UVM to host lecture and workshops on extreme climate—and the quest for communication impact on a warming planet

After more than three decades writing about human-driven climate change and wider sustainability issues, former New York Times journalist Andrew Revkin has started building an initiative at Columbia University's Earth Institute testing ways to make information matter on a fast-forward, noisy planet.

He’ll speak about his quest for communication impact—"from the melting North Pole to the overheated media climate," he says—at the University of Vermont’s Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building, on Friday, October 25, at noon. The talk is free and open to the public.

Before the talk, a group of international scientists will offer short workshops on their experiences in the world's coldest places and their explorations of extreme climate. These are also free and open to the public.  Pre-registration is required for the workshops (see information below). These include:

  • A Journey Across (and Beneath) French Glaciers, Marie Protin, Cerege, France
  • Snowmobiling Across Greenland, Erich Osterberg, Dartmouth College
  • DNA Leaves Footprints in the Ocean: Climate Events Over 10,000 Years, Sara Hardardottir, GEUS, Denmark
  • The Good, The Bad, and The Smelly: Fieldwork in Antarctica, Drew Christ, University of Vermont
  • Windy Hiking and Heavy Rocks, Becca Vanderleest, University of Connecticut
  • Recreating Vanished Glaciers, Chris Halsted, University of Vermont
  • Animated Ice Sheets, Benjamin Keisling, University of Massachusetts

In Revkin’s illustrated talk, including a song or two from his musical side, the prize-winning journalist will lay out his learning journey so far and his call to action for anyone interested in being the signal amid the noise. He'll describe how "storytelling still matters, but shaping constructive conversations may matter more, how top-down governance still matters, but community-up solutions hold the key," he notes.

Revkin is the founding director of the Initiative on Communication and Sustainability at Columbia University's Earth Institute, and author of Weather: An Illustrated HistoryThe North Pole Was Here, and other books.

The workshops will be offered from 10:40am-11:55am. Participants will be able to attend two workshops. Check-in will be at 10:30am in UVM's  Waterman Building, Memorial Lounge.

More information and registration forms are available here:



Andrew Revkin’s talk and the workshops are sponsored by the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Environment, Geology Department, Provost’s Office, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Vice President for Research and also by Columbia University.


Joshua E. Brown