Climate Change News (CCN)- Summer 2016

Climate Change News (CCN) has been the archive of past events and way to share upcoming program activities, to help create an integrated, interdisciplinary community of students, faculty and researchers working on issues related to climate. We've been busy developing a new website and discussing growing the PCC graduate program, but are catching up with this newsletter highlighting the main PCC activities for 2015/2016.

People of the PCC

Who are the graduate students of the PCC?

Recently we reached out to the over 200 graduate students on our mailman list, asking recent graduates to share their information, so we could compile and share it with you. Read about them, who they were advised by, and what's next for them here. These are the students who create the strong community that does research, organizes their own seminars and workshops, and make our outreach program exciting and meaningful. Many thanks to all you do, and much luck in your future.

From Climate Minor ambassador to blog writers, the undergraduates in the PCC office are key. Aloha and thank you to Erica Sampaga, and welcome to David Bonan.

Erica Sampaga brought her energy and sparkle to the PCC and all our events, beginning 3 years ago as a rising sophomore. She has helped keep the website running and contributed to the development of the new website, which should be available this fall. For those of you who teach undergraduate climate related courses, you’ve likely worked with Erica to advertise the climate minor in your classrooms. Originally from the Big Island of Hawaii, she graduated from UW with a double major in Oceanography and Earth and Space Sciences in spring 2016 and is moving on to a position as a hydrographer. For the last month prior to graduation she helped train David Bonan (yes, he is related) on PCC office operations and climate minor advertising strategies. David will be developing blogs for the new PCC website, as he learns who and what UW climate-interested faculty are working on. Look for David at the PCC Summer Institute this September.

PCC Graduate Students are Organizing!

In June the Program on Climate Change graduate students got together in an all-hands meeting motivated by flagging attendance at the long running Graduate Seminar Series, continued strong involvement in the Graduate Climate Conference, Summer Institute and PCC Graduate Certificate and the work being done on the PCC website and mission statement. Sustained by a PCC sponsored pizza lunch, the goal was to figure out how best the graduate students and PCC could support a strong community of interdisciplinary climate scientists. The meeting itself was a strong reminder of the awesome community we have, with both new and ‘old’ faces showing up from across campus. The discussion ranged across a number of topics spanning: focused scientific workshops, teaching opportunities, outreach and scholarships. One outcome of the meeting was the formation of a smaller committee to organize and prioritize the graduate student suggestions so that they can be brought to the PCC Board and a rotating group of students that can serve as an ongoing nexus of ideas and leadership in the PCC. The next step will be a meeting of the ‘as yet to be named’ graduate committee in mid-July to discuss the ideas from the all-hands meeting. We are excited to tackle such sticky questions as ‘what does it mean to be a member of the Program on Climate Change?’ and ‘how can we hang out and learn about each other’s science without another seminar?’. Thank you to the Program on Climate Change for forming this community in the first place and the ongoing support for graduate students.
-Greg Quetin, PCC GSR

New Interdisciplinary PCC Graduate Fellowship Opportunity

To support one or more students with a clear passion for working across academic boundaries on projects grounded in climate science broadly defined, the PCC is offering a new fellowship opportunity. Applicants should submit a written proposal for research that is not currently defined as their dissertation research, and that has the support of faculty/staff in two different units (academic departments, research units, etc.). Application due 15 October 2015 for support to begin between winter 2017 and winter 2018. Read all the details here.

Our Simplified Climate Minor

In June the UW curriculum committee approved our simpler climate minor requirements. We hope that together with our work advertising the minor, that these changes will increase the number of students with a comprehensive, quantitative understanding of the climate system. A checklist of climate minor requirements and electives designed for students and advisors can be found here.

2016 PCC Summer Institute/Friday Harbor Symposium

"The Climate of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean"
Sept 14-16, 2016 at Friday Harbor Labs
Led by Cecilia Bitz, UW Atmospheric Sciences

Confirmed Speakers (as of June 8, 2106):
Kyle Armour (UW Ocean/ATMS), “Modern climate change in the Antarctic”, an evening public lecture on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Louise Sime - (British Antarctic Survey) Paleoclimate Modeler
David Thompson (Colorado State University) Atmospheric Dynamics
Andrew Thompson (California Institute of Technology) Southern Ocean
Knut Christianson (UW ESS) Ice shelves/sheets and oceans
Eric Steig (UW ESS) Paleoclimate
Lorenzo Polvani (Columbia University) Atmosphere and sea ice dynamics

Additional details, links (including required registration) and updates to the schedule are posted here.

Please consider:

  • Sharing what you do through a poster or quick talk.
    Abstracts can be submitted here until 5pm on Friday Sept. 9.
  • and

  • Participating in the carpool, as a van driver or rider.
    Sign up here ASAP and no later than Sept. 6.

  • Core PCC Courses Being Taught in 2016/2017

    Each quarter we compile climate related courses from across campus. If you teach such a class or seminar, let us know and we'd be happy to list it. Fall 2016 are compiled here. The 2016/2017 projections for courses curated by the PCC, many key for the Graduate Certificate and the Undergraduate Minor are:

    Fall 2016
    ATMS/ESS/OCN 586/475 Current Research in Climate-Security and Climate (Instructor: Thompson and Ray)

    ATMS/ESS/OCN 587 & ATMS 487 Fundamentals of Climate Change (satisfies the "Climate Dynamics course requirement of the GCeCS)(Instructor: Armour)

    Winter 2017
    ATMS/ESS/OCN 588 Global Carbon and Climate (required for the GCeCS) (Instructor: Swann)

    ATMS/ESS/OCN 593 Perspectives in Communicating Climate (Amy Snover and the Climate Impacts Group will be offering this seminar as “Transdisciplinarity and linking knowledge with action"; satisfies the Communication Seminar for the GCeCS)

    New Climate Dynamics from an Energy Perspective (course number TBD, will satisfy the "Climate Dynamics course requirement of the GCeCS)(Instructors: Armour and Roe)

    Spring 2017
    ATM S/ESS 559 and OCEAN 558 Climate Modeling (satisfies the applications requirement for the GCeCS)(Instructor: Bitz)


    To get in the loop on PCC issues, be notified of posting of the PCC newsletter to the website, info about climate seminars and much more, subscribe to one of our mailman listserves below:

    ...for graduate students, please subscribe to:

    ...for faculty members, please subscribe to:

    ...for postdocs, please subscribe to:

    ...for undergraduates interested in climate related activities and seminars on campus, including the climate minor, please subscribe to:

    ...for those outside the UW, or are a STAFF member, or identify with anything besides undergraduate, grad student, faculty, or postdoc, please subscribe to: be notified of PCC outreach requests and activities, please e-mail Miriam at

    Table of Contents