University to host Global Climate Change Summit

Set for Sept. 23, the conference will focus on the multiple facets of climate change

Researchers from across Nevada and California will gather Sept. 23 to discuss climate change and its impact in the West.

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9/14/2017 | By: Nicole Shearer |

The University of Nevada, Reno's College of Business will host the Global Climate Change Summit from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 in the Joe Crowley Student Union. The summit will feature many experts from the University and from throughout northern Nevada and California in the fields of science, economics, government, industries, sociology and national defense.

"Coming off a major drought straight into an extreme winter, there have been many questions about climate change here in the state of Nevada," Fred Steinmann, research assistant professor in economics and conference co-organizer, said. "The focus will be Nevada-centric, opening up dialogue and facilitating networking opportunities for experts to discuss their research and to discover potential opportunities for collaboration and partnerships."

Registration for the conference is $15 for any Nevada System of Higher Education faculty or staff member with a valid ID, $10 for any NSHE student with a valid ID and $75 for the community-at-large.

The conference will start with a welcome address by Greg Mosier, College of Business dean. Between each of the six sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to share their thoughts with conference organizers. Their thoughts will be turned into a white paper about each of the six sessions.

Session 1: Science of Climate Change
The first session will feature a discussion about how the climate is changing. Panelists include:
• Kevin Badik, The Nature Conservancy-Nevada Field Office rangeland ecologist;
• Michael Dettinger, senior research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey's Water Resources Mission Area, resident scientist at the University of Nevada, Reno and research associate of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography;
• Allan Ferrenberg, an aerospace research and development expert, who, in his "retirement," teaches thermal sciences in the University's Mechanical Engineering department;
• Stephanie McAfee, assistant professor of geography at the University of Nevada, Reno and Nevada's deputy state climatologist; and
• Michale G. Pravica, professor of physics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Session 2: Economics of Climate Change
The discussion during this session will focus on how different markets are affected by climate change, economic issues surrounding climate change and the potential economic solutions to climate change. Panelists include:
• Stephan P.A. Brown, an economics professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the former director of energy economics at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas;
• Stallar Lufrano-Jardine, director of career services within the University's College of Business and fellow of The Climate Reality Project, founded and instructed by former Vice President Al Gore;
• Frances C. Moore, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis;
• Shawn Stoddard, senior resource economist at Truckee Meadows Water Authority, adjunct faculty in the Department of Economics and graduate faculty in Hydrologic Science at the University of Nevada, Reno; and
• Dilek Uz, research assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University specializing in renewable energy resources, particularly solar energy.

Session 3: Local Government in Climate Change
How do local governments approach climate change? Panelists will discuss mitigation and the barriers faced when pursuing shared practices. They will also engage in dialogue around the importance of resiliency planning for local infrastructure and whether or not local government is best suited to spearhead these activities. Panelists include:
• David Bobzien, Reno City Council Member-At-Large and member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Local Government Advisory Committee;
• Peter Gower, environmental planner with Environmental and Planning Solutions, Inc., chairman of the Reno City Planning Commission and member of the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Commission;
• Diana Madson, founder and executive director of The Mountain Pact, a network of outdoor recreation-based mountain communities in the American West working together for climate action and public lands restoration;
• Devin Middlebrook, sustainability program coordinator for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency;
• Julie Regan, chief of external affairs for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency; and
• Mervin Wright, environmental manager for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

Session 4: Industry in Climate Change
How is the private sector addressing and pursuing the benefits of clean energy and sustainable business practices? Panelists include:
• Richard Bartholet, director of research at the University's College of Business, a Nevada Capital Investment Corporation board member and past president and current board member of the Regional Alliance for Downtown;
• Jeanne L. Benedetti, offers more than 30 years of experience in project and business management, marketing and engineering acquired through working for renewable energy, power and gas and electric companies; and
• Betsy Fadali, economist with the Nevada Housing Division.

Session 5: Social Impact of Climate Change
A discussion of scarcity, this session will focus on how food, potable water and habitable land could, potentially, be impacted by climate change. Panelists include:
• David Gibson, vice chair of the Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter, member of the Market Leadership Advisory Board for the U.S. Green Building Council Nevada Chapter, founder of Powered by Sunshine, a non-profit initiative with the goal of 100 percent clean energy statewide in Nevada;
• Escenthio "Thio" Marigny, environmental justice organizer for PLAN, the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada in Reno;
• Frances C. Moore, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis; and
• John Sagebiel, assistant director for environmental programs, University of Nevada, Reno.

Session 6: Climate Change and National Defense
The final session will focus on how different national security issues are impacted by climate change as well as how climate change is currently and may potentially act as a conflict catalyst locally and globally. The discussion will also include how climate change affects energy security. Panelists include:
• William Payne, dean of the University's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources;
• Pat Mulroy, non-resident senior fellow for climate adaptation and environmental policy and practitioner-in-residence for the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law. Mulroy also serves on the Wynn Resorts Ltd Board of Directors; and
• John Scire, adjunct professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Nevada, Reno.

More information about the conference, including online registration, is available on the Nevada Leadership Program website.

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