists ( board member and currently serves as book editor of the organization’s quarterly magazine, SEJournal. He also is on the editorial board of that publication. He wrote Great Lakes environmental-energy columns for several years before moving over to a Great Lakes blog, Ripple Effect, in late 2013 ( In his spare time, Henry also freelances music CD reviews on a weekly basis and occasionally profiles musicians. He also has freelanced dozens of book reviews since 1993, a combination of environmental-energy books, fiction, and biographies. He has been a guest speaker at numerous events, from area colleges to civic groups. He delivered the keynote to the University of Toledo College of Law’s 2012 Great Lakes Water Law conference, and prior to that was a keynote speaker for a statewide convention of the Ohio League of Women Voters. | @ecowriterohio

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 is from Brown University in applied mathematics, and her post-doctoral work was done at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

Kate Mulvaney is a social scientist whose work focuses on integrating social science into interdisciplinary ecological research efforts. She completed her Ph.D. in natural resources social science at Purdue University with a focus on understanding the management implications of climate change for Great Lakes fisheries.  Additionally, she holds an M.A. in marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island and a B.S. in marine biology from Roger Williams University. In addition to her research and educational experiences, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines for three years, a Knauss Fellow in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Marine Conservation, and she also worked at Save The Bay, Narragansett Bay, on various habitat conservation projects. Mulvaney is currently a post-doctoral grantee of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Atlantic Ecology Division in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Karen Sands is the manager of sustainability for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) where she has worked for over 12 years. MMSD is a regional government agency that provides water reclamation and flood management services for about 1.1 million customers in 28 municipalities in the greater Milwaukee area. In support of MMSD’s mission, she manages the Sustainability group whose responsibilities encompass research, green infrastructure, energy planning for conservation and renewables, and climate resiliency. With a career spanning over 20 years, Sands has had held a number of planning positions in the public and private sectors in Wisconsin, Maine, and New York. She came to the sustainability field with a Bachelor’s degree in geography and a Master’s degree in regional planning, both from the State University of New York at Albany. She is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and serves on the executive boards of Friends of the Hank Aaron State Trail and the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Peter Snyder is an associate professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota. He is an atmospheric scientist studying an array of research problems related to atmospheric dynamics, hydroclimatology, hydrometeorology, climate change, and land-atmosphere interactions. He has conducted research in the Arctic, the tropics, and across North America. In particular, Snyder has conducted research on the role of Great Plains Low Level Jet on moisture transport and precipitation events in the Upper Midwest, the role of climate change on the frequency of extreme events, the influence of Arctic warming on the boreal forest, monitoring and mitigation of urban heat islands, the climate response to boreal afforestation for carbon sequestration, and data mining of complex environmental systems. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses on meteorology, atmospheric dynamics, numerical modeling, and ecological climatology. In addition, he is an instructor in the University of Minnesota Early Career Teaching Program. He has performed over 50 media-related outreach activities including television, radio, newspaper, and web to discuss climate change and meteorology issues. He is a Fellow of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. Snyder earned a doctorate in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2004.

Chris Swanston is a research ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station and the director of the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. He also serves as the lead for the USDA Midwest Regional Climate Sub-Hub for northern forests, project lead for the Climate Change Response Framework, co-chair of the Climate Change Resource Center, chair of the science committee of the International Soil Carbon Network, and is a member of the science steering group of the North American Carbon Program. Swanston works with numerous organizations to help them reach their land stewardship goals while considering and planning for climate change. Originally from California, he is actively engaged in Midwest assimilation through hunting, ice fishing, snowshoeing, and trail running­–but not cross country skiing, which requires unreasonable coordination.
cswanston@f! |

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.

Julie A. Winkler is a professor of geography at Michigan State University. Her research interests include synoptic and applied climatology and regional climate variability and change. Much of her research focuses on the central United States and Great Lakes region. Winkler is the lead editor of the recent publication, Climate Change in the Midwest: A Synthesis Report for the National Climate Assessment.  Winkler was the 2013-2014 president of the Association of American Geographers and she is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

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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