Undergrads to present research at public symposium on climate science, solutions


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Four summer research programs that task undergraduate students with exploring pressing research related to climate science and solutions are culminating in a combined event that is open to the public.

Penn State’s Climate Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, two International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) programs, and the Drawdown Scholars program are hosting their final symposium from 11 am to 2 pm Thursday, Aug. 4, in the Steidle Building Atrium on the University Park campus.

Students in these programs conduct research over the summer under the mentorship of faculty, post-doctoral scholars and graduate students.

“We are excited this year to showcase research on the changing climate, the impacts of these changes and solutions to minimize negative impacts,” said Alisha Wellington, a Penn State researcher and Climate Science REU alumna who is helping to organize the event.

The Climate Science REU program, directed by Ray Najjar and Greg Jenkins, covers the full range of climate science, including greenhouse gas emissions; changes in the atmosphere, ocean, and biosphere; and impacts on ecosystems and society.

The IRES Pollinators in Changing Climates program, directed by Margarita Lopez-Uribe, provides research experiences working with mentors from Penn State and Universidad Militar Nueva Granada in Colombia. Projects focus on how abiotic factors such as temperature, humidity and ozone impact plant-pollinator interactions in mountain ecosystems.

The IRES Manifestations of Climate Change in Extreme Events program, directed by Julio Urbina, provides research experiences guided by mentors from Penn State, the Geophysical Institute of Peru and Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria in Peru. Projects focus on how extreme events are impacting the Peruvian region and developing responses to the damaging effects.

Penn State’s Drawdown Scholars program, directed by Rachel Brennan and Cindy Reed, partners with Project Drawdown to explore and enhance “the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming.” The Drawdown mission seeks to clarify a positive solutions-oriented path ahead for action on climate change.

The Climate Science REU and IRES programs are funded by the National Science Foundation. Funding for the Drawdown Scholars program is provided by the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, the College of Engineering, and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State.

The 2022 symposium will feature poster presentations from the Climate Science REU and Drawdown Scholars programs, as well as video presentations from the IRES programs.

Refreshments will be provided. Further details about the participating programs may be found at:

https://pennstate.pure.elsevier.com/en/projects/ires-track-i-manifestations-of-climate-change-in-extreme-events

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