Panelists for WLOS round table discussion "Climate Change: Causes, Impacts & Solutions"

Panelists for WLOS round table discussion "Climate Change: Causes, Impacts & Solutions" (Photos provided by panelists)

On Thursday, Oct. 5, News 13 is hosting a Your Voice, Your Future Round Table: “Climate Change: Causes, Impacts, & Solutions.” It will air on Channel 13.3 from 8pm-9pm and will be moderated by our Chief Meteorologist, Jason Boyer.

We asked the panelists to submit short biographies so those interested in the Round Table discussion could learn more about them.

Dr. David Easterling - Chief, Observations and Data Records; Director, National Climate Assessment Technical Support Unit Center for Weather and Climate NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information

David Easterling is a Supervisory Physical Scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NOAA/NCEI) in Asheville, North Carolina. He is currently Acting Chief of the Weather Sciences Branch, Chief of the Observations and Data Records Section, and Director of the Technical Support Unit (TSU) for the U.S. National Climate Assessment. The TSU provides scientific, editorial, graphical, and software support to the U.S. National Climate Assessment and sustained assessment process of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. In his career at NOAA he has developed or enhanced methods to improve the quality of climate data sets, helped guide the development of high quality climate observing networks, and analyzed climate data for evidence of climate variability and change.

David received his Ph.D. in 1988 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served as an Assistant Professor in the Atmospheric Sciences Program, Department of Geography, Indiana University-Bloomington from 1987 to 1990. In 1990 he moved to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center as a climate scientist, was appointed Principal Scientist in 1999, Chief of the Global Climate Applications Division in 2002, and Director of the Technical Support Unit in 2013. He is an adjunct Professor in the Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department at N.C. State University.

He has authored or co-authored more than 90 research articles and book chapters on climate science. David was a Lead Author on the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, the IPCC Special Report on Climate Extremes, the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, and a Convening Lead Author for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP) 3.3 on Climate Extremes. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and has been awarded four NOAA Administrator’s Awards, and three NOAA Bronze Medals.

Dr. Carl Schreck - North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies (NCICS)

Dr. Schreck investigates tropical weather and its impacts around the globe. He is particularly interested in identifying and predicting the Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) and equatorial waves. Dr. Schreck engages with partners in private industry to explore how these systems can improve long-range forecasts of weather risk over the United States, including hurricanes, extreme precipitation, and extreme temperatures. He also partners with forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and National Hurricane Center to improve extended forecasts of tropical cyclogenesis and tropical rainfall. One of his passions is assessing and reducing uncertainties in the historical tropical cyclone best tracks, including through the citizen science project.

Dr. Schreck joined NCICS in August 2010 after completing his PhD at the University at Albany. He serves as a Research Assistant Professor with the NCSU’s Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences and as an Adjunct Associate Professor with NC A&T. He is a co-editor of the annual “State of the Climate” and “Explaining Extreme Events” reports for the Bulletin of the Atmospheric Sciences.

Ellie Johnston - Climate and Energy Lead, Climate Interactive

Ellie Johnston leads Climate Interactive’s global climate and energy efforts. She has built up Climate Interactive’s engagement programs to extend to thousands worldwide. Through this, Ellie is working to deepen and expand global understanding on how to act on climate change and related systemic challenges by bridging the gaps between science and policy.

Ellie is also on the Board of Directors of SustainUS and formerly led the organization, which has brought hundreds of young people to participate in United Nations meetings and develop expertise in effective advocacy and leadership on climate change and sustainable development. Ellie has presented at numerous UN meetings, the White House, the African Union, and many universities. Prior to Climate Interactive, Ellie brought together hundreds of authors for the ten-volume Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability, where she was an editing and project coordinator. She is a founder of several grassroots climate change efforts, and advises campaign strategy and network development for organizations. Ellie has spent time as a researcher of climate impacts on high altitude biological systems and also the effectiveness of efforts to institutionalize sustainability in higher education. Ellie has a degree in biology from the University of North Carolina Asheville.

Dr. Danny Lee - Director, USDA Forest Service’s Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center

Dr. Danny C. Lee leads the USDA Forest Service’s Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center, charged with developing knowledge and tools needed to predict, detect, and assess environmental threats to forests in the eastern United States. The Center is headquartered with the Southern Research Station in Asheville and has additional offices in Raleigh and Research Triangle Park, NC.

With over 30 years of research experience within the USDA Forest Service and the non-profit sector, Dr. Lee is an expert on the application of systems analysis, risk assessment, and modeling to large-scale ecosystem management issues. His diverse background includes research on hydropower system effects on anadromous fish in the Pacific Northwest, land management impacts on aquatic systems, ecosystem management in the Sierra Nevada, and comprehensive wildland fire planning and analysis throughout the US. More recently, his personal research has focused on using massive data sets garnered through remote sensing to better understand the dynamics of disturbance and recovery across broad landscapes.

Dr. Chris Cooper - Department Head, Political Science & Public Affairs - Western Carolina University

Christopher A. Cooper is Professor and Department Head of Political Science and Public Affairs, and Professor (by Courtesy) of Psychology at Western Carolina University. He has received Western Carolina University’s highest awards for research (University Scholar, 2011) and teaching (Board of Governors Teaching Award, 2013) and was named the 2013 North Carolina Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He also has a tostada named after him at a local Mexican restaurant and is a published songwriter.

Cooper’s published academic research features over 50 refereed journal articles and book chapters on state politics, southern politics, and political behavior. He is also co-author of The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of its People (University of North Carolina Press) and co-editor of The New Politics of North Carolina (published by the University of North Carolina Press).

Cooper is a frequent source for news stories about North Carolina, as well as national politics and he has been quoted hundreds in a variety of media including the New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, USA Today, CNN, FOX News, ABC News, Christian Science Monitor, Boston Herald, Charlotte Observer, Asheville-Citizen Times, The Hill, Winston Salem Journal, National Journal, Raleigh News and Observer, and His op-eds, which attempt interpret modern politics through the lens of empirical political science research, have appeared in newspapers across the Southeast.

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