Thursday, January 24, 2008

UW symposium ponders climate change

Here in the land of oil/gas/coal, we too are turning our attention to global warming. Over at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, there's a Climate Change Committee (code name -- C3), described as a "faculty group that works with the UW Research Office and the Office of the President to coordinate a campus-wide initiative on climate change."

To that end, C3 has planned a free symposium Jan. 30-31.

The event is coordinated with more than 1,200 other universities and institutions across the country participating in Focus the Nation. Its goal is "to educate the public about significant aspects of climate change, with special attention to ways that we can mitigate and adapt to anticipated environmental changes at a national and state level."

The symposium on Thursday, Jan. 31 opens at 12:30 p.m. with a panel discussion featuring Mary Byrnes, Wyoming Public Service Commission; Gary Collins, Wyoming Governor's Office, Arapaho Tribal Liaison; Mike Purcell, Wyoming Water Development Commission; Rob Hurless, Wyoming Governor's Office, Energy and Telecommunications adviser; and John Corra, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

At 2:30 p.m., Denise Stephenson Hawk of the National Center for Atmospheric Research will present "Climate Change and its Sphere of Influence: Pathways to Societal Resilience." A 4:30 p.m. workshop on lobbying skills, led by Sarah Gorin of the Equality State Policy Center, will be followed at 6 p.m. with another keynote presentation titled "Climate Change in the Rockies: Global Problems, Homegrown Solutions," by Michelle Nijhuis, a freelance journalist and contributing editor for High Country News in Colorado.

A symposium launch party, featuring free food and live music from the bluegrass band "Head to the Hills," is Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the Wyoming Union Gardens. A live, interactive webcast of "The 2 Percent Solution," hosted by actor and clean energy advocate Edward Norton, begins at 6 p.m.

For more info on the symposium, call 307-766-5310 or e-mail

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