Speaker bios are presented alphabetically by each speaker’s last name:
Dr. Joel Berger
Professor Berger is the Barbara Cox Anthony University Chair in Wildlife Conservation at Colorado State University where he uses principles of behavioral and applied ecology to study and save species endangered by human encroachment and global change. His work takes him to the ends of the Earth and beyond as he studies takin and wild yaks in Bhutan and China, saiga antelope in Mongolia, musk ox and polar bears in the Arctic of Alaska and Russia, pronghorn in western North America, and black rhinos in Namibia and Zimbabwe. One of the central drivers of his research is to preserve the spectacular biodiversity of our Earth and find ways of sustaining both it and us. He has published 6 books, his most recent “Extreme Conservation: Life at the Edges of the World” was recently reviewed in the New York Review of Books and Nature, one of the premier scientific journals. He has also published 93 peer-reviewed articles in a wide variety of scientific venues.
Dr. Scott Denning
Dr. Scott Denning is a professor at Colorado State University. He received his B.A. in Geological Sciences from the University of Maine in 1984, and his M.S and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in 1993 and 1994. He studied radiometric geochronology, surface water geochemistry, and mountain hydrology before becoming interested in global climate and biogeochemical dynamics. After a two-year postdoctoral appointment modeling global sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2, he spent two years as an Assistant Professor in the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and management at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He joined the Atmospheric Science faculty at Colorado State University in 1998, and has served as Director of Education for CMMAP since 2006.
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe
Hayhoe, a climate scientist and Evangelical Christian, is a professor in the Texas Tech Department of Political Science, and runs day-to-day activities of the university’s Climate Science Center, part of the Department of Interior’s South-Central Climate Science Center. Her research focuses on establishing a scientific basis for assessing the regional to local-scale impacts of climate change on human systems and the natural environment. She is founder and CEO of ATMOS Research, which bridges the gap between scientists and stakeholders to provide relevant, state-of-the-art information on how climate change will affect lives to a broad range of non-profit, industry and government clients. With her husband, pastor Andrew Farley, she wrote A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions, a book that breaks down the complex science and tackles many long-held misconceptions about global warming. Together with local PBS station, KTTZ, Hayhoe writes and produces a popular PBS short series, Global Weirding: Climate, Politics and Religion. She serves on the Executive Summary Committee of, and is a convening and lead author for several chapters in, the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Fourth National Climate Assessment. The second volume is scheduled for release in November 2018. In 2017 Hayhoe was named one of FORTUNE magazine’s world’s greatest leaders, and in 2018 she was awarded the eighth Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication.
Dr. David Hondula
Is an assistant professor at Arizona State University, in the School of Public Affairs, the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, the Center for Policy Informatics, the Urban Climate Research Center, and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Dr. Hondula has recently been featured in media reports about research into sustainability, resiliency and addressing heat-related deaths in the face of ongoing warming in the Phoenix area.
Dr. Isabela Montañez
Isabel Montañez is a professor at UC Davis, as well as a field geologist and geochemist whose research interests are in the sedimentary record of coupled physical and chemical variation in paleo-oceans, global biochemical cycling in marine and terrestrial records, and carbonate fluid-rock interaction in sedimentary basins using stratigraphy, petrography and geochemistry, including stable and radiogenic isotopes and trace elements.
Dr. Jonathan Overpeck
Professor Overpeck is an interdisciplinary climate scientist and the Samuel A. Graham Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. Overpeck has written over 210 published works on climate change and the environmental sciences, served as a Working Group 1 Coordinating Lead Author for the Nobel Prize winning IPCC 4th Assessment (2007), and as a Working Group 2 Lead Author for the IPCC 5th Assessment (2014). He has active climate research programs on five continents, focused on understanding drought and megadrought dynamics (and risk) the world over, and has also served as the lead investigator of Climate Assessment for the Southwest and the SW Climate Science Center- two major programs focused on regional climate adaptation. Overpeck also works more broadly on climate and paleoclimate dynamics, ice sheets and sea level, climate-vegetation interaction, conservation biology, legal issues related to climate change, environmental communication and environmental education.
Dr. Michael Walsh
Walsh serves as Managing Director of Public Policy & Research of IncubEx. Michael has been a leader in the design and implementation of market-based mechanisms that advance natural resource conservation and air and water quality. As a co-founder and Executive Vice President of the Chicago Climate Exchange, Michael directed new product research and development and policy analysis and played a central role in building the market-leading Chicago Climate Futures Exchange and European Climate Exchange. Previously Michael was a Senior Economist with the Chicago Board of Trade where he led efforts to develop exchange-based environmental markets and directed the first three annual auctions of sulfur dioxide emission allowances conducted as part of the highly successful U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acid rain reduction program. Michael has also served as a financial economist in the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy and as an instructor at the University of Notre Dame and the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has been a keynote speaker at events worldwide and has testified at the U.S. House, Senate, and White House. Michael earned a Ph.D. in Economics at Michigan State University.
Dr. A. Park Williams
Park Williams is the Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University. Integral to Park’s research is the Tree Ring Lab where he uses tree ring records as a proxy to examine past climatic trends, understand environmental drivers of drought and wildfire, and model future climate. Although he and his students work around the world, much of his work centers in the Southwestern U.S. where he has documented the progression of ever larger and more severe forest fires. Park earned his B.S. at the University of California – Irvine, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California – Santa Barbara, and was a post-doctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Labs, New Mexico.