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INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABILITY, ENERGY, AND ENVIRONMENT
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Building Resilience to Climate Change

iSEE Congress 2017

Sept. 18-20, 2017

Alice Campbell Alumni Center

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

#iSEECong2017

About the Congress

The purpose of this year’s iSEE Congress is to assemble leading national and international scientists from different disciplines to advance scientific understanding about state-of-the-art knowledge on the impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector, on ecosystem services, and on human livelihoods and wellbeing, particularly among the most vulnerable sections of society. The Congress will foster critical thinking not only of the challenges posed by climate change, but also of the areas for further research and institutional development to adapt to it. The event will provide a forum to discuss the near- and medium-term options for building resilience to climate change and policy directions that could contribute to long-term solutions.

Our previous iSEE Congresses on other grand challenges facing society have been attended by more than 300 faculty, students, and others from across campus each year.

iSEE Congress 2017 is supported by generous funding from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a symposium in recognition of the Illinois Sesquicentennial — “The Research University at 150: Celebrating the History and the Future of Interdisciplinary Research at Illinois.”

The organizing committee included iSEE Associate Director Madhu Khanna and Illinois faculty members Elizabeth Ainsworth, Brian Allan, Jeffrey Brawn, Carla Cáceres,, Don Fullerton, Atul Jain, Stephen P. Long, Sarah Taylor Lovell, Jesse Ribot, and Gillen D’Arcy Wood.

Accommodations

Venue, Parking, and Travel

About the Congress

The purpose of this year’s iSEE Congress is to assemble leading national and international scientists from different disciplines to advance scientific understanding about state-of-the-art knowledge on the impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector, on ecosystem services, and on human livelihoods and wellbeing, particularly among the most vulnerable sections of society. The Congress will foster critical thinking not only of the challenges posed by climate change, but also of the areas for further research and institutional development to adapt to it. The event will provide a forum to discuss the near- and medium-term options for building resilience to climate change and policy directions that could contribute to long-term solutions.

Our previous iSEE Congresseson on other grand challenges facing society have been attended by more than 300 faculty, students, and others from across campus each year.

iSEE Congress 2017 is supported by generous funding from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a symposium in recognition of the Illinois Centennial — “The Research University at 150: Celebrating the History and the Future of Interdisciplinary Research at Illinois.”

The organizing committee included iSEE Associate Director Madhu Khanna and Illinois faculty members Elizabeth Ainsworth, Brian Allan, Jeffrey Brawn, Carla Cáceres, Don Fullerton, Atul Jain, Stephen P. Long, Sarah Taylor Lovell, Jesse Ribot, and Gillen D’Arcy Wood.

Accommodations

Venue, Parking, and Travel

Registration is open!

Secure your spot

Program

The Congress kicks off on the evening of Sept. 18 with a keynote from John Holdren, Former Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The following two days are packed with presentations from local and world scholars diagnosing our future in a new climate and strategies for mitigating and adapting to the planet-wide warming trend.

Check out the tentative schedule of speakers >>>

Students: Present your work at iSEE Congress 2017!

During two evening poster sessions, students and post-doctoral researchers will have the opportunity to share their research related to the nature of climate change, its impacts, and adaptation and mitigation strategies with a large and diverse audience. Poster submissions are being accepted now through June 30, 2017.

Register your poster with us via our web form. Note that in addition to filling out this form, we ask all poster presenters to email a headshot to sustainability@illinois.edu. Thank you!

Speakers & Panelists

Listed in alphabetical order:

Arun Agrawal

University of Michigan

Session VI: “Managing Risks and Vulnerabilities to Climate Change,” 9-10:15 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20

Presentation title: Coming soon.

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Coming soon.

Brian Allan

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Session III: “Land Use and Ecosystem Impacts of Climate Change,” 1:30-3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: “Potential Consequences of Climate Change for Infectious Disease Dynamics”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Allan is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Illinois. His scientific research combines interests in the ecology of infectious diseases, conservation biology, and the influence of global change on human and animal health. His primary research interest is in understanding the consequences of anthropogenic change to ecosystems on the abundance, distribution, and behavior of wildlife that influence the transmission of vector-borne diseases to humans. His studies are conceptually linked through the phenomenon of changes in disease risk resulting from human activities that cause climate change, habitat loss and reductions in biodiversity. Allan’s research laboratory investigates the consequences of anthropogenic change for a diversity of vector-borne disease systems, including tick-borne diseases in East Africa, Panama, and the Midwestern United States, mosquito-borne diseases — particularly West Nile Virus — in the U.S., and triatomine-borne Chagas disease in Central America. A focus of recent research is the “invasion ecology” of vector-borne pathogens, including Lyme disease in the U.S. and Zika virus in the Americas. Allan investigates vector-borne disease invasions from the perspective of fundamental ecological processes, including the effects of landscape and habitat configuration on the probabilities of pathogen introduction and establishment.

Amy W. Ando

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Session IV: “Adapting to Climate Change,” 3:15-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: “Conservation Planning in the Face of Climate Change”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Ando is a Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at Illinois. She earned a B.A. in economics from Williams College in 1990 and a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T. in 1996. Before joining Illinois, she worked as a Fellow at Resources for the Future, where she now serves as a University Fellow. Ando’s research focuses primarily on the economics of species and habitat conservation. That work includes research to inform optimal conservation planning, understand actual conservation behavior, improve aquatic habitat through better stormwater management policy, and develop planning tools reduce the uncertainty in conservation outcomes from climate change. Her research has been funded by grants from sources including the NSF, EPA, and USDA-NIFA and has been published in Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, and numerous other scholarly journals and books. Ando has served as a handling editor for three major journals in her field, worked on review panels for the NSF, and provided expert advisory service to agencies and NGOs including EPA, USDA, the City of Chicago, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Maximilian Auffhammer

University of California Berkeley

Session II: “Vulnerability of Agriculture to Climate Change,” 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: Coming soon.

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Coming soon.

 

Sandy Dall’erba

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Session IV: “Adapting to Climate Change,” 3:15-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: “Measuring the Economic Impact of Climate Change: Recent Advances and Remaining Challenges”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Dall’erba holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pau, France. After an Assistant and Associate Professor position with tenure at the University of Arizona, he joined the University of Illinois in 2015. His research interests focus on regional science in general and economic growth, regional development policies, innovation and the economic impact of climate change in particular. In addition to the traditional estimation of the dynamics at work, he studies each of these fields by modelling and measuring the spatial interactions that take place between regions. An example would be the presence of spillover effects when regional policies are implemented to correct economic imbalances. In that purpose, he uses various tools of regional science but mostly spatial statistics, spatial econometrics and interregional input-output. He has published several articles on these topics and with those tools — some of them co-authored with his past and current graduate students – and he has been awarded various grants by NSF, NASA and USDA for my work. His research always attempts to provide a range of exposure to new curricula materials, methods of conducting interdisciplinary and international collaborative research and guidance in the preparation of material for dissemination in the public policy arena.

Joshua Elliott

University of Chicago

Session II: “Vulnerability of Agriculture to Climate Change,” 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: “Global Change and Food Security, One Crisis at a Time”

Abstract: It is crucially important that we better understand and build systemwide resilience to global change and its effects on food productivity around the world. Most of the atmospheric warming expected by midcentury is likely already “baked in” to the earth system, due to inertia in physical and socio-political systems. But global change is much more than just warming. Its population growth, wealth and wealth distribution, changing diets and rapidly increasing meat demand in wealthy households. Global change means increasingly erratic weather and extremes, with devastating droughts and floods threatening farmers and their livelihoods every year. Its also rapidly depleting surface and groundwater resources in some regions, as well as completely unacceptable rates of deforestation and species extinction. However, global change also means rapid technological growth that can increase productivity and provide access to data for improved decision-making in farm and environmental management. And it means unlocking the capacity of farmersaround the world to adapt to climate change, and even to take advantage of new opportunities. And just like climate, these factors are also changing rapidly and in many cases exponentially into regimes way outside any historical experience or context. Evaluating the future of agricultural production and food security requires integrated approaches that take account of this multidimensional risk and opportunity space. I will present a variety of recent and ongoing examples of these types of analysis, along with some speculations for future physical and information technology to increase productivity and improve resilience to extreme climatic events.

Bio: Elliott works on a variety of topics at the interface of global change, environmental, and social sciences through applied modeling, big data, and computational projects. He is Co-PI and Impacts Team lead at the UChicago center for Robust Decision-making in Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP) and leads the large-scale crop modeling efforts in the Agricultural Modeling Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP; e.g. Ag-GRID). Elliott currently runs several projects designed to improve global change Vulnerability, Impact, and Adaptation (VIA) assessments and tools (primarily in agriculture and forestry) using large-scale high-resolution models enabled by high-performance computing. He also works on predictions of agricultural production at seasonal time scales, the effects of large-scale extreme events (natural events such as droughts, heat waves and volcanoes as well as human-caused events such as nuclear war), and with socio-economic modeling and scenario analysis in the context of integrated assessment models. Elliott received his Ph.D. in High-energy Theoretical Particle Physics from McGill University in 2008, followed by a Postdoc in Computational Economics and Integrated Assessment Modeling at UChicago. Since 2011, he has focused primarily on computational Environmental Science, food security and modeling, but continues to draw lessons from these past disciplines (though the connection to quantum field theory is admittedly tenuous at best). Elliott has published more that 50 peer-reviewed and working papers, many in high-impact journals, and contributed chapters to several books.

Kaiyu Guan

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Session I: “Regional Climate Effects: Building Resilience,” 8:45-10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: “Impact and Adaptation of Agroecosystems to Climate Change in the U.S. Corn Belt”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Guan is an Assistant Professor in Ecohydrology and Geoinformatics in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at Illinois, with a joint appointment as a Blue Waters Professor affiliated with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). He uses satellite data, computational models, field work, and machine learning approaches to address how climate and human practices affect crop productivity, water resource availability, and ecosystem functioning. His lab also has keen interests in applying domain knowledge and large-scale computing in solving real-life problems, such as large-scale crop monitoring and forecasting, water management and sustainability, and global food security. Guan got his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences/Engineering at Princeton University in 2013. Before joining the Illinois faculty, he was a Postdoctoral Scholar working with Professors David Lobell and Joe Berry at Stanford University.

Justin Gillis

New York Times

Keynote Address 12:15-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: Coming soon.

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Coming soon.

Thomas W. Hertel

Purdue University

Session I: “Regional Climate Effects: Building Resilience,” 8:45-10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: Coming soon.

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Coming soon.

 

John Holdren

Former Director of White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Keynote Address 5:15-6:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18

Presentation title: “The Case for Investing in Climate-Change Resilience: Insights from Science, Engineering, and Economics”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Holdren served as President Obama’s Science Advisor and the Senate-confirmed Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) from early 2009 until January 2017. From 1996 through 2008 he was at Harvard University as the Teresa & John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy in the Kennedy School of Government and Professor of Environmental Science & Policy in Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences — positions to which he was r-appointed in February 2017. Holdren is also Senior Advisor to the Director at the independent, nonprofit Woods Hole Research Center. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as a foreign member of the Royal Society of London and the Indian National Academy of Engineering. From 1973 to ’96 he was on the faculty of the University of California Berkeley, where he co-founded and co-led the interdisciplinary graduate-degree program in energy and resources. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Stanford in Aerospace Engineering and Theoretical Plasma Physics.

Atul Jain

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Session III: “Land Use and Ecosystem Impacts of Climate Change,” 1:30-3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: Coming soon.

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Coming soon.

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California

Keynote Address Noon-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20

Presentation title: Coming soon.

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Kahn is a Professor of Economics at USC, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). He also serves as a Non-Resident Scholar at the New York University Stern School of Business at the Urbanization Project and as a Non-Resident Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Urban Research. Kahn has taught at Columbia, the Fletcher School at Tufts University and UCLA and has served as a Visiting Professor at Harvard and Stanford and as the Low Tuck Kwong Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and is the author of Green Cities: Urban Growth and the Environment (Brookings Institution Press 2006) and the co-author of Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War (Princeton University Press 2009). In September 2010, Basic Books published his book titled Climatopolis, and in January 2016, he published an updated e-book titled Fundamentals of Environmental and Urban Economics. In May 2016, Princeton University Press published his book Blue Skies over Beijing: Economic Growth and the Environment in China (co-authored with Siqi Zheng). His research focuses on environmental and urban economics.

 

 

Praveen Kumar

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Session II: “Vulnerability of Agriculture to Climate Change,” 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: Coming soon.

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Coming soon.

 

Robin Leichenko

Rutgers University

Session VI: “Managing Risks and Vulnerabilities to Climate Change,” 9-10:15 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20

Presentation title: “Economic Vulnerability to Climate Change in Coastal Regions: Opportunities and Challenges for Building Resilience”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Leichenko is Professor and Chair of Geography at Rutgers University and co-Director of the Rutgers Climate Institute. She earned an M.A. in Geography from the University of Colorado, and an M.A. in Economics and a Ph.D. in Geography from Penn State University. Her current research explores economic vulnerability to climate change, equity implications of climate adaptation, and the interplay between climate extremes and urban spatial development. Leichenko served as a review editor for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report and as a contributing author on the IPCC Special Report on Extreme Events. She is a member of the editorial boards of Economic Geography, Growth and Change, Anthropocene, Urban Climate, and Journal of Extreme Events, and she is past chair of the Economic Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. Leichenko has authored or co-authored two books and more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Her book, Environmental Change and Globalization: Double Exposures (2008, Oxford University Press), won the Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Scholarly Contribution from the Association of American Geographers.

 

Dion McBay

Monsanto Co.

Session VII: “Panel on Public-Private Actions to Adapt to Climate Change,” 10:30 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Sept. 20

Bio: McBay leads Monsanto Company’s Global Sustainability Development team, which brings innovative agriculture technologies to help farmers around the world increase their crop yields and profitability while reducing their impact on the environment and ecosystems. McBay and his team are responsible for Monsanto’s environmental sustainability strategy and oversee the company’s climate change initiatives, carbon neutral commitments, soil health focus, water quality efforts, and biodiversity programs. McBay grew up on his family’s farm in Tennessee and Alabama and has spent much of his life in cotton, corn, sorghum, and soybean fields. He began his career with Monsanto more than 22 years ago and has held positions in global technology development, commercial sales, and marketing leadership. As an advocate for sustainable agriculture, McBay is passionate about driving adoption of carbon smart systems and innovative solutions that allow the farmer to help feed the world in the most sustainable and profitable ways possible. McBay holds an M.B.A. from Baylor University and a B.S. from the University of Alabama, both with honors. He and his family have resided in St. Louis for the past 16 years.

 

Bill Northcott

Chief Innovation Officer, Agrible Inc.

Session VII: “Panel on Public-Private Actions to Adapt to Climate Change,” 10:30 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Sept. 20

Bio: Coming soon.

Donald Ort

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Session II: “Vulnerability of Agriculture to Climate Change,” 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: “More than Taking the Heat”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Ort is the Robert Emerson Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at Illinois and Research Leader of the USDA/ARS Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit in Urbana. His B.S. degree is in Biology/Chemistry from Wake Forest University and he earned his Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry from Michigan State University. He served as President of International Society of Photosynthesis Research, President of the International Association of Plant Physiology, President of the American Society of Plant Biologists and as Editor-in-Chief of Plant Physiology, and he is an Associate Editor of Annual Review of Plant Biology. He is the 2006 ASPB Kettering Award recipient, an elected Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologist in 2007, Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science Award in 2009, and elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2017. He is the Director of the SoyFACE project at Illinois, a unique open-air laboratory investigating the impacts of rising carbon dioxide and tropospheric ozone and their interactions with temperature and precipitation on crop systems of the Midwest. He is also Theme Leader of Genomic Ecology of Global Change in the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois. His laboratory is engaged in three lines of research: i) Redesigning photosynthesis for improved efficiency; ii) Molecular and biochemical basis of environmental interactions with crop plants; and iii) Ecological genomics — interactive effects of CO2, temperature and drought on plant, plant canopy and plant ecosystem performance.

 

Christopher Preston

University of Montana

Session V: “The Human Impacts of Climate Change: Causes and Solutions,” 8-9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20

Presentation title: “Climate Justice and Community: A Care Approach to Impacts Identification”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Preston is a Professor of Philosophy and a Research Fellow at the Mansfield Center’s Program on Ethics and Public Affairs at the University of Montana. He works in environmental philosophy, climate ethics, the ethics of emerging technologies, and feminist philosophy. His books include Saving Creation: Nature and Faith in the Life of Holmes Rolston, III (Trinity University Press 2009) and Grounding Knowledge: Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and Place (University of Georgia Press 2003). He is editor of the first collection on the ethics geoengineering, Engineering the Climate: The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management (Lexington Press 2012) and more recently Climate Justice and Geoengineering: Ethics and Policy in the Atmospheric Anthropocene (Rowman and Littlefield International 2016). His introductory monograph The Synthetic Age: How Humans are Making and Remaking the Earth will be released by MIT Press in March 2018. An author of more than three dozen articles in environmental philosophy, Preston has been co-PI on two National Science Foundation grants on ethics and emerging technologies. He has been an external reviewer for the IPCC and the Convention on Biological Diversity. He is also the recipient of a Templeton Foundation grant.

Mark Rosegrant

International Food Policy Research Institute

Session IV: “Adapting to Climate Change,” 3:15-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: “Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture and Adaptation and Mitigation Policies to 2050”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Rosegrant is Director of the Environment and Production Technology Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). With a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, he has extensive experience in research and policy analysis in agriculture and economic development, with an emphasis on water resources and other critical natural resource and agricultural policy issues as they impact food security, rural livelihoods, and environmental sustainability. He currently directs research on climate change, water resources, sustainable land management, genetic resources and biotechnology, and agriculture and energy. He is the author or editor of 15 books and more than 100 refereed papers in agricultural economics, water resources and food policy analysis. Rosegrant, who has won numerous awards, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

 

Julian Reif

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Session V: “The Human Impacts of Climate Change: Causes and Solutions,” 8-9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20

Presentation title: “Air Pollution, Health, and Medical Spending”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Reif is an Assistant Professor of Finance and Economics in the College of Business and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) at Illinois. He is also a Research Associate at the U of I’s Center for Business and Public Policy, and a Research Economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and JPAL North America. His research interests include population health, health care, and public finance. His recent work includes research on the value of health and longevity, the effectiveness of social insurance programs, and the health effects of air pollution.

Jesse Ribot

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Session VI: “Managing Risks and Vulnerabilities to Climate Change,” 9-10:15 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20

Presentation title: “Cause and Blame in the Anthropocene: Explaining Migration under a Changing Sky”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Ribot is Professor of Geography, Anthropology and Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at Illinois, where he is affiliated with the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory and the Women and Gender in Global Perspective program, and he directs the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy Program. Before 2008, he worked at the World Resources Institute, taught in the Urban Studies and Planning department at MIT and was a fellow at the Department of Politics of The New School for Social Research, Agrarian Studies at Yale University, the Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture at Rutgers, the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, the Woodrow Wilson Center and Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Most recently, he has been a Fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences and an Affiliate of the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University and of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. Ribot is an Africanist studying local democracy, resource access and social vulnerability.

 

Daniel P. Schrag

Harvard University

Session III: “Land Use and Ecosystem Impacts of Climate Change,” 1:30-3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: “The Timescale of Climate Change Impacts on Land and Ocean”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Schrag is the Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University, and Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. He also directs the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. His interests include climate change, energy technology, and energy policy. He has studied climate change over the broadest range of Earth’s history, including how climate change and the chemical evolution of the atmosphere influenced the evolution of life in the past, and what steps might be taken to prepare for impacts of climate change in the future. He helped to develop the hypothesis that the Earth experienced a series of extreme glaciations, called “Snowball Earths,” that may have stimulated a rise in atmospheric oxygen and the proliferation of multicellular animals. He is also interested in how we can use climate events in the geologic past to understand our current climate challenges. Schrag has worked on a range of issues in energy technology and policy, including advanced technologies for low-carbon transportation fuel, carbon capture and storage, and risks and opportunities of shale gas. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. He served on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), contributing to many reports to the President, including energy technology and national energy policy, agricultural preparedness, climate change, and STEM education.

 

Stephen Smith

Dow AgriSciences

Session VII: “Panel on Public-Private Actions to Adapt to Climate Change,” 10:30 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Sept. 20

Bio: Smith has the role of Global Technology Transfer Leader for Dow AgroSciences with the responsibility to develop training curriculums and strategies for new product and technology launches for both the internal sales organization as well as for external audiences. In addition, he is a member of the Dow AgroSciences’ Sustainability Steering Team. During his twenty years with Dow AgroSciences he has held roles in Agronomy Services, Marketing, Product Management, and was previously the U.S. National Sales Manager for Mycogen Seeds. Active in hunger issues, Stephen currently serves on the steering team of the Hunger Solutions Network, a Dow AgroSciences employee network, and leads the Indianapolis-based employee engagement efforts. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Indy Hunger Network (IHN), a nonprofit, collaborative impact organization that promotes access for all to nutritious food through a sustainable hunger relief system for Indianapolis. Smith’s educational background includes a M.S. in Agronomy and a B.S. in Agronomy from Penn State University.

Gernot Wagner

Harvard University

Session IV: “Adapting to Climate Change,” 3:15-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: “Solar Geoengineering as Adaptation?”

Abstract: Coming soon.

Bio: Wagner is a Research Associate at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a Lecturer on Environmental Science and Public Policy, the Executive Director of Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program, and an Associate at the Harvard University Center for the Environment. He wrote Climate Shock with Harvard’s Martin Weitzman (Princeton University Press 2015, paperback 2016), a Top 15 Financial Times McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2015, now also Austria’s Natural Science Book of the Year 2017; and But will the planet notice? (Hill & Wang/Farrar Strauss & Giroux 2011, paperback 2012). Wagner served as an Economist at the Environment Defense Fund (2008-16), most recently as its lead senior economist (2014-16) and member of its Leadership Council (2015-16). He holds a joint B.S. in Environmental Science, Public Policy, and Economics, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard, as well as a M.S. in Economics from Stanford. Wagner also serves as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a consultant for EDF.

 

 

Molly Woloszyn

Extension Climate Specialist, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Midwestern Regional Climate Center

Session VII: “Panel on Public-Private Actions to Adapt to Climate Change,” 10:30 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Sept. 20

Bio: Woloszyn is the Extension Climate Specialist for Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, both a part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As the extension climate specialist for both programs, she is responsible for communicating climate-related information to various stakeholders throughout the Midwest. Her current work includes assisting local governments adapt to weather extremes and climate change, providing expertise on historical trends and potential local impacts of climate change, and K-12 climate education outreach. She recently developed the Flood Vulnerability Assessment for Critical Facilities, which is an online assessment that identifies specific vulnerabilities of a particular critical facility to flooding and provides recommendations on how to reduce the facility’s risk. Woloszyn’s educational background includes an M.S. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University and a B.S. in Meteorology from Northern Illinois University.

 

Donald Wuebbles

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Session I: “Regional Climate Effects: Building Resilience,” 8:45-10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Presentation title: “The Climate Science Special Report: An Assessment of the Science of Climate Change”

Abstract: As a prelude to the 4th National Climate Assessment, the Climate Science Special Report is being developed to provide a comprehensive assessment of the science underlying the changes occurring in the Earth’s climate system, with a special focus on the United States. To summarize some of the findings, the science is clear: The climate on our planet, including the U.S., is changing much more rapidly than occurs naturally, and it is happening primarily because of human activities, especially from our use of fossil fuels but also from land use change. Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans. Documented changes include surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; disappearing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; and rising sea level. Storms are changing in intensity, precipitation patterns are altering, and the occurrence of droughts is shifting. Humanity is already feeling the effects of the changes in extreme weather and in sea level rise. Many sectors of our society are being affected, including threats on human health and well-being. The U.S. is seeing effects from the changing climate and these effects are likely to continue and get significantly larger in the future, affecting the people that live and work here. But there is hope — the science also shows that the extent of future effects on human society depend on how we act to limit climate change and our response to potential impacts.

Bio: Wuebbles is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science and a Presidential Fellow at Illinois. From 2015 to January 2017, he was Assistant Director with the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the Executive Office of the President. He is an expert in atmospheric physics and chemistry, with more than 500 scientific publications. In research related to climate change, in addition to science studies, he has developed metrics used in national and international policy and has studied climate impacts on society, plus potential resilience and societal responses. He has co-authored a number of international and national scientific assessments, including those by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He helped lead the 2013 IPCC international assessment of climate science and the 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment. He currently is co-leading a special assessment of climate science as a prelude to the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment. He has received many awards, including American Meteorological Society’s Cleveland Abbe Award and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award, and is a Fellow of three major professional science societies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society.

Session Moderators

Listed chronologically:

Keynote: John Holdren, 5-6:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18

  • Evan H. DeLucia, Director of Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, Professor of Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More on DeLucia here.

Session I: “Regional Climate Effects: Building Resilience,” 8:45-10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

  • Lisa Ainsworth, Associate Professor of Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More on Ainsworth here.

Session II: “Vulnerability of Agriculture to Climate Change,” 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

  • Carla Cáceres, Director of School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More on Cáceres here.

Lunchtime Keynote: Justin Gillis, 12:15-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

  • Gillen D’Arcy Wood, Langan Professorial Scholar of Environmental Humanities of English, Professor of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More on Wood here.

Session III: “Land Use and Ecosystem Impacts of Climate Change,” 1:30-3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

  • Jeffrey Brawn, Head of Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More on Brawn here.

Session IV: “Adapting to Climate Change,” 3:15-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19

Session V: “The Human Impacts of Climate Change: Causes and Solutions,” 8-9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20

  • Pradeep Dhillon, Associate Professor of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More on Dhillon here.

Session VI: “Managing Risks and Vulnerabilities to Climate Change,” 9-10:15 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20

  • Ben Crost, Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More on Crost here.

Session VII: “Panel on Public-Private Actions to Adapt to Climate Change,” 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20

  • Madhu Khanna, ACES Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More on Khanna here.

Lunchtime Keynote: Matthew E. Kahn, 12:15-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20

  • Don Fullerton, Gutgsell Professor of Finance and Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More on Fullerton here.

Accommodations & More

Venue
Alice Campbell Alumni Center

Alice Campbell Alumni Center

The Alice Campbell Alumni Center is located at Lincoln Avenue and California Street in Urbana, just south of the iconic Hallene Gateway Plaza (which marks the east entryway to the Urbana- Champaign campus). This facility is a warm and welcoming space perfect for soaking in the latest knowledge on how water, agriculture, and energy interact in our world today and in the future.

Address: 601 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana, IL 61801

View on Google Maps or the Illinois Campus Map.

 

Alumni Center website

 

Getting here:
The Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District’s 22 Illini route will drop off passengers at the intersections of Illinois and Lincoln and Oregon and Lincoln — both just one block from the venue. The Red line will make a stop at Nevada and Lincoln, a block and a half away.

Parking is available at meters in nearby lots and along the street. Please be sure to read the specific instructions of your meter; each street and lot can be slightly different from others nearby. Stay tuned to this page for more details on parking availability.

Bicycle racks are available, and active transportation is encouraged.

 

Nearby eats: click for a map of places to grab a bite between sessions.

Air Travel

Willard Airport (CMI)

The quickest, easiest way to travel a long distance to the iSEE Congress is to fly into Willard Airport (CMI) in Savoy, a five-minute shuttle ride from the I Hotel.

Website

Poster Presenters

Students, postdocs and other researchers were invited to present posters during the evening receptions on Sept. 18 and 19. 

 

THE PRESENTERS

  • William Davies, Ph.D. Candidate, Mechanical Engineering: “Effect of California’s Carbon Cap-and-Trade Policy on Home Design” — This research analyzes the effectiveness of California’s carbon cap-and-trade policy at the micro and macro levels. At the micro level, it examines home design in Los Angeles to determine if the policy has a significant effect on design, cost, and carbon emissions for individual homeowners. At the macro level, it analyzes carbon price and emissions data to determine if the policy has provided a net benefit to the state. This paper uses publicly-available carbon price, emissions, and electricity price data from 2012 and 2014, two years after program initialization. The home is designed using the ZEROs software. The paper compares the quantity and cost of carbon emissions saved for both a hypothetical homeowner and the state’s power generation industry as a whole, and compares those to the estimated value of reducing carbon emissions. The price of electricity in California is found to have increased faster than the rate of inflation, and this would cause homeowners to reduce energy consumption, with a cost of $124/MTCO2e saved. Statewide cost of emissions saved is estimated to be $300/MTCO2e.
  • Andrea Fierro, M.S. Candidate, Diversity and Equity in Education: “Climate Justice and Education: Making a Case for Civics Education” — Despite longtime warnings of climate change, global carbon emissions have continued to rise, so much so, our environment is at the brink of no return. According the Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers published by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global emissions must be reduced by 80-95% by 2050 to avoid devastating global warming. It is the goal of this poster to discuss the role of citizens to become agents of change through civics education. Civics education has the potential to equip citizens with the moral and political knowledge to confront issues like climate change, instruct them on how to respond to such issues, and reconnect them to their rights within a society. Civic habits and values effectually spark a larger national movement counter to global warming. In turn, this paper postulates that an educated public has the power to force policymakers to sway their own political interests toward a nationwide call for responsible moral action that would benefit all, globally. Because the U.S. is a major perpetrator in the current climate crisis, they have an ethical responsibility to become a global leader and to assist in the education and action to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Lorena Rios-Acosta, Ph.D. Candidate, Plant Biology: “Genotypic Diversity in the Responses of Yield and Yield Components to Elevated Ozone of Diverse Inbred and Hybrid Maize” — Current tropospheric ozone concentrations (O3), an important air pollutant, are phytotoxic and detrimental to crop yield causing significant losses of ~14-26 billion in 4 of the world’s major crops. Until recent years, it was believed that agricultural and economically important C4 plants, such as maize, were not significantly affected by O3. This project evaluated variation in the effects of elevated ozone (100ppb) on yield and yield components (ear number, individual kernel weight or kernel number) across diverse genotypes of inbred and hybrid maize during three growing seasons at the Free Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE) site in Champaign, IL. In 2015, 10 inbred lines were retested in addition to eight hybrid lines. Primary kernel mass (yield) was, on average, significantly lower in inbred and hybrid lines for 2014 and 2015 respectively. While some lines were sensitive to yield loss (up to -76% in inbreds and -26% in hybrids) others were highly tolerant of growth at elevated O3. Yield loss was primarily driven by decreased kernel number in inbreds, and by decreased individual kernel mass in hybrid genotypes. Inbred genotypes, B73 and Mo17 were identified as O3-tolerant and O3-sensitive, respectively.
  • Rashi Singh, M.S. Candidate, Energy Systems Engineering: “Comparative Study of Different Business models of Solar PV for Rural Communities in India” — India is a country where about 300 million people still live without access to formal electricity, and where hundreds of millions more live with irregular supply through the existing grid network. The rely on kerosene lamps and diesel generators to meet their energy needs. The cost of installing electrical infrastructure to these remote communities is often unrealistic. Low-cost small scale Solar PV technologies offers an approach for electrification of some of the India’s most remote rural areas. The technology can be used in an economically favorable and environmentally sustainable fashion to solve the energy poverty of these rural communities. This paper provides a comparative study of different business models for Solar PV technologies and broadly discusses the technical, economic and social feasibility of these models in the rural communities of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Erik Stanek, M.S. Candidate, Crop Sciences: “A Participatory Approach to Improving the Design and Adoption of Multifunctional Perennial Cropping Systems in the Upper Sangamon River Watershed, Illinois” — Multifunctional perennial cropping systems (MPCs) are an agricultural system that utilizes various trees, shrubs, and/or perennial herbaceous plants to produce high-value food products and ecosystem services. Interest in these systems has begun to grow but the understanding of landowner’s design preferences and adoption motivators/barriers are not well understood. Earlier research on MPCs revealed that when considering the adoption of these systems, landowners lacked adequate information to make an informed decision. This study aimed to fill that gap by identifying MPCs design preferences, information needs, and adoption barriers/bridges of 15 landowners within the Upper Sangamon River Watershed of Central Illinois. To do this, participants received three alternative designs for their land, each based off a unique normative future scenario summarized by one of the following goals: (1) Production, (2) Conservation, (3) Cultural. Participants were given realistic design visualizations and information on management, ecosystem benefits, profitability, and marketability of the designs to test implications of land use transformations. Participants were surveyed before and after the design process, as well as directly participating in the design process. Results of the study will be used to help improve decision-making tools, system designs, and future strategies for facilitating the further diffusion and adoption of MPCs.
  • Krti Tallam, B.S. Candidate, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences: “From the Visible to the Invisible: Patterns of Parasitism in Illinois Birds” — Populations of many bird species have been declining throughout North America, although the causes of decline are often unclear. Rapidly changing environments present novel stressors that may be driving these declines by negatively impacting the health of birds. Therefore, we assessed how avian health is affected by environmental stressors along an urban to natural gradient. One potential indicator of bird health is infection with parasites and pathogens. In order to understand how environmental factors impact infection levels, we have to establish a baseline for measures of parasite diversity and abundance. For this project, we conducted a literature survey of articles from the past century documenting parasites and pathogens in seven common shrubland birds: the American Robin, Brown- headed Cowbird, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, and Northern Cardinal. We provide parasite species lists for each host, examine shared infections among hosts, and provide a map of the geographic range of observations. Parasites of many hosts are understudied, and we explore how detection bias may limit our understanding of parasite diversity and abundance.