Sustainability Conference Draws Leading Thinkers

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2010) The University of South Florida will introduce its new School of Global Sustainability by holding its first major conference Feb. 11-12, featuring leading researchers in climate change, the environment and human health in a series of discussions on the future of the planet and its inhabitants.


All events will be held in the Oval Theater at the Marshall Student Center. The program is open to the public.


The conference program will begin on Thursday with a presentation from Ohio State University climate change scientist Lonnie Thompson, whose studies on glacier retreat and the demise of the famed snows of Mount Kilimanjaro provided some of science’s most dramatic evidence of climate change. Thompson, the director of the Byrd Polar Research Center, and his wife served as advisers for the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Thompson’s presentation is scheduled for 10:15 a.m.


Thompson’s lecture will be followed by a panel discussion on climate change featuring USF faculty at 11:30 a.m. and a second panel discussion on environmental policy at 4 p.m.


Also on Thursday at 2 p.m., USF President Judy Genshaft will present Ewha University President Bae-Yong Lee with the President's Global Leadership Award in recognition of her efforts to foster international research, solutions and discussions of issues of global concern.


Friday’s program will feature a 10 a.m. speech by George Luber, an epidemiologist and the associate director for Global Climate Change for the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Luber’s research has focused on the health effects of climate change. His presentation will be followed at 11 a.m. by a panel discussion featuring USF researchers.


The conference will conclude with a 2:30 p.m. presentation from Jerry Schnoor, co-director of the Global and Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa. Schnoor is one of the nation’s leading researchers in using mathematical models in science policy decisions and is considered one of the founding fathers of phytoremediation, the use of plants to clean the environment. An hour-long panel discussion featuring USF faculty will follow.