The Dickinson College COP15 student delegation is a group of 15 students selected from a competitive and diverse applicant pool. Outstanding students from across the curriculum were chosen based on their ability to create impact, learn collaboratively, understand and communicate climate change, and the articulation of diverse personal goals. With individual goals ranging from public skills orientation to climate change science, the delegation relays the strength of our institution as committed to the challenging work necessary to solve climate change.
In December 2009, the student delegation attended COP-15 to witness the proceedings and conduct interviews. This website is dedicated to the distribution of the latter to a wider audience with the aim to allow everyone the same opportunity to become intimately acquainted with climate change issues.
PROFESSOR SARAH BRYLINSKY
Sustainability Education Coordinator, Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education
As an engaged citizen and ecofeminist, I see the intersections of gender development and environmental security issues as central to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations. The challenges of population growth, resource allocation, reproductive justice, and workforce integrity transcend gender and environmental camps with similar and complimentary needs, and my experience as a feminist advocate and community organizer have proven that collaboration within these groups can lead to equitable sociopolitical solutions. I am fascinated by the potential of complex and increasingly-available communication tools and public media outlets to strengthen and shape our voice, as citizens mutually concerned about the natural environment and the longevity of our local communities. My background in instructional design, organizational communication, and gender/ecology intersections will serve this group by adding the consistent theme of equitable dialogue to our projects and studies. After 5 years of working in sustainability and higher education, I am energized and empowered by the potential of highly intelligent, diverse, and transdisciplinary young leaders to use their passion in shaping mitigation strategies and international policy. I hope to learn from each team members strength and interests, and be a part of their exploration of the many perspectives which must be considered
in our collective efforts to create a sustainable future.
Contact Professor Brylinsky for questions about the development of this website, course logistics, and questions emphasizing content during the Spring semester of the course.
DR. NEIL LEARY
Director, Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education
I bring to the course and group research project broad knowledge of climate change science, impacts, adaptation, and mitigation gained from researching these topics since 1991, helping to lead the 2001 assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and directing programs to engage developing country scientists in climate change research. During the time that I have worked on climate change I have observed the evidence mount and become ever more persuasive that climate change is happening, that it is largely driven by humans, and that it represents a major threat to ecological systems and human well being. I am convinced that this is one of the greatest challenges that we will face in the 21st century. For this reason I wanted to offer a course that would engage a group of Dickinson students in intensive study and research of climate change and the international negotiations that are seeking common ground for solutions. I am excited by the opportunity to work with and learn from the group of highly motivated and capable students that has been selected for this program. My role will be to guide you in your studies and research — but the real work will be yours, individually and as a team.
Contact Dr. Leary for questions about development of this project, Fall term course specifics, and general program direction.
CLASS OF 2010
Kristen Lee is a senior Environmental Studies major. As a Los Angeles, California native, she has seen how regional environmental leadership and progressive policy can improve conditions nationwide as well as change attitudes and lifestyles of many people. Kristen is particularly interested in searching for solutions to climate change through collective action: from the individual to global levels. She believes that accountability and initiative are the keys to curbing environmental problems.
Kristen studied at the University of East Anglia during her junior spring during which time she gained valuable knowledge from UEA’s world-renowned climate change school. She hopes to bring her knowledge of and enthusiasm for environmental policy to the classroom. After graduation, Kristen hopes to go to graduate school and would love to later pursue a career in policy-making and/or consulting focused upon sustainable development and clean energy opportunities. She is very excited to see international policy in action during the UN Conference and thinks that it will be such an amazing and fun learning experience to share with her classmates!
CLASS OF 2012
I grew up in China and have witnessed a lot of catastrophic weather events such as sand storms, flood, snow storms that each of these has caused so many deaths and made millions of people lose their homes. I see climate change is related to human activities, and the influence it has is getting greater. Being a developing country and one of the largest countries in the world, China has gradually become the biggest carbon dioxide emitter because of having abundant resourses, vast land, and cheap labor. This degfinitely concerns me, and I hope I could help my homeland reverse this trend in the future. My intended major is International Business and Management. Through the course, I believe I will not only be able to help the research team analyzing climate change itself using my field of knowledge and my Chinese skills, but I will also successfully develop a wide rage of environmentally related knowledge. I am also particularly interested in developing international business models which incorporate the concept of environmental sustainability as a primary principle before profit in the future.
CLASS OF 2010
Brett Shollenberger is a nature writer and comedian from the Philadelphia area. He has recently served as the lead author on a climate ethics thesis for the Penn State Rock Ethics Conference and presented at the 2010 Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Conference. He is the current editor-in-chief of the square, Dickinson’s social justice newspaper, the student writer for Dickinson Magazine, and the President of Run With It, Dickinson’s improv comedy troupe. He has been an editorial intern for Central PA Magazine, received the 2007 National Student Emmy in Arts & Cultural Affairs for his work on a weekly television program, The Dude Report, and has spent several years performing and teaching improv comedy at the Philadelphia Improv Theatre and North Penn High School. He has been the principal designer for this website, so any mistakes are principally his fault.
CLASS OF 2012
Grace Lange grew up in Vergennes, Vermont and is currently a sophomore at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She is an International Studies major with a concentration on Human Security and Globalization. She has travelled through Europe studying French and different cultures. This past summer, she interviewed individuals involved in the sustainable movement in Africa. She has goals to continue her global education through the Dickinson’s study abroad program in Cameroon her junior year. She looks forward to bringing her interviewing and cross-cultural analytical skills she learned abroad to the Dickinson research team in the fall. After Dickinson, she hopes to pursue a career in sustainable development and policy making. She sees this program as an opportune avenue for her to expand on her interest in policy making. She is excited about the opportunities the
Copenhagen conference will afford her, the chance to see international policy making
in action, to be a part of the international sustainable movement, and to become a resource
on this topic to her fellow Dickinsonians.
CLASS OF 2010
Brandon McCall, originally from Los Angeles, California, is a senior at Dickinson College majoring in English. He has worked for California State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass in Los Angles and done marketing with a nonprofit theatre in Glendale, California. At Dickinson College Brandon has taken leadership positions in a variety of campus multicultural organizations and volunteered to build homes in New Orleans and Philadelphia. In 2009, he had the opportunity to participate in public policy programs at New York University and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he discovered his passion for housing and education policy. Following graduation Brandon hopes to enroll in a Master of Public Administration or Master of Public Policy program where he will have the opportunity to study the interconnectedness of housing, education, and environmental policy. After completing graduate school he hopes to pursue a career creating diverse mixed income communities that are environmentally friendly and provide residents with access to quality educations and many other resources. It is his hope to learn more about international environmental policy from this program so that he can use this knowledge in both graduate school and in his career.
CLASS OF 2010
A native of the Mexico-U.S. border region in the Chihuahuan Desert, I grew up in bilingual and bicultural community. I am a senior majoring in East Asian Studies with a minor in Japanese. I am also pursuing a Latin American Studies certificate. Before my year abroad I was the secretary of ASIA club and was involved with the Spanish and East Asian Studies departments. I am a Spanish and Japanese language tutor. I have also been involved with Phonathon since my first year; first as a caller, and later as a manager. I spent my Junior year studying abroad in Japan. In the summer of 2008 I participated in a two month intensive language program in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. I later studied in Dickinson’s program at Nanzan University in Nagoya, located in central Japan. I did a couple of projects on environmental topics in Japanese: one was on environmental business in Japan and the other on tidal wave energy. My time in Japan taught me a lot about the role cultural values play in the way people view and treat environmental issues. I also learned many valuable lessons on living more sustainably from a culture that is very mindful of the impact our everyday actions have on the environment. I am interested in international environmental policy-making and cross-cultural communication as key in resolving global issues. I am very excited to be a part of
the Dickinson COP15 delegation at the conference in Copenhagen this December!
DANIELLE (DONI) HOFFMAN
CLASS OF 2010
Doni Hoffman is a senior environmental studies major from Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Born and raised in community, she was shown at a young age the incredible power of a group of like-minded, dedicated individuals. She is interested in bringing people together to illuminate the existing connections between them and to explore and discover the potential they hold to build/create together. She believes that empowering communities to take responsibility for their actions by helping them discover their collective potential and existing resources is an incredibly important impetus for change in the sustainability movement. Doni has a variety of experiences working with local foods movements, first at the Dickinson college farm, and more recently in Honesdale, PA, at the Anthill Farm, a local farm owned and operated by a group of young farmers dedicated to creating sustainable lifestyles on both local and regional levels. She studied abroad at the Findhorn Foundation, a spiritual community and ecovillage in northern Scotland, where she had many conversations that revolved around the implications of climate change and peak oil and how we as individuals, communities, cities, and countries might respond. Recently she attended two Beaming Bioneers Conferences, as well as earned her Permaculture Design Certificate at Yestermorrow Design/Build School. She has experience in photography, videography, and basic group facilitation. She is excited to work with her fellow students to document their participation in the Copenhagen Negotiations and to share their experience with others when they return.
CLASS OF 2010
Having travelled through many natural and social ecosystems around the world, I am a passionate conservationist that believes that biodiversity conservation and human preservation are intertwined and being threatened by global climate change. I am particularly committed to reducing habit destruction and deforestation, and am interested in learning more about how mitigation plans can use these tools to achieve carbon sequestration goals. Programs like REDD seem promising for protecting forests as a means of reducing climate change. I believe that the Kyoto 2 conference is a critical juncture that has the potential to increase international cooperation in addressing global climate change especially if conservation mitigation programs are strengthened and are given a higher priority within legislative mechanisms. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to make a contribution to the research that would be generated from this program. I believe that I can be an effective and valuable member of the Dickinson research team, because I already have had experience arranging, preparing for, and conducting interviews with public and private officials as part of my independent research with the LUCE program. After taking many upper level courses like a Biodiversity Conservation course while studying abroad at the University of East Anglia, I have been exposed to different ways of thinking about environmental values, agreements, and enforcement mechanisms, which will be useful for conducting research and analyzing our findings. I can’t wait to get started.
CLASS OF 2010
David Munn, originally from Keene, NH, is a senior pursuing a dual major in Policy Management and American Studies. Last summer he worked for the Student Conservation Association (SCA), an environmental non-profit which provides conservation internships for more than 4,000 students in all 50 states. Through his work in advocacy and development, he was able to experience some of the work that is being done in the public sector in order to promote environmental awareness and sustainability at the national level. He has also been apart of a number of service trips aiding regions in Louisiana devastated by hurricane Katrina. David will bring to the team a diverse set of skills including practice in formal interviews and policy analysis. He is excited to be a part of the Dickinson
COP15 delegation and strongly looks forward to learning from
students and professors from an array of educational disciplines.
CLASS OF 2010
Kelly Rogers grew up in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania in the Pocono Mountains region. She is currently a Senior Policy Management major at Dickinson College and plans to attend law school after graduation. Throughout her career at Dickinson, she has interned in the Office of the First Lady of Pennsylvania, where she worked to improve civic engagement across the Commonwealth. In spring of 2008 she was awarded the Finnegan Fellowship for her interests in State Government. This internship provided her with the opportunity to work in the Pennsylvania Department of State, where she worked in the Bureau of Commissions, Elections, and Legislation. She also just finished an internship with a Harrisburg Government Relations firm, in which she regularly attended legislative committee meetings and PA Department of Environmental Protection agency meetings on climate change. From these experiences, she has learned that there is always “more than meets the eye” in policy negotiations. She recognizes that study of the UN conference in Copenhagen will require diligence and a thorough understanding of stakeholders’ interests and positions.
CLASS OF 2010
As a child, I grew up attending public schools, where I was always in the top percentage of my class. I was one of twelve high school seniors granted a full tuition merit based-leadership scholarship through the Posse Foundation to attend Dickinson College. I will be the first in my family to graduate from college. My academic interest have lead me to declare a major in International Studies with a focus on Globalization and Human Security, and will further focus my major on Global Warming and its environmental, political, and economic impact around the world. At Dickinson College, I have taken many courses which will help me benefit from this program, such as International Studies, American Foreign Policy, Comparative Politics, and Geology of Natural Disasters. These courses have taught me the various relationships and the history of relations of the international community, the establishment, transformation, and role of the United Nations, U.S. Policy trends, the policy making process, failures and successes of U.S foreign policy. I also learned about the Kyoto Protocol, the science of climate change, and its current and potential impact on the world. Each of these courses, along with my experiences as a Posse Scholar, have provided me the knowledge necessary to contribute to this highly qualified research group. I hope to learn the internal infrastructures, negotiation processes, and decision making process of the UN so that hopefully one day I can be the one making decisions.
CLASS OF 2010
As a self-developed major in Mass Media Studies, my primary research reflects on the public sphere and the way different channels interact with one another. My passion is embedded in the way media alters one’s perspective on real world challenges and events. This past summer I worked as an intern with World Wrestling Entertainment and the prior year I worked with Pro Wrestling Illustrated. While I have mainly dealt with the entertainment field outside of academia, this opportunity provides a method to diversify my understandings of events on a globalized scale. Additionally, it enables me to help the research team bring back a message as a representative of Dickinson College. After graduation, I hope to continue my studies in Mass Media by pursuing a Master’s Degree or continuing my work in the Professional Wrestling industry. After this program, I hope to continue to expand my knowledge on environmental issues and intertwine my passions for entertainment with a more grounded passion for sustainability. Jared served as co-videographer alongside Brett, in addition to assisting with post-production and website layout.
CLASS OF 2010
I was attracted to this program firstly because of the group of students and professors it promised to bring together. This unconventional class/ research project/ delegation/ experiment consists of passionate professors and students from diverse backgrounds. Starting with the right people is the best way to ensure success of the program and the greatest positive impact it is going to create. I bring to the group a background and interests in finance, management, and development. For the past spring and summer I interned at Goldman Sachs and Nomura Securities in Operational Risk department. Over the summer I also helped a start up social business called Greensoul Shoes (www.greensoulshoes.com) find community-based, environment-friendly shoe manufacturers in Vietnam. I am eager to see and contribute to the group dynamics and expect to work my 110% to make this a great learning experience.
CLASS OF 2010
Gwen Dunnington is a Geology major from Charlottesville, Virginia, beginning her senior year at Dickinson College. Her background in science has afforded her a deep appreciation for the severity of the challenges presented by global climate change, instilling in her a driving desire to contribute to solving the climate crisis. As a passionate science major who is more naturally inclined toward humanitarian disciplines, she hopes that her experience with the Dickinson Cop15 program will make her a more informed and dynamic communicator capable of educating people of all academic backgrounds on the challenges at hand. Five-year’s employment with an environmental newspaper has given her a general awareness of environmental issues and how global and local politics have and have not responded to them. At a volunteer internship in Burlington, Vt in 2008, she analyzed, in depth, how climate change has and will continue to affect the chemistry of Lake Champlain and the integrity of the sewage treatment system, and what dangers that poses to residents along the lakeshore. These experiences both broadened her understanding of the complexities of the challenges facing the globe, and enhanced her respect for the people who work to combat them at every level. As a passionate scientist with a hunger to understand the social and political issues and processes around climate change, she looks forward to learning how to begin implementing creative, positive change.
CLASS OF 2010
Originally from Montevideo, Uruguay, I am a senior Psychology major at Dickinson College. I am interested in pursuing a career in behavioral research, and have dedicated most of my time as an undergraduate to participation in and development of psychological research projects. I have worked on a study funded by the National Institutes of Health investigating the connections between smoking risk perception and moralization in the US and Denmark. This has allowed me to travel to Copenhagen and get a first-hand understanding of the Danish way of life. I was also trained in interview technique and qualitative research methodology. My interest in joining this delegation was sparked the realization of my own ignorance in the face of one of the most important issues of our time. Having grown up in a region of the world where climate change is a secondary priority at best, Dickinson’s approach to sustainability and environmental issues both surprised and inspired me. It is my wish that through the knowledge I acquire in this program, I will be able to help improve the state of knowledge on climate change in the US and abroad.