Oceans and Climate Conference

Yale School of the Environment

Friday, October 23, 2020

11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST

This entirely student-led conference aims to bring together students, practitioners, and faculty to collectively explore the links, trade-offs, and tensions at the nexus of climate change, oceans, and coastal ecosystems.

Featuring speakers from the public and private sector, academia, non-governmental organizations, and local communities, the 2020 Oceans and Climate Conference will explore a number of subjects that focus on the varied impacts of climate change on ocean natural environments and coastal communities, emerging natural carbon solutions, and adaptation practices and challenges.

Watch the 2020 Oceans and Climate Conference

Welcome, Opening Keynote, and Q&A

Panel 1A: Plastics and Petrochemicals

Panel 1B: Coastal and Marine Impacts and Solutions

Panel 2A: Marine Natural Carbon Solutions

Panel 2B: Societal Adaptation, Planning, and Resilience

Keynote Speakers

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

Poet, Performer, Educator

Kathy is a Marshall Islander poet, performance artist, educator. She received international acclaim through her poetry performance at the opening of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York in 2014. Her writing and performances have been featured by CNN, Democracy Now, the Huffington Post, NBC News, National Geographic, and more. In February 2017, the University of Arizona Press published her first collection of poetry, Iep J─ültok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter.

Kathy also co-founded the youth environmentalist non-profit Jo-Jikum dedicated to empowering Marshallese youth to seek solutions to climate change and other environmental impacts threatening their home island. Kathy has been selected as one of 13 Climate Warriors by Vogue in 2015 and the Impact Hero of the Year by Earth Company in 2016. She received her Master's in Pacific Island Studies from the University of Hawai╩╗i at M─ünoa.

Dr. Scott Doney

Joe D. and Helen J. Kington Professor in Environmental Change, University of Virginia

Scott Doney's expertise spans oceanography, climate and biogeochemistry, with particular emphasis on the application of numerical models and data analysis methods to global-scale questions. Much of his research focuses on how the global carbon cycle and ocean ecology respond to natural and human-driven climate change. One of his current areas of study is ocean acidification due to the invasion into the ocean of carbon dioxide and other chemicals from fossil fuel burning. He is the author of nearly 300 peer-reviewed research publications and co-author of a textbook on data analysis and modeling methods for the marine sciences. He is regularly called on as a source for stories on climate change and ocean acidification by mainstream media outlets, and he has testified before the U.S. Congress on the issue.


Panel 1A: Plastics and Petrochemicals

This panel aims to highlight the interconnection between plastic pollution and climate change, with oceans being a nexus of impacts for both issues. Featuring the following panelists:

Panel 1B: Coastal and Marine Impacts and Solutions

This panel will bring Arctic, tropical, and temperate perspectives to the impacts of climate change on marine and coastal ecosystems, and highlight management and conservation efforts. Featuring the following panelists:

Panel 2A: Marine Natural Carbon Solutions

This panel will provide an overview of marine nature based solutions, with a focus on what is needed to bring these solutions to scale. Emphasis will be placed on policy solutions and action with some background on the science and hydrology behind it. This panel will feature:

Panel 2B: Societal Adaptation, Planning, and Resilience

Across the world, changing oceans and intensifying storms find growing populations along the world's coastlines. This panel strives to examine the types of climate change adaptations, from urban forms to nature-based solutions or governance-centered responses, that coastal communities may employ across the world. This panel will feature:

Conference Leadership Team

Krista Shennum (MEM '21)

Conference Co-Chair

Julia Sweatman (MEM '22)

Conference Co-Chair

Marissa Grenon (JD/MEM '22)

Marine Impacts and Solutions Panel Co-Chair

Anelise Zimmer (MEM '21)

Marine Impacts and Solutions Panel Co-Chair

Tiffany Mayville (MEM '21)

Natural Carbon Solutions Panel Chair

Mia Reback (MEM '21)

Plastics and Petrochemicals Panel Chair

Jonathan Lee (MEM '21)

Societal Adaptation Panel Co-Chair

Julian Macrone (MEM '21)

Societal Adaptation Panel Co-Chair

Many thanks to the student volunteers who made this conference possible:

Shannon Bell, Ryan Clemens, Claudia Ochoa Perez, Liz Plascencia, Cami Ramey, Kristina Rodriguez, Pallavi Sherikar, Mallika Talwar, Winter Wilson