Climate Challenges & Opportunities


Join in a multi-dimensional look at climate change, the
challenges it poses and the opportunities to address
these challenges. Learn about climate science, the
impact of climate on nature, what actions state and local
governments are taking and the synergy created when
groups join forces to deal with climate issues.

1. What is the Threat from Climate Change?
(Barry A. Klinger): How well do we understand
climate, and what is the scientific evidence for
human impact on climate change? What severe
weather changes can we expect to continue? How
is life on earth threatened by global warming?
These and other questions will be addressed as
an introduction to the course.

2. Climate Action Innovation from State and
Local Government (Demetra McBride): This
session will include an interactive assessment of
innovative project designs, technological integration,
landmark policies and leveraged financing
models forged by state and local governments in
addressing climate change. We will also look at
multi-disciplinary models for mitigation against,
or adaptation to, the impacts of climate change.
Local action matters in the climate race, and imagination
flourishes at the local level.

3. Climate Change Effects on Plant and Animal
Life Cycles (James Egenrieder): This class will
look at the impact of climate change on plant and
animal life cycles (phenology) and the vulnerability
of native species to invasive plants and insects.
We also will learn about emerging monitoring strategies,
mitigation and citizen science programs.

4. EcoAction Arlington — Working Against
Climate Change (Elenor Hodges): Do you have
an action plan for reducing your carbon footprint,
whether you live in a single-family house,
townhouse, condo or apartment? We will explore
practical ways that people can reduce their own
carbon footprint by looking at energy use in the
home, modes of transportation and waste.

5. Interfaith Groups’ Response to Climate
Change (Joelle Novey): How can we initiate
conversations about climate change in our communities?
How can we build multigenerational
coalitions of people to address the climate crisis?
What is the critical role faith communities have in
framing the climate crisis as a moral issue? We
will learn how faith communities across our region
are joining together to combat climate change.

Barry A. Klinger is a physical oceanographer who
studies how ocean currents can affect the climate. He
has an SB in physics and a PhD in oceanography from
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods
Hole Oceanographic Institution. He teaches a graduate
course on the science of climate change and has
given public lectures on the subject at George Mason
University and the National Park Service.

Demetra McBride is Arlington County’s Bureau Chief,
Office of Sustainability and Environmental Management.
Prior to joining Arlington County, she was Director of
Sustainability for Santa Clara County. She also served
as Environmental Initiatives Manager for Los Angeles
County, designing and executing an awarded portfolio of
climate mitigation/adaptation, sustainability and energy
programs. She studied in the U.S. and abroad before
graduating from New York Law School.

Jim Egenrieder is on the College of Engineering’s
Research Faculty and Director of Virginia Tech’s
National Capital Region and Community Engagement
“Thinkabit” Lab maker space in Falls Church. He leads
a team of students in creating, developing, and facilitating
programs for technical and professional (STEM)
education and workforce initiatives in the Washington,
DC, area. He is on the Natural Resources and
Environment adjunct faculty of Virginia Tech’s Center
for Leadership in Global Sustainability. He has a PhD
from Virginia Tech.

Elenor Hodges has been EcoAction Arlington’s executive
director since 2000. Her previous experience
includes environmental consultant with DynCorp, developer
of the Animal Tracks environmental education program
for Wal-Mart, and program manager in the education
department of the National Wildlife Federation. She
has a BA in environmental science from the University of
Virginia and a MEd from George Mason University.

Joelle Novey is the director of DMV-Interfaith Power
& Light (DC, MD, NoVA), through which hundreds of
area congregations of all faiths are coming together to
respond to climate change. She speaks widely on the
role that faith communities can play in the climate movement.
She is a graduate of Harvard University where
she received a BA in social studies and completed the
coursework for a minor in the study of religion.


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