University of Vermont

UVM Self-help Web Guide

Students Present at Senator's Global Warming Conference

In March, Sen. Bernie Sanders hosted a town meeting-style conference on global warming. Nearly 600 people gathered in Montpelier to hear from experts and discuss what the senator says is "clearly the most important issue facing the future of our planet." Sharing the presenter's stage with state experts, including leading climate change activist Bill McKibben, were ten UVM students, who discussed the past, present and future of climate change and climate change science in Vermont.

"I met with the senator's staff a few weeks ago," said Jon Erickson, interim dean of the Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources, "and talked about putting together a presentation on climate science and impacts (for the conference). And I started to brag about all the great faculty and staff we have at UVM working on climate science research and teaching…and they said, 'No, we don't want to hear from them. We want to hear from your students because climate change science is about the future.'"

So Erickson, along with Professors Amy Seidl and Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, worked with students from the "Adaptation to Climate Change" and "Climatology" courses to develop their presentations.

The student presenters included: Stephanie Cesario, environmental studies major with a concentration in food systems; Sam Hubert, environmental studies major with a minor in music; Jack Steele, environmental studies major with a minor in anthropology; Kerry Wilson, environmental sciences major with a concentration in conservation biology; Stephanie Rosengarden, wildlife and fisheries biology major with a minor in environmental studies; Peter Huntington, environmental studies major with minors in art history and speech; Taryn Maitland, environmental studies major with a minor in anthropology; Megan Noonan, double major in environmental studies and political science with a minor in English; Sarah Soderbergh, double major in environmental studies and English; Jehan Dolbashian, environmental studies major with minors in global studies and women's and gender studies.

"The overwhelming attendance at (the) conference and the engagement we had with Vermonters on this issue makes me confident that Vermont will continue to play a leading role on this vitally important issue," Sanders said in an email following the forum.

Watch a video of the conference (Sanders introduces UVM participants at 26:42).