UT students attending national climate conference | UToledo News

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UT students attending national climate conference

A group of University of Toledo students traveled to the 15th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment this week.

conference logo“Energy and Climate Change ” is the theme of the conference, which runs from Tuesday, Jan. 27 to Thursday, Jan. 29 in Washington, D.C.

The group, led by Dr. Andy Jorgensen, UT associate professor of chemistry and environmental sciences, traveled by train in an effort to keep their carbon footprint low.

“This conference is a great networking opportunity for the students,” Jorgensen said. “It will also allow them to showcase their work by exhibiting posters at the conference, which will have almost 1,000 leaders in science and engineering, policy and governance, businesses and civil society, and education. It connects Toledo and our students with a larger environmental community.”

Jorgensen said it was encouraging to hear President Obama mention climate change in the State of the Union address. “Our students are right in the middle of this issue. They have an important role to serve in their future careers, and they are part of the solution,” he said.

The group also has a scheduled meeting in the office of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who represents Ohio’s Ninth Congressional District and has served since 1983.

“I hope the students get a sense of the larger world in this field of the environment and what we can and must do to protect the world,” Jorgensen said.

Attending the conference from UT are Michaela Margida, a doctoral student in environmental sciences, and undergraduate engineering students Meri Mullins, Ben Nielsen, David Krane and Ryan Oaks. The undergraduates are participants in UT’s Building Ohio Sustainable Energy Future Program, which is funded by the Ohio Board of Regents.

Keynote speakers at the conference include Bill Richardson, former secretary of energy and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; Gina McCarthy, administrator from the Environmental Protection Agency; Gérard Araud, ambassador of France to the United States; and Franklin Orr, undersecretary of science and energy in the U.S. Department of Energy.

Jorgensen and the students would like to thank the deans of the college of Engineering and Natural Science and Mathematics, the Office of Research, the director of undergraduate research, and Dr. Geoff Martin, head of the Building Ohio Sustainable Energy Future Program, for making the trip possible.

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