Climate Change News (CCN)- Spring 2008

Climate Change News (CCN) is a quarterly newsletter designed to keep you up-to-date on PCC activities and to help create a community of students, faculty and researchers interested in issues related to climate and climate change.

Climate Scientist Profile: Brian Smoliak

The Program on Climate Change works to unite the UW climate community, promoting interdisciplinary research. Much of our success is the result of the energy and enthusiasm of a diverse group of graduate students. One such student is Brian Smoliak, a 2nd year graduate student in Atmospheric Sciences, advised by Mike Wallace. Brian came to UW from Creighton University in Omaha, NE where he received a BS in Atmospheric Science in 2006.

Brian writes science articles for The Daily, enjoys organizing events such as the Graduate Student Climate Conference and Focus the Nation, and responds to many of my pleas for climate speakers. He also won the PCC prize for contributions to listing the most participants on the website and has also contributed to the next web-challenge by posting the content from the 2007 GCC. Will he have any competition? The deadline is May 1.

Since coming to UW, Brian has had his hand in a number of diverse research projects linked by the overarching theme of climate variability.

“I’m here to do science and to become well versed in my chosen field of study. I believe I can’t do that to the best of my ability unless I search out a broad skill set, comprised not only of the traditional facets of a Ph.D., but also of the experiences I deem appropriate to a sophisticated scientist in our modern world.”

“I strive to maintain an engaged, dynamic existence, else I waste the minutes and hours I have. I had a high school teacher that expressed chagrin at those looking to “kill some time.” He suggested “filling” time…”

Given these attitudes and activities, Brian is one of those students for whom the PCC graduate certificate in climate science and communicating climate was designed. We look forward to your continued participation in all aspects of the PCC, Brian!

2008 PCC Annual Theme: Oceans and Climate

Each year the Spring Public Lecture, the Annual Summer Institute, and the Fall Research Seminar focus on a common theme. LuAnne Thompson kicks off this theme with her feature article on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, featuring results from the February 2008 AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting. Carl Wunsch will give the PCC Public Lecture on May 8th, discussing "The Ocean and Climate Change: Exciting Stories, Realistic Problems, and the Future". Check back for details on an additional presentation by Professor Wunsch during his visit.

The 2008 PCC Summer Institute/Friday Harbor Lab Research Symposium is September 14-17, 2008 at Friday Harbor Labs on San Juan Islands. The institute will focus on "How Does Ocean Circulation Matter for Climate Change?", organized by Julian Sachs, LuAnne Thompson and David Battisti. Invited speakers (non-UW) include John Marshall and Martin Visbeck. Bergen graduate students are likely to attend, following on a summer school that took place in Bergen last year.

UW Focus the Nation

Thank you to everyone that contributed to the event on January 31, 2008. We look forward to next year, when student groups take the torch to create their own event.

Link to plenary powerpoints and panel summaries of the 2008 event at the University of Washington and an overview of the UW events with individual testimonials.

Featured Lectures

April 1, 2008, 7:30 PM, UW, Kane Hall, Room 210, Jonathan Overpeck (University of Arizona). “Climate Change, Sea Level, and Western Drought: Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference?” JISAO/Pacific Science Center Series “Climate Change: A Wakeup Call”.

April 17, 2008, 7:30 PM, Kane Hall Room 120, UW Campus, "Climate Change in an Uncertain World" by Sir Brian Hoskins, Atmospheric Science Distinguished Lecture

May 1-4, 2008, 10th Annual Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival, Johnson Hall.

May 8, 2008, UW Program on Climate Change Annual Public Lecture: "The Ocean and Climate Change: Exciting Stories, Realistic Problems, and the Future" by Carl Wunsch (MIT). 7:00 PM, Kane Hall 120. Free, no registration required.

Outreach Update

Look for a gathering in April of PCC outreach, in collaboration with the Climate Impacts Group (Lara Whitely Binder), to create a Pacific Northwest Climate Change presentation. This activity will remind many of you of the outreach gatherings with Roel Hammerschlag that resulted in the creation of the original PCC outreach presentation.

Planning for Climate Quest continues. Climate Quest is a high school summer camp, a partnership between the UW Program on Climate Change and the Burke Museum. The camp will guide students through presentations, hands-on activities, and a field trip to learn the science behind climate change, potential impacts on the Pacific Northwest, and efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Camp culminates in the showing of student-created videos. Guest speakers include Richard Strickland, Phil Mote and Julian Sachs; curriculum development by Heather Price, and video instruction by Hanson Hosein's Digital Media group at UW. Graduate and undergraduate mentors are being identified, let us know if you are interested.

SPECIAL: Students that register before April 25 and receive a free film session ticket OR $5 off the cost of a filmmaking workshop at the Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival (at Johnson Hall,UW, May 1-4).
Registration is through the Burke Museum. Flyer (pdf).

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Help Out

Are you interested in helping the PCC via a private donation? If so, please contact Chris (206-685-7414 or or Miriam (206-543-6521 or or give directly through the UW foundation website. We are particularly in need of financial support for our public outreach efforts (including bringing in distinguished speakers) and for resurrecting our PCC postdoc program. We welcome contributions of all sizes!

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