Lecture by Heidi Roop

Title: Confronting Climate Change: Is it time to embrace a new role for climate science (and scientists)?

Abstract: As the global movement towards coordinated and comprehensive climate policies grows, what is the role of climate science (and scientists) in supporting this work that is happening largely outside of traditional scientific realms? To meaningfully make progress towards the mitigation and adaptation targets called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we need to embrace alternative models for how science is conducted, redefine the legitimacy of the roles scientists can play in society, and critically evaluate what constitutes knowledge in the context of climate change science. This talk will explore different approaches that go beyond ‘basic research’ to support the application and use of climate science across sectors and examine the challenges and opportunities facing researchers, elected officials and the public as we work together to integrate climate science into decision-making at a range of local, national and international scales. 

Biography: Dr. Heidi Roop is Lead Scientist for Science Communication at the University Washington’s Climate Impact Group in Seattle, Washington, USA. She is also an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the UW School of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and serves as an advisor to the Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center. Heidi’s research and communications efforts strengthen the connection between climate science and decision-making across a range of sectors and government agencies at local, state, federal and international levels. 
Heidi has trained hundreds of scientists and decision-makers—including Nobel laureates and congresspeople—on the fundamentals of climate science and effective climate and risk communication. She has worked with NASA, the National Science Foundation, and several international organizations and universities to develop a range of climate-related engagement products and communications capacity-building workshops. She was trained as an instructor by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and worked as a research scientist at the United States Geological Survey’s Colorado Water Science Center. Heidi holds a PhD in Geology, with an emphasis on polar climate change and hydrology.