Sustainability Forum 2014

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Climate Change in Wisconsin: Where do we go from here?


The 2014 Sustainability Forum has concluded, however, the program was recorded, so check back for archived videos of the presentations.


The 2014 Sustainability Forum, Climate Change in Wisconsin: Where do we go from here?, was a huge success!  The Office of Sustainability and members of the local sustainability community engaged in talks and discussion about the impacts of climate change on Wisconsin residents and how human actions, adaptation, and innovation can chart a new course forward.  The forum included speeches, PechaKucha presentations, panels, and Q & A sessions that offered audience members a chance to participate and direct the experts toward topics they were interested in.  The varying keynote speakers and panelists help ensure that our discussions were broad in their focus but accurate in the information provided.

Over the next few months we will begin planning the 2015 Sustainability Forum.  We hope to continue providing interesting and engaging events like the forum that draw in parties that extend far beyond the UW Campus.


February 27, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
H.F. DeLuca Forum, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, UW–Madison

Biographies for all of the speakers and panelists can be found here.

Read media coverage of the event:

Wisconsin Public Radio 2/26/14 Climate Change in Wisconsin: Where Do We Go From Here?

The Daily Cardinal 2/27/14 Madison professionals describe climate change relations at Sustainability Forum

The Capital Times 3/1/14 Even while adapting, most Wisconsin farmers are climate change skeptics





8:30-9:00       Check-in, coffee and tea
9:00-9:30       Welcoming remarks

Session I: Agriculture and Food

9:30-10:10      Keynote: Wisconsin Agriculture: A History of Adaptation

        •  Ben Brancel, Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection

10:10-10:35     Rapid-fire talks

        • What Farmers Think About Climate Change: Results From a Recent SurveyDr. Paul Mitchell, Associate Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics
        • Forward Thinking for the Yahara Watershed: A Framework to Assess the Future Impacts of Land Use and Climate Change on Ecosystem Services - Dr. Chris Kucharik, Associate Professor of Agronomy and Environmental Studies
        • Local Food Purchasing: Do Food Miles Relate to Climate Change? - Dr. Erin Silva, Associate Director, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems & Jeffrey Orr, Executive Chef, Dining and Culinary Services

10:35-10:55     Panel discussion

10:55-11:10     BREAK

Session II: Human Impacts

11:10-11:30     Keynote: Adapting to Climate Change in Wisconsin

        • Dr. Dan Vimont, Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

11:30-12:00     Rapid-fire talks

        • Climate Adaptation in Wisconsin CommunitiesSally Kefer, Chair of WICCI Community Adaptation Workgroup, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
        • Disaster, Vulnerability and the Urban Environment: Framing Resilience for the Twenty-first Century - Dr. Richard Keller, Associate Professor of Medical History and Bioethics
        • From Invisible to Invaluable: How Wastewater Utilities are Adapting to Climate Change and Leading SustainabilityMichael Mucha, Chief Engineer and Director of the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District
        • The Secret Life of Knives, Forks, and Spoons at Union SouthDr. Cathy Middlecamp, Professor of Environmental Studies

12:00-12:20     Panel discussion

12:20-1:00       LUNCH – For pre-registered individuals

Session III: Policy and Human Behavior

1:00-1:20        Keynote: Climate Change and Public Policy

        • Dr. Greg Nemet, Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Environmental Studies

1:20-1:50        Rapid-fire talks

        • Adaptations to Support Ecosystem Service Provision – Dr. Adena Rissman, Assistant Professor of Forest and Wildlife Ecology
        • The Normative Impacts of Messages - Dr. Sharon Dunwoody, Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication
        • How to get people to change their behaviors: Insights from research in the behavioral sciencesDr. Markus Brauer, Professor of Psychology
        • Cool Choices: A Fun Approach to Behavior Change – Kathy Kuntz, Executive Director of Cool Choices

1:50-2:10        Panel discussion

2:10-2:25        BREAK

Session IV: Risk, Planning, and Insurance in Industry

2:25-3:05       Industry leaders panel discussion

        • Rollie Boeding, Director of the Wisconsin Bureau of State Risk Management
        • Ryan Griffin, Managing Consultant at See the Forest, LLC
        • Diane Mayerfeld, Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator at UW–Extension
        • Rodney Taylor, Managing Director of Aon Environmental Services Group

Session V: Climate Change and Campus

3:05-3:40      Campus leaders panel discussion

3:45-4:00    Closing Remarks
4:15-5:00    Weston Lecture: Optimization and Climate Policy

5:00-6:00    Poster Session, Networking and Refreshments!



Sponsored by:

Office of Sustainability logoCenter for Climatic Research logoNelson Logo