Climate Crisis Science
Dr. Mark Potosnak
Dr. Mark Potosnak is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Studies at DePaul University. He will present the science of climate crisis at our opening plenary. The talk will begin with a brief overview of how fossil fuel combustion is driving up global temperatures through an enhanced greenhouse effect. Some of the extensive evidence for current climate change will be presented. The talk will then turn to some of the most likely future impacts of climate change, followed by a discussion of the worst-case scenarios we face in our future.
|Mark Potosnak, third from left|
More about Mark Potosnak: "The common theme of my research is using field observations to understand the complex interactions between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere. In particular, I design field experiments that test hypotheses of how isoprene emissions are impacted by global change factors. Recent studies have been conducted in tropical, urban/arid and tundra ecosystems. These ecosystems are all understudied and also more susceptible to global change factors. For example, unlike the deciduous forests characteristic of temperate ecosystems, there have been few studies on the seasonal controls of isoprene emissions for evergreen and drought deciduous tropical ecosystems. My studies reveal a strong seasonality of emissions that cannot be explained solely by changes in ambient temperature and light. Preliminary research in tundra ecosystems has revealed surprisingly high isoprene emission rates and the potential for rapid increases induced by climate change. Finally, a recent project focused on land use change in a rapidly expanding urban area of the arid southwestern United States and was published in Atmospheric Environment."
Ground Zero for Climate Change: America’s First Climate Refugees
Carl Wassilie is a Yup’ik Alaskan, community organizer, and musician with a B.A. in biology who is deeply committed to his indigenous heritage and worldview that recognizes the sacredness of the air, land and water. He has been raising awareness on environmental issues since the catastrophic 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Carl is co-founder and community organizer with Alaska's Big Village Network and has worked extensively on environmental sovereignty with Tribal Governments and communities in Alaska including the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council and the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council.