Student lightning round: 2021 Great Plains conference
Undergraduate and graduate students from many disciplines showcase what climate change in the Great Plains means to them in quick, back-to-back presentations. Presenters: Bailey McNichol, biology (UNL); Margaret Nongo-Okojokwu, journalism (UNL); Mar Lee, English and global studies (UNL); Matthew Thompson, environmental engineering (UNL); Kathleen Dillon, English (UNL), Cameron Steele, English (UNL), Kimberly Steward, Natural Resources (UNL).
Part of the 2021 Great Plains conference: "Climate Change & Culture in the Great Plains" that took place April 1-2, 2021.
icon search Searchable Transcript
Toggle between list and paragraph view.
[00:00:05.010]Good afternoon and welcome back
[00:00:07.300]to the Climate Change Great Plains Symposium.
[00:00:10.560]We hope you've enjoyed the programming so far.
[00:00:14.030]I'd like to welcome you
[00:00:15.220]to the student climate change lightning round.
[00:00:19.310]So for this panel there, it will be,
[00:00:22.620]you'll hear from quite a few students in a row.
[00:00:24.870]Everyone will have about five minutes to speak.
[00:00:27.880]There should be time for question and answer at the end.
[00:00:30.800]I was just discussing with our panelists
[00:00:33.330]that I will give them a minute to each,
[00:00:35.970]to introduce themselves right before they speak.
[00:00:38.860]If you could all say your name, what department you're in,
[00:00:41.010]and any research interests,
[00:00:42.410]or anything else you might want to share with the group
[00:00:44.350]before jumping into your presentation, that would be great.
[00:00:49.480]Yes and then we can field questions
[00:00:51.470]through the chat feature at the end.
[00:00:54.150]So we will begin with Bailey McNichol,
[00:00:57.000]and I will turn it over to you.
[00:01:00.020]All right awesome.
[00:01:01.260]Thanks so much for the introduction.
[00:01:03.410]And it says host disabled participants screen sharing.
[00:01:06.540]I don't know if I have to be a co-host maybe?
[00:01:11.320]I have not shared you there.
[00:01:14.032]Oh wait, here we go.
[00:01:15.780]To all panelists.
[00:01:16.720]So you should be able to do it now.
[00:01:27.090]All right well yeah, hi everyone.
[00:01:28.620]Thank you so much for being here for this.
[00:01:31.110]It's been a great day so far,
[00:01:32.270]so hopefully we'll close it out well.
[00:01:34.690]So my name is Bailey McNichol.
[00:01:36.680]I'm a second year PhD student
[00:01:38.470]in the school of biological sciences.
[00:01:40.210]And my background is more in forestry.
[00:01:42.430]I kind of think of myself as a forest ecologist,
[00:01:45.530]sort of landed in Nebraska
[00:01:46.810]just based on how everything worked out.
[00:01:48.670]But today I'm gonna talk with you
[00:01:50.590]about how climate change threatens plant diversity
[00:01:53.240]in the Great Plains.
[00:01:54.440]Specifically focusing in Nebraska
[00:01:56.240]and on the unique and bio-diverse forests
[00:01:58.690]that we have in Nebraska.
[00:02:01.470]So plant diversity is incredibly important,
[00:02:04.030]more diverse ecosystems
[00:02:06.220]host a broader suite of ecosystem services.
[00:02:09.060]These are things like capturing
[00:02:11.250]and storing carbon from the atmosphere,
[00:02:14.160]nutrient cycling and water cycling and decomposition
[00:02:17.470]and also providing habitat for wildlife
[00:02:20.410]and also recreational opportunities for people.
[00:02:23.830]And so that diversity is important
[00:02:26.930]in providing these services
[00:02:28.210]but also more diverse ecosystems have shown
[00:02:30.750]to be more resistant and resilient
[00:02:32.850]to environmental stressors.
[00:02:35.330]And this is important because as we know
[00:02:37.300]under climate change, anthropogenic stressors are increasing
[00:02:40.680]in both their frequency and intensity.
[00:02:42.627]And this will threaten the diversity
[00:02:44.210]and functioning of ecosystems globally.
[00:02:46.675]Just to kind of talk about some of the particular examples
[00:02:49.640]of stressors that are affecting ecosystems
[00:02:51.830]in the Great Plains,
[00:02:53.410]wildfires are becoming more common and also more intense.
[00:02:56.840]Like we saw with the Fairfield Creek Fire
[00:02:58.850]in Northern Nebraska back in 2012.
[00:03:01.620]We're also seeing an increase in threats
[00:03:03.380]from invasive and native pest damage.
[00:03:05.340]Which can come in the form of bark beetles
[00:03:07.470]or maybe you've heard about the Emerald ash borer.
[00:03:09.440]Which is an invasive insect that's recently arrived
[00:03:12.750]in Nebraska and is likely to threaten
[00:03:14.270]our native forest in the future.
[00:03:16.380]But these stresses can also affect crop systems as well.
[00:03:19.320]We've seen increasing drought stress
[00:03:21.380]and a few years ago we actually saw flooding.
[00:03:23.490]So it's not only warming and drought.
[00:03:27.100]It's also the more extreme events
[00:03:29.010]that are affecting ecosystems.
[00:03:31.160]And these types of extremes are really important
[00:03:32.860]in the Midwest because as many of you likely know,
[00:03:36.339]most of the Great Plains are dominated
[00:03:38.530]by Prairie ecosystems due to limitations and precipitation.
[00:03:42.240]But we actually do have forests and they're very constrained
[00:03:45.840]in where their distributions can occur
[00:03:47.600]by water availability.
[00:03:49.150]And so most of the forests are in riparian areas
[00:03:51.740]or lower elevations where they can access groundwater.
[00:03:55.940]And so for this reason, monitoring efforts of these forests
[00:03:59.560]are really important
[00:04:00.393]because they're more vulnerable
[00:04:01.900]due to things like drought and fire.
[00:04:04.000]So we actually, my research has focused
[00:04:06.430]on two forest monitoring plots.
[00:04:08.400]Which were established through the Smithsonian Forest Geo.
[00:04:11.480]This is a worldwide network of forest monitoring plots
[00:04:13.940]and temperate tropical and boreal ecosystems.
[00:04:16.980]And all of these plots are uniform
[00:04:18.890]in the way that they're established.
[00:04:20.660]So this is an example of what these plots look like.
[00:04:23.210]Ours are the Indian Cave Plot,
[00:04:24.950]which is in Indian Cave State Park
[00:04:26.590]in the Southeast corner of the state.
[00:04:28.490]And then we have a plot on Nature Conservancy land.
[00:04:31.580]We're collaborating with them up in North central Nebraska.
[00:04:34.890]And the plots are here,
[00:04:36.130]you can see the extent is marked by these rectangles.
[00:04:38.910]And every woody stem, which is vines, shrubs or trees
[00:04:42.690]that's a centimeter or greater in diameter,
[00:04:44.940]is given a tag to allow for long-term monitoring
[00:04:47.730]is identified to species and is mapped.
[00:04:50.350]So it's kind of like the social security
[00:04:53.100]for each of these individuals, right?
[00:04:54.530]We can track their demographics
[00:04:56.000]over time and understand what the consequences
[00:04:58.890]of different stressors might be
[00:05:00.480]for the growth and mortality of different species.
[00:05:03.150]And with that information, we can start
[00:05:05.020]to sort of project and predict what the future
[00:05:08.510]of these forests might look like.
[00:05:10.590]And generally what we find
[00:05:11.880]is that forests in the Great Plains,
[00:05:14.640]species within these forests are very well suited
[00:05:16.830]to very specific environmental conditions.
[00:05:19.670]So what this plot shows
[00:05:21.290]is each of these little colored bars is a species
[00:05:24.400]and the distributions of the species.
[00:05:26.820]This is an example from the Niobrara plot,
[00:05:29.150]are ordered by the main elevation at which they occur.
[00:05:32.410]So on this end, you have the lower elevation species.
[00:05:35.400]Which are associated with like a floodplain habitat,
[00:05:38.070]right along the Niobrara river.
[00:05:39.970]And then at the upper end, you kind of see this gradient
[00:05:42.835]as the amount of water availability to the trees reduces.
[00:05:46.300]And this is a more exposed,
[00:05:47.640]dry environment where the forest meets the Prairie.
[00:05:50.540]And so what we see from this figure
[00:05:52.210]is that there are species that are highly specialized.
[00:05:54.960]At the low end we have species
[00:05:56.910]that only occur on the flood plain.
[00:05:58.650]And so if we think about a future climate condition
[00:06:00.920]where we have more droughts,
[00:06:02.690]we might lose those species in the future
[00:06:04.360]if an environment becomes too dry for them.
[00:06:07.040]Whereas on the upper end,
[00:06:08.260]we have species that are really well adapted
[00:06:10.330]to the windy exposed conditions
[00:06:12.240]that you picture on a Prairie.
[00:06:13.920]And these might become more common under a future climate.
[00:06:16.570]If we have increasing intensity
[00:06:19.070]of environments due to limited water availability.
[00:06:22.580]And so ultimately this work is really important
[00:06:25.210]because we need to understand
[00:06:27.010]and evaluate the current conditions of ecosystems
[00:06:29.720]in the Great Plains,
[00:06:30.810]To develop conservation and management strategies
[00:06:33.540]of its ecologically important ecosystems.
[00:06:37.300]So I'd just like to acknowledge a lot of collaborators
[00:06:39.760]and funding sources that have helped us with this project.
[00:06:42.290]And I'd be happy to answer any questions
[00:06:43.990]that you might have.
[00:06:44.920]Thanks so much for your time.
[00:06:48.130]Thank you, Bailey.
[00:06:49.010]That was wonderful.
[00:06:50.940]Next we'll hear from Margaret Nongo-Okojokwu.
[00:07:04.247]And I think you're still muted Margaret.
[00:07:14.960]Good afternoon everyone, is good to be here.
[00:07:18.106]Let me just share my screen now.
[00:07:33.137]Can everyone see, okay, I don't think I have it yet.
[00:07:57.030]Can you all see my screen now?
[00:08:00.990]Good afternoon again my name is Margaret Nongo-Okojokwu.
[00:08:04.500]I'm a graduate student of College of Journalism
[00:08:07.510]and Mass Communication at the University of Nebraska.
[00:08:10.073]I am going to be speaking about how climate change
[00:08:13.780]is changing our social co-existence in Western Africa.
[00:08:19.190]I'm speaking here as a journalist
[00:08:21.350]and one who has been observing events.
[00:08:24.080]And what we have in our experiencing so far
[00:08:26.450]in Western Africa, which is also a general thing
[00:08:30.150]that is common in Africa.
[00:08:32.170]And how we link these to climate change
[00:08:33.950]and the Great Plain of Nebraska.
[00:08:39.601]Africa like you said, this is the map of Africa,
[00:08:41.520]showing the Sahara region
[00:08:42.850]and how the desert is encroaching into the Southern part
[00:08:47.283]And that brings about herders.
[00:08:48.600]So we have herders and farmers clashes together.
[00:08:52.863]And that's because herders are migrating
[00:08:56.224]from the Sahara region of Africa
[00:08:57.720]in search for greener pastures and water
[00:09:00.250]for their herds.
[00:09:01.470]And this also brings about this clashes
[00:09:04.730]that we're talking about.
[00:09:06.563]What does climate change mean to me?
[00:09:08.060]Climate change, for me climate change
[00:09:10.770]doesn't just mean the change of weather,
[00:09:13.130]but also it means herders coming together.
[00:09:16.570]Who migrate from their lands in search of water
[00:09:20.513]and are be forced to go to another land
[00:09:24.000]where they feel they have these greener pastures.
[00:09:27.422]And because of that, there is this violence,
[00:09:29.552]there is these clashes in territories
[00:09:31.651]due to that encroachments.
[00:09:32.484]And the farmers are usually found in middle bed
[00:09:34.840]Nigeria region in Southern Nigeria region.
[00:09:37.990]And these farmers who do not want this encroachment,
[00:09:42.010]this results into violence and clashes.
[00:09:44.490]Other forms of effects of this climate change to me,
[00:09:47.850]it's flooding and and food shortages
[00:09:51.260]and these lands that are already arable
[00:09:54.240]and cannot really bear fruits.
[00:09:58.080]So comparing the Great Plains of Nebraska versus Nigeria.
[00:10:02.010]I mean this is my I've just kind of have one thing
[00:10:06.780]They have a large expanse of arable land.
[00:10:10.780]So in this,
[00:10:11.613]I'll just want to just play this brief video
[00:10:15.674]so you can see.
[00:11:54.347]So, climate change-induced desertification as we see.
[00:12:00.360]Interesting facts from the video.
[00:12:03.009]We see that that the effect of climate change,
[00:12:05.194]it does more than a flooding
[00:12:06.710]and more than a dry lands in Nigeria.
[00:12:10.020]It means it means a whole lot more.
[00:12:12.210]It means violence.
[00:12:13.260]It mean clashes.
[00:12:14.430]Climate change-induced desertification is
[00:12:16.620]eroding 350 hectares of land annually
[00:12:20.600]in Northern Nigeria alone.
[00:12:22.520]And if you compare that,
[00:12:23.490]that is 14 times the size of Nebraska, imagine that.
[00:12:27.510]So we see this happening even when the UN
[00:12:30.530]has done a lot against desertification,
[00:12:32.907]it's just not going away.
[00:12:36.790]And from various news reports and galleries
[00:12:40.890]we see the farmer-herders clash
[00:12:43.585]has registered about 10,000 deaths in 2016 and 2018.
[00:12:47.160]According to the reports by foreign affairs in Nigeria.
[00:12:53.040]What lessons can be applied from this
[00:12:56.230]looking at the Great Plains.
[00:12:57.560]I have been in Nebraska
[00:12:59.070]and I see that some of the cultures and some
[00:13:02.310]of the things practices in Nebraska can be implemented
[00:13:05.290]in my country is like ranching and cultivation of fields.
[00:13:09.890]It's like deliberate tree planting for instance
[00:13:12.660]and then cleaner energy sources.
[00:13:15.240]These are practices that are seen
[00:13:16.950]in the Great Plains that I feel would be implemented.
[00:13:20.490]And this can also mitigate the situations we are having.
[00:13:27.070]I would like to say that I believe that
[00:13:28.760]with the right policy put in place,
[00:13:31.910]we can have a better co-existence within different tribes.
[00:13:39.496]Irrespectable of our regions and wherever we come from.
[00:13:42.430]We need an enabling environment.
[00:13:43.930]We need enabling policies
[00:13:45.570]and laws regulating these movements.
[00:13:48.300]And I believe as ranching culture as we see in Nebraska,
[00:13:51.750]if it's been implemented,
[00:13:53.450]it's going to help calm the situation in laws.
[00:13:55.770]I see reforestation and JIRA is one once
[00:13:58.510]and implemented the green wall policy reforestation.
[00:14:02.704]Encouraging the use of renewables.
[00:14:04.560]This will bring about the need,
[00:14:06.580]that peace that we still see,
[00:14:09.310]even though we still know that the challenges are ahead
[00:14:12.480]of us in terms of calming climate change globally.
[00:14:16.000]So these are the lessons I believe
[00:14:18.370]that we can take away from the Great Plains.
[00:14:21.100]Thank you very much.
[00:14:23.530]Thank you, Margaret.
[00:14:24.440]That was excellent.
[00:14:26.680]Next we will hear from Mar Lee.
[00:14:34.700]Give me just a second.
[00:14:43.530]Hi so my name is Mar Lee.
[00:14:46.250]This is my presentation.
[00:14:48.750]Nebraska is for everybody.
[00:14:51.230]Oh going a little fast there.
[00:14:53.940]Why I am choosing to stay
[00:14:56.470]and fight climate change in my home state.
[00:15:00.950]So quick introduction.
[00:15:03.930]I am a fifth year senior at UNL.
[00:15:05.903]I am a part-time student.
[00:15:07.852]Also by the way, Mar lee or Mar either one works.
[00:15:11.820]Pronouns are they and theirs.
[00:15:14.180]I am majoring in English and global studies.
[00:15:17.470]I am minors in German, film studies, environmental studies,
[00:15:20.470]political science in Great Plains Studies.
[00:15:23.340]I work full-time as a community organizer for OutNebraska,
[00:15:26.840]working in LGBTQIA+ policy and civic engagement.
[00:15:31.040]I grew up along the Republican River
[00:15:32.710]in South Central Nebraska in a farming community.
[00:15:35.800]Growing up, both my parents worked in agriculture
[00:15:38.730]for mostly corporate entities.
[00:15:40.760]And I'm currently living outside of Raymond, Nebraska,
[00:15:43.940]ranching with my partner, Travis Stumpf.
[00:15:45.980]And we're raising goats, sheep, and chickens
[00:15:49.160]Using regenerative agricultural practices.
[00:15:53.030]So I'm kinda looking at the issues we're seeing
[00:15:56.340]in rural areas in Nebraska for socioeconomic inequity.
[00:16:00.130]There are lack of social protections
[00:16:01.710]for the LGBTQIA+ community currently.
[00:16:04.780]And even any protections that do exist are eliminated
[00:16:07.930]by at will firing practices for marginalized communities.
[00:16:11.570]Which puts them at risk in rural areas,
[00:16:13.730]where they often face discrimination.
[00:16:16.100]There are lack of job opportunities, affordable housing,
[00:16:18.880]healthcare access for both mental and physical health care.
[00:16:21.990]And there is pretty much no public transportation
[00:16:24.400]in rural areas.
[00:16:26.220]There's little to no opportunity
[00:16:27.590]for people to get into agriculture.
[00:16:29.720]Most people are usually born into farming families
[00:16:32.700]and that's how they get into it.
[00:16:33.910]So people looking to get into agriculture
[00:16:36.130]are having hard time kind of breaching those barriers.
[00:16:39.460]And we're experiencing brain draining.
[00:16:42.173]People are moving out of rural areas into cities
[00:16:44.740]such as like in Omaha
[00:16:46.340]or they're completely moving out of Nebraska.
[00:16:48.360]And we're seeing people head to the coast,
[00:16:50.170]looking for more opportunities for education,
[00:16:52.250]housing, work and community.
[00:16:54.641]I planned on leaving Nebraska originally
[00:16:57.640]because I was faced by a lot of these issues,
[00:16:59.770]being a trans person,
[00:17:01.700]being a person with disabilities
[00:17:03.240]and also growing up low income in a rural area.
[00:17:06.240]But I ended up staying when I realized how badly
[00:17:08.990]these issues will be exacerbated by climate change.
[00:17:13.030]If we don't do something about it.
[00:17:15.320]And we have to start protecting vulnerable populations
[00:17:18.750]of people that are still here.
[00:17:20.600]And may not have the option to just leave.
[00:17:22.210]Like I thought i did.
[00:17:24.670]So what's wrong currently with Nebraska agriculture?
[00:17:28.010]Nebraska agriculture is not environmentally friendly.
[00:17:31.020]We have runoff from chemical fertilizers
[00:17:33.210]and pesticides are polluting our waterways in Nebraska
[00:17:36.040]and beyond even creating a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
[00:17:40.260]Concentrated animal feeding operations.
[00:17:42.570]Also CAFOs lead to concentrated waste pollution
[00:17:45.300]in local environments,
[00:17:46.860]lead to exploitative contracts for farmers.
[00:17:49.470]And also inhumane and unhealthy living conditions
[00:17:53.570]Monoculture cropping and tilling practices are eroding away
[00:17:56.980]any top soil and organic matter.
[00:18:00.280]Not only releasing tons of carbon into the atmosphere
[00:18:02.720]but also hindering our ability to sequester carbon.
[00:18:06.190]You know, I would rather not see another dirty thirties
[00:18:08.820]in the next 10 years,
[00:18:11.080]And it's just not sustainable environmentally
[00:18:14.520]In the last 25 years Nebraska farmers
[00:18:16.720]have received $15,363,000,000 in government subsidies.
[00:18:23.390]So how do we fix this problem?
[00:18:25.320]Localized regenerative food production.
[00:18:27.360]Nebraska farmers need to make the switch,
[00:18:29.690]stop growing corn and soybeans and monoculture crops.
[00:18:32.721]Start growing diversified food operations
[00:18:35.500]for local markets using regenerative agricultural practices
[00:18:39.310]to design functioning food producing ecosystems.
[00:18:41.720]That means stop growing the food for the cows
[00:18:45.730]that you're grazing and put them out on grass prairie.
[00:18:48.520]And they can eat that.
[00:18:49.830]And that tall grasses will also help sequester carbon
[00:18:53.420]from the atmosphere.
[00:18:55.170]Localized food production could also create more jobs
[00:18:57.810]in rural areas, help address food deserts as well.
[00:19:01.200]Supply food for local urban centers,
[00:19:03.430]improve health of citizens
[00:19:04.930]by having direct access to more nutritious food.
[00:19:07.820]And educate people about food production
[00:19:09.810]and how to how to grow their own food
[00:19:12.260]and kind of get rid of this disconnect
[00:19:13.960]between where our food is coming from
[00:19:15.860]and how it gets to our table.
[00:19:17.860]This would not only help minimize agricultural impacts
[00:19:20.730]from climate change, but also can lead to sequestrations
[00:19:23.984]of carbon through regenerative land management practices
[00:19:26.970]and grasslands restoration.
[00:19:28.576]As well as empower rural communities to be self-sustaining
[00:19:31.900]and not as reliant on outside food sources.
[00:19:36.200]I'm talking about our ranch,
[00:19:37.740]my partner Travis Stumpf manages ranch operations
[00:19:40.600]for the most part.
[00:19:42.010]We have communal gardening space.
[00:19:43.930]We're currently working with friends
[00:19:45.180]from the Omaha tribe of Nebraska,
[00:19:46.700]to provide space for a Buffalo garden.
[00:19:49.410]We're doing education on food production
[00:19:51.500]to families and children
[00:19:52.680]and looking at possible future partnerships
[00:19:55.030]with local community organizations to expand our reach.
[00:19:59.170]Localized regenerative food production,
[00:20:01.040]we're trying to cater to local immigrant communities
[00:20:03.840]in Omaha and Lincoln to give them locally
[00:20:06.930]and ethically sourced food
[00:20:08.040]that respects cultural and religious practices.
[00:20:11.180]Like I said, we're ranching sheep and goats,
[00:20:13.266]which is an a lot of traditional food
[00:20:15.750]for immigrant communities from Africa and the middle East.
[00:20:19.300]And so we're trying to be able to produce that
[00:20:21.320]since it's kind of harder to find out here
[00:20:23.340]where it's mostly peat country,
[00:20:25.470]and Travis is currently working with a team
[00:20:27.760]to establish the Missouri River Valley Poultry
[00:20:31.600]Which is meant to provide opportunities
[00:20:33.340]for black indigenous people of color
[00:20:35.270]to be producers and get into agriculture,
[00:20:38.583]which is a predominantly white industry.
[00:20:42.210]And these are some pictures of our ranch and our animals.
[00:20:46.000]We are a growing operation
[00:20:48.110]but there is my contact information
[00:20:50.850]and thank you all so much for your time.
[00:20:55.370]Thank you that is awesome.
[00:20:59.360]Next we'll hear from Matthew Thompson,
[00:21:01.260]one of our graduate fellows.
[00:21:05.240]Hi everyone, can you hear me?
[00:21:07.850]Okay sounds great.
[00:21:09.110]I'll go ahead and get this started.
[00:21:11.450]Hopefully it works out.
[00:21:12.283]I think it might be switched, so I might need to switch,
[00:21:14.533]here we go.
[00:21:16.840]Okay is that the main screen?
[00:21:18.330]You guys see that?
[00:21:20.500]Yeah, it looks good.
[00:21:21.333]Okay sounds great.
[00:21:23.324]Hi everyone, my name is Matthew Thompson.
[00:21:24.630]I'm a PhD candidate
[00:21:25.950]in the department of civil and environmental engineering.
[00:21:29.230]And I'm gonna talk a little bit today
[00:21:30.860]about some of the research we're doing,
[00:21:33.120]more on the mitigation side of climate change
[00:21:35.586]and specifically within regards to wastewater treatment.
[00:21:39.100]And so I want to start off
[00:21:41.360]just talking about some of the realities of climate change.
[00:21:43.070]I know we've all heard about these and talked about them
[00:21:45.853]to some degree, but really what climate change to me
[00:21:50.150]as far as I'm perceiving,
[00:21:51.180]is it's the greatest threat to humanity
[00:21:52.570]and our global ecosystems.
[00:21:54.450]And we've been seeing this across the globe
[00:21:56.584]and especially here locally with droughts and flooding.
[00:21:59.430]But in some places significant fires,
[00:22:02.980]in the Arctic sheet ice melting
[00:22:06.530]and flooding and local biodiversity dying out
[00:22:10.350]over the earth.
[00:22:12.110]In addition to this, with that reality comes a challenge
[00:22:15.690]that we need to address.
[00:22:16.760]And it really is the largest challenge
[00:22:18.510]that we're facing as mankind.
[00:22:20.740]If we look at the global emissions
[00:22:22.290]of CO2 shown in this graph.
[00:22:23.960]This is from the United nations
[00:22:26.434]most recent carbon gap report that they publish every year
[00:22:30.780]looking at the trends.
[00:22:32.340]Our emissions continue to increase.
[00:22:34.010]And not only that,
[00:22:35.090]these emissions are really across all the major sectors
[00:22:38.143]that we rely on to sustain our society.
[00:22:42.280]And so the big challenge here
[00:22:44.100]is not how do we reinvent one area of the way we do things
[00:22:47.850]but really targeting all the different components
[00:22:49.810]of our society.
[00:22:51.600]And I got into research focused on one key area
[00:22:55.020]and that is wastewater treatment.
[00:22:56.950]And this is a really interesting area to me
[00:22:59.630]because it intersects with a lot of these major industries.
[00:23:01.950]For example these wastewater treatment systems
[00:23:04.351]can be very energy intensive.
[00:23:06.450]In some small rural communities,
[00:23:09.160]these systems can sometimes be 50% of the public energy use.
[00:23:13.200]Which is something that requires attention.
[00:23:16.370]In addition to this, initially these were set out to help
[00:23:20.170]protect local ecosystems,
[00:23:22.260]reducing pollution going into the waterways
[00:23:24.780]but also human health protecting that.
[00:23:27.600]But recently we found that we can also recover nutrients
[00:23:30.670]from these such as recycling biosolids and water
[00:23:34.260]to food systems to help improve the sustainability of those.
[00:23:37.500]So we reduce our reliance on chemical fertilizers.
[00:23:42.100]However I wanna note that there are some things
[00:23:44.530]that are implicated in the use of these systems
[00:23:47.960]in the design selection.
[00:23:49.940]When we choose some of these technologies
[00:23:51.660]sometimes we shift burdens.
[00:23:53.080]So maybe we choose a technology that results
[00:23:55.960]in less carbon emissions.
[00:23:57.402]But in reality that might shift to using more land.
[00:24:01.060]And so when we go about deciding on technologies
[00:24:04.030]and what we're gonna do with them,
[00:24:05.870]we have to kind of take a big picture look
[00:24:07.540]at the situation and evaluate all the resources
[00:24:10.470]and all the impacts that might be implicated.
[00:24:14.020]We do have some things in Nebraska here locally
[00:24:16.160]that are occurring, that are improving the systems.
[00:24:18.750]And part of my research is to document what the impact
[00:24:22.350]of some of those case studies are.
[00:24:24.620]So for example, on some of these plants,
[00:24:26.740]they are starting to use onsite solar renewable energy.
[00:24:30.220]And in other ones we have some using water reuse
[00:24:33.000]of their local wastewater.
[00:24:35.110]And so the key idea here is to develop case studies,
[00:24:37.940]that we can help share with the community,
[00:24:40.030]of what is the impact of implementing
[00:24:42.120]these more sustainable approaches.
[00:24:44.050]And what were some of the trade-offs?
[00:24:45.530]What were some of the benefits?
[00:24:47.070]And the idea here is to help communicate
[00:24:49.270]to other communities.
[00:24:50.740]What is the risks that they undertook
[00:24:52.590]and what was the benefits?
[00:24:54.060]To maybe help drive some further change
[00:24:56.150]in those communities.
[00:24:58.640]So I wanna shift over
[00:24:59.473]and I want to talk about this big idea
[00:25:00.930]of Life Cycle Assessment.
[00:25:02.280]This is what we use to document
[00:25:03.750]and communicate the impacts of the change.
[00:25:06.210]We might measure the amount of carbon that is emitted
[00:25:09.020]by producing the raw materials,
[00:25:11.110]the manufacturing of products,
[00:25:12.650]the distribution of those and the usage
[00:25:14.100]and recycling of them.
[00:25:15.740]And the thing with Life Cycle Assessment,
[00:25:19.210]is it's challenging sometimes.
[00:25:21.010]Because we have so many environmental impacts
[00:25:23.250]that we might be considering.
[00:25:25.150]In climate change, we're primarily focused
[00:25:27.120]on this global warming issue.
[00:25:28.910]But there might be a list of 25 other ones
[00:25:30.720]such as eutrophication to local waterways.
[00:25:33.410]And occasionally we have issues where we emerge,
[00:25:35.980]for example with biofuels.
[00:25:38.160]Where we might be able to reduce our global warming
[00:25:40.780]potential impacts but we might increase eutrophication
[00:25:43.560]in other areas.
[00:25:44.930]And so the big take home picture
[00:25:47.140]is when we go about trying to invest in changes,
[00:25:50.470]we need to make sure that we're looking
[00:25:52.010]at all the different impacts.
[00:25:54.550]And we also need to find a way of mobilizing
[00:25:56.460]this information and knowledge
[00:25:57.922]to help communicate that to decision makers.
[00:26:00.890]Whether it's the town leaders,
[00:26:02.380]whether it's the operators running these facilities
[00:26:04.800]or maybe just the general consumer deciding
[00:26:07.400]on what product to buy.
[00:26:09.910]And so in developing a life cycle perspective
[00:26:12.450]in the collective population,
[00:26:14.110]one thing I wanna know is that we really needed to develop
[00:26:16.570]scientific literacy from a young age.
[00:26:18.430]For example I'm a big fan of Thermo-dynamics.
[00:26:21.130]And I think it is something that would be doable
[00:26:24.330]for us to teach the general population.
[00:26:27.000]And it would help us better understand our natural systems.
[00:26:30.460]I also think that we need to further drive some education
[00:26:32.950]on our basic resources and emissions that we're emitting
[00:26:35.950]and how we might go about preserving
[00:26:37.972]our capacity for imagination.
[00:26:40.580]This is something that oftentimes these things
[00:26:43.360]are out of sight out of mind
[00:26:44.850]but if we can further preserve our imagination,
[00:26:47.570]we can understand what's going on beyond us.
[00:26:50.890]And lastly we need to provide some user-friendly information
[00:26:53.840]to the public about the impact
[00:26:56.570]of our resources and our products.
[00:26:58.350]So for example, a nutrition label gives us information
[00:27:00.720]about our food.
[00:27:01.910]We can have something like that as well
[00:27:03.150]with some of the products we use.
[00:27:05.110]So in general, this is some perspectives I have related
[00:27:08.420]to climate change and some of the work that I do
[00:27:10.690]in the area.
[00:27:11.523]So thank you.
[00:27:13.801]Thank you, wonderful.
[00:27:16.150]Next we'll hear from Kathleen Dillon.
[00:27:20.940]Okay let me get set up.
[00:27:25.090]Okay there we go.
[00:27:27.100]Well thanks for having me here everybody.
[00:27:29.170]My name's Kathleen Dillon.
[00:27:30.470]I use she/her pronouns and I'm a first year PhD
[00:27:34.500]in the English program in composition and rhetoric.
[00:27:37.120]And my presentation is,
[00:27:39.707]"It's Not Normal to be Normal,
[00:27:41.831]Psychiatric Disability, 'Severe' Weather
[00:27:44.930]and The Impact of Climate Change on Mental Health."
[00:27:48.660]Okay, so have you used words like bipolar,
[00:27:53.270]crazy or schizophrenia to describe the weather?
[00:27:56.700]Have you seen an image like the one below?
[00:27:59.000]Have you seen weather described this way, as psychotic?
[00:28:02.640]So I guess I get the connection here.
[00:28:04.720]Mental health can be like the weather.
[00:28:06.980]It's something that you can prepare for
[00:28:09.300]but that is hard to predict
[00:28:10.740]and can be sometimes devastating.
[00:28:13.270]But have you stopped to think about
[00:28:14.840]what it would feel like to be bipolar or schizophrenic,
[00:28:18.040]and to hear the illness that you struggle with daily
[00:28:20.570]used to describe the inconvenient weather patterns
[00:28:23.690]of climate change?
[00:28:24.900]And while ableist descriptions
[00:28:27.000]of inconstant weather patterns in a post climate
[00:28:29.810]change world work to further stigmatize mental illness,
[00:28:33.700]it is folks with disabilities who are most vulnerable
[00:28:36.290]to climate changes chaos.
[00:28:37.950]And the symptoms experienced
[00:28:39.530]by the psychiatrically disabled are exacerbated
[00:28:42.500]by climate change and already scarce mental health services
[00:28:45.990]become harder to find
[00:28:47.560]in seasons of extreme weather.
[00:28:50.020]Okay so here's some stats, a 63% of Americans believe
[00:28:55.150]that climate change is impacting their health.
[00:28:57.600]And 48% of Americans believe
[00:29:00.130]that climate change is impacting their mental health.
[00:29:03.120]So we're not just talking about folks with a diagnosis,
[00:29:05.860]we're talking about everybody.
[00:29:07.220]So this affects everybody mental health and climate change.
[00:29:11.970]I have a personal stake in this conversation.
[00:29:14.720]I am someone living with bipolar two.
[00:29:16.970]I take an anti-psychotic as a part of my daily care
[00:29:20.410]and along with plenty of rest and water,
[00:29:22.930]daily walks and therapy.
[00:29:24.770]And while my mood does fluctuate
[00:29:26.870]and my disorder is characterized by extreme changes in mood.
[00:29:30.860]I do not think of my mind as akin to a tornado,
[00:29:34.650]a flood or the extreme weather we experience here
[00:29:37.400]in the Great Plains.
[00:29:38.550]And like mother earth,
[00:29:40.160]If I have rest, water and healthy relationships,
[00:29:43.150]I am much better off and can live a healthy life.
[00:29:46.270]Though I can attest to being more prone to low-lows
[00:29:50.000]in times of extreme weather,
[00:29:51.400]Like when our weather dipped to 30 below.
[00:29:53.790]And I do find it a little maddening if you will,
[00:29:57.620]when my struggle is flippantly used
[00:30:00.200]to describe chaotic weather.
[00:30:03.080]You know, it only serves to perpetuate this idea
[00:30:05.510]in the populace that folks like me are unreliable,
[00:30:08.610]unemployable and need to be handled, tamed,
[00:30:13.550]And the same factors that cause climate change
[00:30:16.350]often trigger my lowest of lows,
[00:30:18.970]living in a world that only sees value
[00:30:20.910]in productivity or profit.
[00:30:24.020]So I've been really informed
[00:30:25.630]by Eco-Crip theory and Eco-Ableism.
[00:30:28.520]Let's think about the fact that the words we use
[00:30:30.560]to describe the natural world
[00:30:32.200]and its weather and patterns are often rooted in ableism,
[00:30:36.180]sexism, racism and white settler colonialism.
[00:30:40.130]This idea that the natural world is wild
[00:30:44.000]and people in lands that do not comply need to be tamed.
[00:30:48.260]Do we consider the ways in which the ableist words
[00:30:51.390]we use to describe the weather
[00:30:52.920]further perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes
[00:30:55.710]of folks with psychiatric disability?
[00:30:58.100]Do we even know what the symptoms for schizophrenia are
[00:31:01.370]and are they really like that weather pattern?
[00:31:04.370]Are we ensuring that environmental activists relief efforts
[00:31:07.850]and city planners take into account those that are less able
[00:31:11.770]or less privileged than they are.
[00:31:13.660]And I think it's important to remember
[00:31:15.560]that without a livable wage
[00:31:17.360]or comprehensive health care plans,
[00:31:19.580]like a Medicare for all.
[00:31:21.260]Folks with disabilities will always be at a disadvantage.
[00:31:24.470]There'll be more vulnerable
[00:31:25.600]in times of environmental crisis.
[00:31:27.640]And they will be often without the support and healthcare
[00:31:30.970]they need to survive and thrive.
[00:31:34.210]Okay, so you can describe the weather of climate change
[00:31:37.610]on the Great Plains without being ableist.
[00:31:40.020]Dr. Ken Dewey who's been presenting today.
[00:31:42.560]Author of "Great Plains Weather" describes the weather
[00:31:45.010]as severe or extreme.
[00:31:46.830]But he never once in his entire book,
[00:31:49.010]uses the word crazy, insane,
[00:31:50.710]psychotic, bipolar or schizophrenic.
[00:31:53.880]And I think, thinking about how the weather,
[00:31:56.920]it's not normal for it to be normal.
[00:31:58.900]That helps I think even normalize
[00:32:00.780]this idea of, we call the weather extreme
[00:32:05.220]but it just wasn't what white settlers were used to
[00:32:08.230]when they came over here from Europe.
[00:32:10.050]It's not normal for it to be normal here.
[00:32:13.650]And to define a disability.
[00:32:15.480]One is labeling someone with a disability
[00:32:17.770]as diverting from the normal, but what is normal?
[00:32:21.770]The weather here on the Great Plains
[00:32:23.630]is never at its average.
[00:32:25.420]And one eighth of people worldwide are neurodivergent.
[00:32:29.940]Okay, so, call to action here.
[00:32:33.690]If you hear words like crazy, insane,
[00:32:36.760]bipolar, schizophrenia or psychotic to describe extreme
[00:32:40.760]or severe weather, climate change
[00:32:43.270]or the politicians who don't prioritize a green agenda.
[00:32:46.930]You can use unpredictable, unreliable, inconsistent,
[00:32:50.650]frustrating, finicky, difficult, fluctuating,
[00:32:53.450]all over the place, problematic,
[00:32:55.208]or if you're referring to those politicians,
[00:32:58.130]needs to be replaced.
[00:33:01.410]Okay so here's some references and resources,
[00:33:04.740]I forgot to put in my email,
[00:33:06.440]but I'm on the English department website.
[00:33:09.740]So thank you so much.
[00:33:12.170]Thank you, Kathleen.
[00:33:13.003]That was very interesting.
[00:33:14.899]Next, we'll hear from another fellow
[00:33:17.630]and I should have said Bailey
[00:33:18.760]is also one of our graduate fellows,
[00:33:20.480]the person who went first.
[00:33:22.000]Cameron Steele is also another grad fellow.
[00:33:24.660]So we'll hear from Cameron now.
[00:33:33.670]Okay hello, I am a PhD candidate in the English department
[00:33:41.470]and women and gender studies program here at UNL.
[00:33:45.310]So how do creative non-fiction and poetry
[00:33:48.570]respond to a fast changing world in crisis?
[00:33:51.940]What role does the creative writing workshop space play
[00:33:55.370]amidst the backdrop of climate change?
[00:33:57.870]These are some of the foundational questions
[00:33:59.740]of the of the classes I teach
[00:34:01.560]as a graduate instructor and creative writing.
[00:34:04.540]My recent courses titled,
[00:34:05.887]"Life Writing at The End of the World"
[00:34:08.070]and "Poems of force: Climate Change and War"
[00:34:10.970]encourage students to travel tensions
[00:34:13.010]between human and other self and nature
[00:34:15.701]as well as consider the imperative
[00:34:17.870]for narrative and poetry to create, revise,
[00:34:21.480]and disrupt sediments and understandings
[00:34:23.830]about the world and humanity's responsibility
[00:34:26.770]toward re-imagining a different future.
[00:34:30.160]I taught "Poems of Force: Climate Change in War"
[00:34:32.860]in fall 2019.
[00:34:34.780]A class proceeded that summer
[00:34:36.410]by the unprecedented burning of the Amazon in Brazil.
[00:34:39.690]The first official death of a glacier in Iceland,
[00:34:42.850]and mounting human violence at the borders
[00:34:44.900]in the United States and across the world.
[00:34:47.600]The syllabus specifically framed the class
[00:34:49.990]within these contexts.
[00:34:51.440]As we read Roy Scranton's
[00:34:52.937]"Learning to Die in the Anthropocene"
[00:34:55.040]and investigated how and why the poem matters
[00:34:58.140]small and strange
[00:34:59.500]as it may be amidst a complicated world.
[00:35:02.720]Students reflected on the poetry
[00:35:04.470]of Czeslaw Milosz, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner,
[00:35:07.710]Ada Limon and Jericho Brown.
[00:35:09.560]Just to name a few examples.
[00:35:11.500]As they considered how poetry responds
[00:35:13.760]to climate change and war and what we can learn
[00:35:16.700]from approaching our unstable ever shifting world
[00:35:20.100]through language, the lenses and making of poems.
[00:35:24.270]At the end of the semester,
[00:35:25.850]students produce their own poetry portfolios
[00:35:28.320]that interrogated Simone Bay's concept of the poem of force.
[00:35:32.480]As one that can elucidate the possibility
[00:35:34.530]for tenderness and love.
[00:35:36.250]Even as it illuminates the conditions of a human state
[00:35:39.360]ever more predicated on violence, greed,
[00:35:41.810]and the disregard for environmental limits.
[00:35:44.270]The student portfolios investigated a range
[00:35:46.950]of themes as they related
[00:35:48.220]to climate change and identity.
[00:35:50.110]From one students epistolated poems,
[00:35:52.270]evoking themes of diaspora,
[00:35:53.920]rising sea levels and racism, and the United States,
[00:35:57.400]to another's narrative poetry connecting her chronic illness
[00:36:00.650]to the changing landscape of an earth and its own state
[00:36:03.500]of sickness to another student's confessional poems working
[00:36:07.130]against climate change
[00:36:08.550]and ethnic marginalizations specifically set
[00:36:11.260]against the backdrop of Lincoln.
[00:36:14.280]Allowing the backdrop of a world of health,
[00:36:16.670]climate, economic, and political crisis,
[00:36:19.250]guide us into considerations of how the historical moment
[00:36:22.630]in which we're living interacts with new ways of writing
[00:36:25.960]about living, is a central tenant
[00:36:27.950]of the creative nonfiction class I'm teaching now.
[00:36:31.090]Together on zoom,
[00:36:32.260]my students and I take up theorist
[00:36:34.010]Claire Colebrook's assertion that what has always
[00:36:36.790]called itself the world is actually the end of the world.
[00:36:40.400]What looks like the end of the world
[00:36:42.120]as a possible new world.
[00:36:44.100]As we speak they are writing essays
[00:36:46.120]that draw from personal narrative,
[00:36:47.770]academic research and reflection on course texts
[00:36:50.810]such as Aracelis Girmay's
[00:36:53.027]"The Black Maria",
[00:36:54.410]to critique the very structures we uphold,
[00:36:56.950]rely on and champion as essential
[00:36:59.080]to the way our world works today.
[00:37:01.200]They're creative nonfiction pieces so far have called
[00:37:03.880]into question end of the world realities
[00:37:06.250]like fossil fuel burning cars, student debt,
[00:37:08.779]mired university systems,
[00:37:11.210]and the medical industrial complex's inadequate response
[00:37:14.500]to human pain.
[00:37:16.510]Finally, both courses
[00:37:17.900]feature creative whole class workshops
[00:37:19.930]that privileged conversations between writer
[00:37:22.100]and readers over silence, transforming the classroom
[00:37:25.460]into a place where students can conceive of themselves
[00:37:27.980]as artists, activists, and contributors
[00:37:31.770]and the efforts to create a better world.
[00:37:35.000]Scranton writes, "We must be willing to commit
[00:37:37.920]to living ethically in a broken world
[00:37:40.310]a world in which human beings are dependent
[00:37:42.660]for collective survival on a kind of ecological grace".
[00:37:46.580]My hope then is that the workshop space has become part
[00:37:49.590]of my own pedagogical commitment to living
[00:37:51.930]teaching and writing ethically in a broken world.
[00:37:59.163]That was awesome.
[00:38:01.320]Last but not least.
[00:38:02.490]We'll hear from Kimberly Steward.
[00:38:05.950]Hello everyone, and thank you all
[00:38:08.610]for hanging in there until the very end.
[00:38:11.150]I know this is a long, long day for a Friday,
[00:38:14.880]at least it is for me,
[00:38:16.080]and I just want to say to everyone else had spoken today.
[00:38:20.623]It's a very cool experience to hear how everyone
[00:38:23.610]else is kind of conceptualizing climate.
[00:38:25.448]And I'm just very thankful to be part of this group.
[00:38:29.570]So I guess it's a little bit paradoxical
[00:38:32.060]but I take a very hope
[00:38:34.190]in gratitude approach to climate change.
[00:38:38.210]And I'll start by kind of introducing myself a little bit
[00:38:41.730]and kind of where that came from.
[00:38:44.190]So I am a PhD candidate.
[00:38:45.610]I am finishing up my third year.
[00:38:48.390]Right now, I have a background
[00:38:50.280]in environmental education, forestry and wildlife
[00:38:53.860]and I kind of specialize in curriculum development.
[00:38:57.400]So there's this issue in environmental ED where a lot
[00:39:01.250]of times climate change is taught probably not the best way
[00:39:06.010]but it's taught and they at least a student
[00:39:07.530]with a sense of that doom and gloom kind of ending.
[00:39:11.530]And that's not really a great place to lead anyone, right?
[00:39:14.710]So we talk about all these terrible things
[00:39:16.730]that are happening.
[00:39:18.110]But I think for me, it's about that next step.
[00:39:20.730]How can we instill hope?
[00:39:22.900]How can we show gratitude for what this is showing us?
[00:39:26.180]And one of the things that happened
[00:39:27.840]in my lifetime that I think is very reminiscent of this
[00:39:31.080]is that we've seen this shift
[00:39:32.820]from complete climate denial
[00:39:35.250]to this idea of we're not sure
[00:39:37.260]exactly what's causing it, right?
[00:39:38.660]So there's still that denial there
[00:39:40.700]but it's no longer denying that the phenomenon is occurring.
[00:39:43.940]So with that, I am going to share my screen now.
[00:39:49.160]And I just want to talk briefly here.
[00:39:53.590]Can everyone see that?
[00:39:56.523]I just want to talk a little bit here in briefly about some
[00:39:59.590]of my PhD work and what I'm currently working on now.
[00:40:04.000]So I was fortunate enough to come
[00:40:06.090]across an opportunity working
[00:40:07.620]with teaching climate in secondary schools.
[00:40:11.240]So all of my projects are revolved around
[00:40:14.700]using climate models and how teachers actually put them
[00:40:17.170]into practice in their school.
[00:40:18.920]So it kind of goes into that kind of hope place.
[00:40:24.500]There we go.
[00:40:25.760]And I don't think I really need to go too much
[00:40:27.650]into this with this group.
[00:40:29.580]We know that there are a lot of alternative conceptions
[00:40:33.030]and can just complete misconceptions that occur both
[00:40:35.980]with the teachers and their students.
[00:40:38.630]So I just kind of wrote
[00:40:39.463]down a few that you can find the literature.
[00:40:41.160]There are multiple more, and you see a lot of these kinds
[00:40:45.400]of reoccurring themes, again with both teacher and student.
[00:40:49.250]So there's this need to develop this accurate understanding
[00:40:53.540]of kind of two-folds here
[00:40:55.340]so once the Earth's climate system itself.
[00:40:57.530]So you can think of this as the conceptual piece
[00:40:59.830]but then also how does this data is found?
[00:41:03.320]So this is where the modeling comes in
[00:41:05.360]and working with understanding how scientists
[00:41:07.730]not only acquire those materials,
[00:41:09.870]but then process that data.
[00:41:11.130]So that authentic exact scientific exploration
[00:41:14.730]that really goes into the practice of science.
[00:41:17.370]So it's kind of two-fold approach.
[00:41:20.340]So again, I focus on scientific modeling approach
[00:41:23.277]and this again, allows students to take a hold
[00:41:25.860]of their kind of their own learning and their own knowledge.
[00:41:29.130]A big concept from environmental education
[00:41:31.040]is teaching people how to think and not what to think.
[00:41:33.880]So those all important, critical thinking skills.
[00:41:37.250]So the way we've developed our curriculum,
[00:41:39.250]while the students are exploring the increase
[00:41:42.090]in global temperatures,
[00:41:42.923]we never directly say what's happening.
[00:41:45.640]So we asked them to go through this entire process
[00:41:48.650]that a scientist would go through
[00:41:50.210]and then generate those explanations and their thoughts
[00:41:53.060]and their new theories about what is occurring.
[00:41:55.410]And ideally getting to the idea
[00:41:57.610]that this is a human related climate change.
[00:42:03.400]Let's get that one.
[00:42:04.233]So this is just a little bit about the project I work under.
[00:42:07.860]So it's called CLiMES,
[00:42:08.960]it's Climate Literacy through Epistemology
[00:42:12.610]of Scientific Modeling.
[00:42:14.250]And our goal is really to kind of promote that again
[00:42:17.330]conceptual and practice-based understanding
[00:42:20.190]of earth climates through both teaching and learning.
[00:42:23.000]And again, I work with the teacher side of it.
[00:42:24.750]This is a four year mixed methods research
[00:42:27.810]and development project.
[00:42:29.650]We are in our actually fourth year.
[00:42:31.800]We just started our fourth year.
[00:42:33.810]So we're kind of moving through something.
[00:42:35.030]Now we have a full curriculum and have piloted it.
[00:42:39.078]And we're actually moving to another district
[00:42:41.363]in Nebraska now.
[00:42:43.320]The model particularly that we use is called easy GCM.
[00:42:47.220]This is what I would call a point
[00:42:49.480]and click version of a climate model.
[00:42:51.330]So this is very accessible.
[00:42:52.600]It's all cloud-based,
[00:42:54.380]students can reach it pretty much on any device.
[00:42:58.280]We've kind of built it for using on like a Chromebook
[00:43:03.100]which is what a lot of schools have,
[00:43:04.980]but it also works on the phone
[00:43:06.170]and it works on tablets, works a little bit of everything.
[00:43:10.420]So students are allowed to go into this program
[00:43:13.660]or this interface and they can run that background
[00:43:15.960]pilot model and they get to see those steps to that
[00:43:19.592]post processing of data and how data is collected
[00:43:24.210]on their curriculum really walks through starting
[00:43:26.910]with what is a model and building that conception,
[00:43:29.720]building the climate term and then moving
[00:43:31.210]into this big kind of whole second half of what can we do
[00:43:35.520]with models and what can they actually tell us?
[00:43:38.560]So the ends with the students again
[00:43:40.060]making a claim about the phenomenon that they're seeing
[00:43:42.690]and what they think is happening,
[00:43:44.310]and they end up creating those visualization maps
[00:43:47.040]that they see in the news.
[00:43:48.750]So then it kind of makes the connection to kind of the,
[00:43:51.117]the more social, more current and relevant.
[00:43:55.760]And it has a really brief overview.
[00:43:56.810]I don't want to go too much into my research
[00:43:58.120]cause I'll go down the rabbit hole and talk forever
[00:44:01.010]but this project is out there.
[00:44:03.440]You can reach me.
[00:44:04.960]I can, more than happily share the curriculum.
[00:44:07.040]We were kind of in our final stages with it here.
[00:44:09.730]So I just wanted to get in to say, thank you for everyone.
[00:44:12.990]And I'll hand it back over.
[00:44:16.880]Thank you, Kimberly.
[00:44:17.740]That was awesome.
[00:44:18.990]It's really interesting work.
[00:44:20.490]So thank you to all of our panelists.
[00:44:23.010]Those were some very wonderful presentations.
[00:44:25.370]I invite the audience to submit any questions you have to
[00:44:28.450]either the chat or the Q and A feature.
[00:44:31.540]I will do my best to monitor both of those.
[00:44:35.760]While we wait for our audience to gather some thoughts
[00:44:38.510]and questions together.
[00:44:39.650]I thought I'd kick things off
[00:44:41.260]and ask a question to all of our panelists today.
[00:44:45.230]So of course, the center, the symposium,
[00:44:47.660]and this specific panel is very interdisciplinary.
[00:44:50.940]And so I think you can hear a lot
[00:44:52.840]of your research speaking to each other
[00:44:54.610]in interesting ways and maybe even surprising ways.
[00:44:58.730]So I was noticing some themes emerging,
[00:45:01.020]such as the need for education and re-education
[00:45:04.180]around these issues.
[00:45:06.190]The need to be careful with the language
[00:45:08.530]and the words we use to describe some
[00:45:10.390]of the things everyone's talking about.
[00:45:12.340]Matt even said,
[00:45:13.750]we how we need to target all components of society
[00:45:16.550]which I think this panel is really demonstrating that
[00:45:19.160]and in a meaningful way.
[00:45:21.460]So I thought I just open it up to any and each
[00:45:24.050]of you to see how you see your presentation speaking
[00:45:27.210]to each other, or even conversations emerging
[00:45:29.921]from what you heard in the last 45 minutes
[00:45:41.570]Well, I can even say briefly that it was really even,
[00:45:46.860]it was great to hear all the presentations
[00:45:49.970]but thinking as an English major
[00:45:51.830]after watching Cameron's presentation and listening,
[00:45:54.860]I'm even thinking about how I can infuse some
[00:45:59.410]of this education into a course of my own.
[00:46:03.380]Even thinking about a course
[00:46:05.080]such as writing and communities and how it could be
[00:46:09.150]even interesting to build a course that went
[00:46:13.040]over some topics surrounding madness and mental health.
[00:46:17.010]So I could maybe engage in some of that work
[00:46:19.080]while serving as a teaching assistant here at the University
[00:46:22.960]and build some of this education into my own course.
[00:46:25.870]And I think that's something maybe all of us can do.
[00:46:29.110]And even small ways,
[00:46:30.520]if we teach a course here at the University
[00:46:32.520]how can we infuse some of this information into a course?
[00:46:36.550]So thanks everyone.
[00:46:37.830]But I will give a specific shout out to Cameron
[00:46:40.702]being in the same field.
[00:46:43.100]Your course looks great.
[00:46:47.340]And these courses actually were developed though
[00:46:49.920]like through interdisciplinary and conversations I had
[00:46:53.370]with people like Matt and Emily
[00:46:55.490]and Bailey through the graduate fellows program
[00:46:57.810]like thinking about, yeah.
[00:47:02.950]How you might frame creative writing workshops
[00:47:08.650]through consideration of climate crisis
[00:47:13.540]and the Great Plains and the larger world, so.
[00:47:19.913]I think kind of building
[00:47:20.746]on that or from the opposite perspective
[00:47:22.070]I think sometimes with discourse around climate change
[00:47:26.010]we have an issue where it becomes very empirical
[00:47:29.270]especially in the sciences and biology in particular.
[00:47:32.370]And we don't consider like the human dimensions.
[00:47:36.040]And like Kathleen was saying like the importance
[00:47:38.910]of words then like Mar was saying
[00:47:41.209]like the socioeconomic factors that kind of
[00:47:43.030]are surrounding understandings of climate change.
[00:47:47.130]And so I think on the flip side of that
[00:47:49.830]we could learn something in the sciences
[00:47:51.740]about how to be sort of more interdisciplinary
[00:47:56.160]and more inclusive in the way that we teach these things.
[00:47:59.430]Because I think a lot of the disconnection comes
[00:48:01.470]from seeing this as something that's like separate
[00:48:04.090]from our everyday life and not thinking
[00:48:06.600]about the economic implications of climate disaster
[00:48:09.540]and how it affects more vulnerable populations
[00:48:12.430]and more marginalized groups.
[00:48:14.870]So I think, yeah, I think there's a lot
[00:48:16.820]of interesting interplay there that should be emphasized
[00:48:19.130]in the future.
[00:48:21.724]Well, yeah, to follow up on that, I think,
[00:48:26.080]I think from the research side,
[00:48:27.450]there should be maybe more incentive
[00:48:28.980]for interdisciplinary studies.
[00:48:31.520]I know some conferences I had gone to
[00:48:33.310]they're trying to push that as far as I heard from NSF.
[00:48:36.000]Although some people push back on that,
[00:48:38.120]that it's not as supported,
[00:48:40.250]but definitely things that we can bring
[00:48:42.040]in sociologists and engineers and city planners
[00:48:45.940]and just as many perspectives
[00:48:48.100]as we can get on addressing some of the issues.
[00:48:55.840]Yeah, I think that Margaret's presentation
[00:48:58.330]speaks to that in particular,
[00:49:01.230]I'm talking about the shifting nature
[00:49:05.680]of our environment and how that's playing out
[00:49:09.480]in terms of human communities coming together in ways
[00:49:13.860]that they did not or clashing in ways that they
[00:49:16.460]did not before.
[00:49:17.770]And then also applying lessons from sort of more local,
[00:49:21.660]Great Plains efforts to Western Africa was interesting too.
[00:49:31.920]Yeah following up with,
[00:49:33.710]I saw how kind of like Margaret's presentation
[00:49:36.560]to kind of really was talking about like,
[00:49:39.050]even at one point of looking at agricultural practices
[00:49:42.490]in Nebraska and in the Midwest and it kind of,
[00:49:46.260]I feel like re-emphasize for me
[00:49:48.160]how much we need to do better with our practices
[00:49:51.480]because people are looking to us as examples
[00:49:54.900]and that unfortunately,
[00:49:56.990]a lot of the practices,
[00:49:58.100]while they might be maybe faster in terms of production
[00:50:03.060]or better in some ways or more quote unquote
[00:50:05.624]economically viable, they're not necessarily environmentally
[00:50:09.760]viable and they're exacerbating these issues
[00:50:12.540]that we're facing.
[00:50:13.860]And so we need to address that in the Midwest
[00:50:17.140]how we're producing here.
[00:50:19.060]And so we can be a role model and can hopefully,
[00:50:23.390]you know, in the future model
[00:50:24.950]more localized food production systems and supporting
[00:50:28.700]communities in terms of food production.
[00:50:32.320]Because I think that a lot of people are looking to us
[00:50:35.410]and that we need to step up with what we're doing here.
[00:50:43.661]Thank you very much, Molly and Cameron
[00:50:47.760]I find your all presentations.
[00:50:49.630]You have very, very interesting.
[00:50:51.470]For me, the service learning, learning places I had to
[00:50:57.010]gladly like the way Kathleen presented, made have speech.
[00:51:04.761]I have never seen how to relate climate change
[00:51:05.594]and mental state of people.
[00:51:12.379]I see today in your presentation,
[00:51:13.870]I felt like, oh wow, we hear these things.
[00:51:17.030]We hear crazy weather.
[00:51:19.280]We hear so many of these statements,
[00:51:22.240]but it hasn't really dawned on me
[00:51:25.030]that we might be somehow affecting someone mentally.
[00:51:30.420]People who actually in that place may not
[00:51:32.760]find it for me,
[00:51:35.980]may not find the way to relate
[00:51:36.930]with what we are trying to describe.
[00:51:41.180]And it doesn't really speak to the, to everyone, you know.
[00:51:45.438]I think your presentation helped me to see clearly
[00:51:49.050]that helps still speak to people to say,
[00:51:52.850]I mean you should get to know more about this,
[00:51:55.246]get to know more about the climate
[00:51:56.960]and describe and explain things the way they are.
[00:52:00.849]And I think that if we continue to allow these kind
[00:52:06.160]of statements go on that way, people may not really
[00:52:09.560]get to understand the effects of climate change in the
[00:52:11.970]true sense of it,
[00:52:15.423]because somehow this pronouncements kind
[00:52:18.150]of shield us away from the actual knowledge
[00:52:20.780]that we're supposed to have about climate change.
[00:52:23.000]So I find that really interesting
[00:52:25.287]about your presentation.
[00:52:28.157]And I am just here to learn,
[00:52:31.871]I just try to, you know,
[00:52:34.970]there is so much to say, but four minutes were like, wow,
[00:52:40.306]put everything on that four minutes
[00:52:43.670]but I honestly I'm amazed that you all and how you managed.
[00:52:47.962]I mean, how you managed to teach me especially.
[00:52:54.131]All we have learned yeah.
[00:52:56.900]On that four, five minutes, Molly.
[00:53:00.293]And I love your presentation as well.
[00:53:02.830]You know, I see how you relate to that coming
[00:53:06.282]from your background and how climate change affects.
[00:53:09.711]And I share the same.
[00:53:12.000]I share the same sentiment with you
[00:53:14.604]and with everyone else.
[00:53:25.043]That was, that was great.
[00:53:26.440]I see that there was a question in the Q and A
[00:53:29.520]that a couple of people have responded to in writing
[00:53:35.350]but I thought I'd just pose it
[00:53:36.420]in case everyone hasn't seen it in,
[00:53:38.082]and if anyone had more comments to make.
[00:53:40.220]Ken Har asked,
[00:53:41.470]are you hopeful that humans will take action soon
[00:53:44.050]enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change?
[00:53:46.990]Why or why not?
[00:53:52.730]Yeah, I can add to this a little bit.
[00:53:55.290]I think I have a little bit different view.
[00:53:57.910]while I am very hopeful for it,
[00:53:59.860]I don't think it's necessarily going to happen in that way
[00:54:04.250]because humans as a species are not very proactive.
[00:54:09.010]We're really great at responding to danger once it's
[00:54:11.740]in front of us, but preparing for that future danger
[00:54:15.220]especially something that's so abstract
[00:54:17.820]and kind of scale wise, hard to grasp with climate
[00:54:22.210]unless you are directly affected by it.
[00:54:26.120]If you're a coastal community, you know,
[00:54:27.680]this is you're already seeing these changes, you're ready to
[00:54:30.420]make those changes.
[00:54:31.320]However, most of the time, those are not the people
[00:54:33.620]that are causing the major issues.
[00:54:35.262]And then that's, it goes into a whole other social justice
[00:54:39.490]conversation about privilege and where that lies.
[00:54:44.090]But I'm hopeful that it'll happen.
[00:54:46.570]I think at this point, kind of what I was saying before
[00:54:49.760]is that we are getting to a point in which there are things
[00:54:53.560]occurring so frequently that those signs are getting really
[00:54:56.620]hard to ignore for people.
[00:54:58.620]And it won't come to a turning point where
[00:55:01.070]hopefully we will start doing something,
[00:55:04.110]but unfortunately I think it's going to be a lot farther
[00:55:06.920]than anyone is going to be comfortable with.
[00:55:09.300]And there'll be a lot more sacrifices having to be made than
[00:55:12.220]if, you know we would be a little more proactive
[00:55:14.043]as a species, but.
[00:55:17.500]I would offer Roy Scranton's writings
[00:55:20.900]as a interdisciplinary look at the kinds
[00:55:27.250]of sacrifices that we are facing
[00:55:29.850]and that we will need to make
[00:55:31.220]and what it means from a humanities perspective.
[00:55:34.510]So he writes from the perspective
[00:55:36.350]of an English professor of a former soldier
[00:55:44.430]in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars,
[00:55:47.080]regrettably he talks all about that from the perspective
[00:55:50.900]of a scientist and a journalist himself.
[00:55:53.570]So he's like one of those polymaths
[00:55:56.290]but he talks about it in this way
[00:55:59.900]that really is unflinching
[00:56:03.020]but also encourages a kind of meditation
[00:56:05.390]on what it means to live individually and collectively,
[00:56:10.233]ethically in a world that is sort of ever more
[00:56:14.150]predicated on these changes.
[00:56:19.760]Yeah, I think I'd like to build on both those ideas.
[00:56:22.190]They're both really good ideas.
[00:56:24.200]One on the reactivity of humans.
[00:56:26.310]I mean, I think if we look historically at the way
[00:56:29.180]we responded to, for example, public health issues
[00:56:32.531]of emerging contaminants in our environment
[00:56:35.050]it was largely, you know, a reactive approach.
[00:56:38.120]And even today we're still dealing with some
[00:56:40.040]of those issues, especially in areas of low quality.
[00:56:45.280]And I think it's connected the idea of, you know,
[00:56:49.130]our collective beliefs.
[00:56:50.460]And are we looking out for ourselves or our local community
[00:56:54.540]or individual, you know, immediate area?
[00:56:56.940]Are we looking about the collective good.
[00:56:58.910]And I think until the collective society gets on board
[00:57:03.230]with a collective approach and perspective,
[00:57:05.560]it's going to be very hard to shift that paradigm
[00:57:08.360]thinking of just here and now,
[00:57:10.560]and not the bigger, good,
[00:57:12.200]it's a little bit more gloom and doom,
[00:57:13.630]but I think there's still potential for, you know,
[00:57:16.160]awareness to grow there, so.
[00:57:20.310]I just wanted to jump in and say
[00:57:22.110]that in terms of looking at like things
[00:57:24.410]like awareness in the broader community that especially
[00:57:28.080]within our agricultural communities
[00:57:29.920]there's unfortunately a lot
[00:57:31.210]of people who are climate change deniers
[00:57:33.210]despite farmers constantly talking
[00:57:35.200]and caring about the weather.
[00:57:37.134]But there are people who are starting
[00:57:37.967]to kind of reconcile with the, okay,
[00:57:41.443]this is really not quote unquote normal.
[00:57:45.520]And that they're noticing these changes.
[00:57:47.360]Like we had the flooding in 2019
[00:57:49.710]and how that affected a lot of communities across Nebraska.
[00:57:53.177]And it kind of put a lot
[00:57:54.590]of farmers in positions where they're like,
[00:57:56.300]okay maybe there is something to this.
[00:57:59.340]And luckily there are organizations doing outreach
[00:58:02.200]to these farmers as well
[00:58:03.410]trying to educate them about climate change
[00:58:05.500]and how they can change what they're doing.
[00:58:08.500]And there are people who are taking those steps
[00:58:10.280]trying to be more proactive, change their practices,
[00:58:13.590]sequester carbon and reduce their overall footprint.
[00:58:17.850]And so I definitely agree
[00:58:19.810]that it seems like it's more of a reactive thing.
[00:58:21.920]They had to first be shown the evidence
[00:58:23.886]that this is going to affect them and their income
[00:58:27.320]in the viability for them to continue to live
[00:58:29.490]in this area for them to actually take action.
[00:58:32.420]And unfortunately it seems
[00:58:33.660]like some people still don't believe it.
[00:58:36.480]So it's definitely going to take some more education
[00:58:39.280]and outreach to raise awareness and also convince people
[00:58:43.030]that it is affecting them to get them to care about it.
[00:58:51.507]I just wanted to reemphasize what I said.
[00:58:57.310]I believe that the responsibility is both ways.
[00:59:02.537]I that the governments and nations globally,
[00:59:07.410]needs to also take this seriously.
[00:59:11.430]I acknowledge that this generation of young people
[00:59:15.750]are doing so much to create awareness,
[00:59:19.620]creates the needed attention for climate change.
[00:59:22.710]I mean, it's amazing what's going on right now
[00:59:25.970]in the environments that we live in.
[00:59:28.250]But without the support from the regulators
[00:59:33.480]from policy makers.
[00:59:34.960]Without a crafted policy to support this action
[00:59:38.610]and we have literally thanks to that.
[00:59:41.700]So I believe that should be marrying
[00:59:43.810]between the activists and the policy makers.
[00:59:47.400]Those who craft policies that guide our societies.
[00:59:50.900]They need to see how serious this is.
[00:59:53.110]They need to take the action
[00:59:54.110]both from the top and from the bottom.
[00:59:56.167]So we can come to the middle point of achieving our goals.
[01:00:02.100]Yes, thank you.
[01:00:03.720]I think so we are hitting time right now.
[01:00:06.790]So I just wanted to say thank you again
[01:00:08.430]to all of our panelists.
[01:00:09.630]I also feel like this event,
[01:00:11.120]in and of itself shows some sense of that
[01:00:13.680]we all still have some sense of hope, at least.
[01:00:16.450]And the conversations we had here in this panel
[01:00:18.770]that relate to environmental justice
[01:00:21.830]instilling a sense of responsibility
[01:00:24.300]and everything that everyone has said today.
[01:00:26.400]I think hopefully we can take it out on a hopeful note.
[01:00:30.570]So thank you all once again for doing all
[01:00:33.630]of your work and sharing it with us today.
[01:00:35.840]And I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the symposium.
Log in to post comments