Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

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Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Gavin Schmidt

Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Gavin Schmidt

Piecing Together the Climate Story

Linking past, present and future in the climate story

All good stories need a beginning, middle and an end. For our climate story though, we have strangely started somewhere in the middle with little idea about how it's going to proceed. I will discuss how new observations of past climate change allow us to go back to the beginning and gain a better appreciation of where we are now. And further, how, through the use of climate models, those observations are giving us a better view of the end(s). Climate change turns out to be one of those 'choose your own adventure' stories...

About the lecturer

Gavin Schmidt is an expert in climate modeling, who began his career at NASA GISS in 1996, and is now Director. His primary area of research is the simulation of past, present and future climates. He has worked on developing and improving computer models that integrate ocean, atmosphere, and land processes to simulate Earth’s climate, and is particularly interested in how they can be used to inform decision-making. Schmidt received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Oxford University in 1988 and a doctorate in applied mathematics from University College London in 1994. He came to New York as a 1996 NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Global Change Research. In addition to more than 100 published, peer-reviewed articles, he is the co-author of "Climate Change: Picturing the Science" (W.W. Norton, 2009), a collaboration between climate scientists and photographers. In 2011, he was awarded the inaugural American Geophysical Union Climate Communications Prize.


Friday, January 23, 2015


CIRES Auditorium

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Refreshments provided

CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Roger Pielke, Jr.

CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Roger Pielke, Jr.

Sugar, Spice And Everything Nice: Science and Policy of 'Sex Testing'in Sport

by Roger Pielke, Jr., Center for Science and Technology Policy Research and Environmental Studies, CU Boulder

NEW VENUE: University Memorial Center, room 235

Abstract: In many settings, decision makers look to science as the basis for making decisions that are made difficult by their social or political context. Sport is no different. For more than a half century sports officials have looked to science to provide a clear distinction between men and women for purposes of determining who is eligible to participate in women's athletic competitions. However, the science of sex provides overwhelming evidence that there is no such clear biological demarcation that differentiates men and women. Despite this evidence, the International Olympic Committee and the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2011 implemented a form of 'sex testing' based on androgens, and specifically, testosterone levels in females. This paper evaluates this policy, finding it contradictory to scientific understandings of sex and counter to widely-held social norms about gender. The paper recommends an alternative approach to determining eligibility for participation in women's sports events, one more consistent with the stated values of sports organizations, and more generally, with principles of human dignity.

Biography: Roger Pielke, Jr. has been on the faculty of the University of Colorado since 2001. He is a Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). Roger's research focuses on science, innovation and politics. In 2011 began to write and research on the governance of sports organizations, including FIFA and the NCAA. Roger holds degrees in mathematics, public policy and political science, all from the University of Colorado. In 2012 Roger was awarded an honorary doctorate from Linköping University in Sweden and was also awarded the Public Service Award of the Geological Society of America. Roger also received the Eduard Brückner Prize in Munich, Germany in 2006 for outstanding achievement in interdisciplinary climate research. Before joining the faculty of the University of Colorado, from 1993-2001 Roger was a Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He is also author, co-author or co-editor of seven books, including The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics published by Cambridge University Press (2007) and The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won't Tell you About Global Warming (2010, Basic Books). His most recent book is Righful Place of Science Series, Disasters and Climate Change (2014, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes). He is currently working on a book on sport in society.


University Memorial Center, Room 235

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Special Seminar: Dr. Johannes Loschnigg

Special Seminar: Dr. Johannes Loschnigg

The Politics of Climate Change in Washington DC: 'Debates' about the science, confusion about the impacts, and ideological battles.

Wednesday, January 28, 3 pm, CIRES auditorium

Abstract: As a staff member in both the White House and the U.S. Congress during the last decade, Dr. Loschnigg has been closely involved in the debates about the science of climate change, as well as the need to reduce carbon emissions and shift to cleaner sources of energy. But Congressional action has been slower than many would prefer, often because of misinformation regarding the science of climate change and confusion about the projected impacts. Dr. Loschnigg will provide an overview of this debate, discuss the issue's deeper ideological underpinnings, and give an assessment of current and future action for reducing emissions.

Bio: Dr. Johannes Loschnigg was a Senior Policy Analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in Washington DC from 2009 to 2013. As a member of OSTP's Environment and Energy Division, Dr. Loschnigg was responsible for the development of federal policy for renewable energy, climate change, aerospace and earth satellite observations. Prior to that, Dr. Loschnigg was the Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics of the Committee on Science in the U.S. House of Representatives, overseeing NASA and U.S. civil space programs. Dr. Loschnigg first came to the U.S. Congress in 2002 as a congressional science and technology policy fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), working for U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. While in the Senate he directed the development of legislation relating to innovation, broadband wireless communication, nanotechnology, defense research and climate change policy. Between 1999 and 2002, Dr. Loschnigg was affiliated with the University of Hawaii, initially as post-doctoral fellow and later as a faculty research scientist in atmospheric and oceanic sciences. While in Hawaii he concentrated on coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling of the Indian and Pacific oceans as well as the impacts of climate variability on disease and human health. Dr. Loschnigg has been a Senior Advisor for the Administrator at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC and has also consulted for the National Academy of Sciences. He has previously been a scientific assistant at the the NASA Ames Research Center in California, at the Department of Physics at the University of Freiburg in Germany, and at the Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dr. Loschnigg holds BA degrees in both physics and international relations from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in astrophysical, planetary and atmospheric sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He currently is a consultant providing strategic advice for organizations and companies for projects related to energy, aerospace and climate change. He resides near Portland, Oregon.


CIRES Auditorium, Rm 338