With apologies to Bob Dylan, are you “like a rolling stone”? Or “just a pawn in the game”? The scientific evidence that Earth’s climate is changing significantly – and that human activities have contributed to those changes – is overwhelming. All humans and most of the biosphere will experience some type of disruption, with climate change creating both winners and losers.
The newly released UN IPCC report demonstrates how urgently we need to act if we are going to minimize the consequences and not just adapt to a deadly new normal. The report also offers hope that collective efforts using tools we currently have can stave off the worst potential outcomes.
But, what can we do as individuals, citizens, and communities? This informal presentation reviewed the scientific processes that shape Earth’s climate, examined the types of threats that are likely to be brought by climate change, and highlighted some of the mitigation strategies being considered. After the presentation, Jill led a group discussion on the role each of us could play in order to be part of the solution, instead of a victim of climate change.
Jill Karsten, Ph.D., is a retired marine geochemist and the former Program Director for Education and Diversity in the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Geosciences. At NSF, she oversaw research grant programs focused on improving geoscience education and workforce development and co-chaired NSF-wide initiatives focused on climate change education and improving undergraduate STEM education. She was a member of the National Research Council’s Climate Change Education Roundtable and the U.S. Global Research Change Program’s inter-agency Climate Education Working Group. As an Associate Researcher in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Jill studied mid-ocean ridge volcanism and the evolution of oceanic crust, with more than a year and half of her life spent at sea on research vessels.
Prior to joining NSF, she served as a program officer in the Marine Geology and Geophysics program at the Office of Naval Research and as the Education Manager for the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Since retiring from NSF, Jill has served two terms on the AGU Board of Directors and chaired the task force that developed AGU’s new Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, as well as serving as an advisor for several NSF and NASA programs, including the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program.
Jill and her husband of 35 years, Rodey Batiza, relocated to a suburb of Minneapolis in 2017 to be closer to their three sons and their families, including two grandsons.