Atmospheric scientist to present virtual ECU Voyages Series lecture on climate change

East Carolina University’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences will launch the 14th season of its signature Voyages of Discovery Series on Sept. 17 with a free, virtual, livestreamed event featuring Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University. A link to attend will appear on the Voyages website several days prior to the event.

Hayhoe, whose research focuses on developing and applying high-resolution climate projections to understand what climate change means for people and the natural environment, will discuss “Climate Change: A Threat Multiplier.”

Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University, will kick off the 14th season of ECU Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences’ Voyages of Discovery Series. (Photo courtesy of Ashley Rodgers, Texas Tech University).

“Dr. Hayhoe is a compelling scientist who knows how to engage nonexperts about why people react so differently to climate change and why realizing the bases of those reactions matters,” said Dr. Jeffrey S. Johnson, director of the Voyages of Discovery Series.

In her event synopsis, Hayhoe states, “for generations, human civilization has been building a climate debt, borrowing from the stability of the future to power the economic growth of the present. Through fossil fuel combustion and land-use change, we have disrupted the carbon cycle, overwhelming the influence of natural forces on Earth’s climate. As heat accumulates in the climate system, it drives long-term increases in temperature and sea level, and super-charges hurricanes, heat waves and heavy precipitation events. These changes, in turn, exacerbate poverty, hunger, disease, refugee crises and more. Today, the choice is stark: Can we do what it takes to avoid widespread dangerous change? Or will we remain mired in inaction until the full cost of this unprecedented experiment we’re conducting with our planet falls due?”

At Texas Tech University, Hayhoe is the endowed professor in public policy and public law in the department of political science and co-directs the university’s climate center. She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and serves on a range of scientific advisory boards, including the board of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

Hayhoe has received the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of the Planet award, the American Geophysical Union’s Climate Communication Prize, the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service award, and the Stephen H Schneider Climate Communication Award. She was recognized as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, Fortune’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders and the United Nations’ Champion of the Earth in Science and Innovation.

Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1018 or email at least 48 hours prior to the event.