Klaus Keller at Dickinson

By Elizabeth Plascencia

Klaus Keller, Department of Geosciences at Penn State University
Klaus Keller, Department of Geosciences at Penn State University

This past Tuesday, November 11th, the ERSC Seminar Series welcomed a special guest from the Department of Geosciences at Penn State University, Klaus Keller. His lecture was called “Climate Risk Management in the Anthropocene: From Basic Science to Decision Making (and back)” and it directly related to our studies in both of the mosaic courses, ERSC 204: Global Climate Change and SUST 330: Global Environmental Challenges and Governance.

As Keller spoke about this whole notion of decision making under uncertainty, I could not help but directly relate it to the work under the UNFCCC (United Nations Conference on Climate Change). As December 1st approaches, our cohort has been wrapping up our relevant course materials as we prepare for our time at COP20. This lecture made it evident that uncertainties are truly still a roadblock in climate negotiations.

Keller’s perspective was extremely enlightening and I was eager to speak with him after his lecture. Fortunately, Will Kochtitzky ‘16 and I were able to chat with him after his talk and he gave us some great pointers about future work in climate change post-Dickinson.

Keller also spoke about the SCRiM (Sustainable Climate Risk Management) Scholars Program which particularly peaked my interests. It is essentially an interdisciplinary team of climate scientists, economists, philosophers, statisticians, engineers, and policy analysts from 19 universities and 5 research institutions across 6 nations. Together this team works to answer the looming question of: “What are sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient, and ethically defensible climate risk management strategies?” My sense is that this program offers an incredible opportunity to anyone who is interested in pursuing work within climate change, sustainability, sustainable development, and/or sustainable risk management development. I personally am interested in possibly applying to the SCRiM Scholars Program.

Overall, I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to speak with Keller and I really can’t believe how close we are to attending COP20. Cheers.

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