The University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries will host an interactive sustainability event, “A Climate for Change: Research, Reflection and Action around Climate Change,” on Saturday, April 1 from 4-7 p.m. on the Lower Level of the W. E. B. Du Bois Library.
The event includes a Sustainability Showcase featuring a variety of campus-based sustainability initiatives, talks by UMass Amherst geosciences professors Julie Brigham-Grette and Robert DeConto, as well as the presentation of the libraries’ 2017 Sustainability Hero Award to state Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose and the awarding of first place prize for the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award.
The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Seating is limited.
The interactive Sustainability Showcase includes Divest UMass, UMass Climateers, Sustainable UMass, Eco-Reps, Sustainable Food and Farming and Student Farm Enterprise, Sustainability Curriculum Fellowship, Libraries’ Sustainability Fund, the Talking Truth project, Sustainability Projects Abroad, Northeast Climate Center, and the Wind Energy Center.
The UMass Amherst Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives will share information about their environmental, anti-nuke, and alternative energy collections.
Additionally, the public is invited to take part in a reflective writing exercise where they can share their thoughts on climate change. These reflections will be added to the libraries’ archives.
Brigham-Grette is a professor of quaternary/glacial geology, arctic paleoenvironments, and department head of geosciences. She is also chair of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Polar Research Board and was named a 2016 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, an honor given to individual members “who have made exceptional scientific contributions and gained prominence in their respective fields of Earth and space sciences.”
Her research focuses on the chronology of geologic systems that record the climate evolution and sea level history of the Arctic over the past 3.5 million years and on documenting the global context of ancient environmental change across the Bering Land Bridge, that area of the western Arctic from Alaska and the Yukon into northeastern Russia and adjacent marginal seas.
Robert DeConto, professor of climatology, department of geosciences, is one of the world’s leading experts on polar climates, ice sheets and sea-level rise. He is the winner of the 2016 Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica. The recognition comes for his outstanding work on past and future Antarctic climate and for research integrating geological data with modeling to reveal likely consequences for future sea level rise from ice sheet melt. The prize includes a $100,000 award and is given to “an individual in the fields of Antarctic science and/or policy who has demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that will enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica.”
DeConto and co-author David Pollard’s March 2016 paper in Nature, “Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise,” was named the most featured climate change paper in the media last year as reported by Carbonbrief.org. The research paper was featured in 386 news stories and was covered by outlets such as the BBC, Guardian, Huffington Post, New York Times, Washington Post, and The New Yorker.
Massachusetts state Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose, Third Hampshire District, will be presented with the libraries’ 2017 Sustainability Hero Award. Golstein-Rose took over the seat vacated by retired state Rep. Ellen Story. One of the youngest state legislators in the country, he is an advocate for system change, particularly on education and clean energy, and a resource for constituent service, internship opportunities and political activism.
The first-place winner of the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award will also be honored. This annual scholarship promotes in-depth understanding of sustainability topics, research strategies and the use of library resources.