November 07, 2017

Last week the nation’s leading scientists released the National Climate Assessment report, an in-depth analysis of climate change impacts on the U.S. The group reported that “it’s entirely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming seen since the middle of the 20th century.”

The Catholic University of America will bring together an international group of experts to address the challenges of climate change at a workshop on Thursday, Nov. 16. “Challenges of Climate Change” is sponsored by the School of Engineering and is open to the public.   

Expert speakers at the workshop include:

  • Mark Z. Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and professor  of civil and environmental engineering, Stanford University, on technical and economic planning necessary to convert to 100% wind, water, and solar power;
  • Giovanni Cecconi, founder of the Venice Resilience Lab, on the Venice Safeguard Project’s efforts to adapt to sea level rise;
  • Ross J. Salawitch, professor, departments of atmospheric and oceanic science, chemistry, and biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, on evaluating the Paris Climate Agreement;
  • Compton Tucker, senior scientist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, on satellite observations of weather and climate;
  • Davin Hutchins, a leader of the Climate Reality Project trained by former Vice President Al Gore, on the renewable energy revolution and international climate policy.

The workshop is the first event marking the school’s commitment to establish an Engineering Center for the Care of the Earth, which will foster greater understanding of the effects, both positive and negative, that technology has on our planet and on our relationship with one another. The center will support engineering research and education focused on pollution and climate change, access to clean water and air, wise stewardship of natural resources and maintenance of its biodiversity, the impact of technology on human relationships, and technology’s potential to exacerbate or mitigate global inequality.

Upon hearing of the school’s intention and the current work underway, Pope Francis sent his “prayerful good wishes” for this “important educational mission” in a letter from the Vatican’s Secretary of State. In his encyclical letter Laudato Sí’, Pope Francis spoke of the need for “educators capable of developing an ethics of ecology” in response to the global environmental crisis.  

“Pope Francis has called all people to enter into dialogue about protecting the Earth, our common home,” says John Judge, dean of the School of Engineering. “Our students and faculty are answering that call, and this workshop is an opportunity for us to learn from one another and from experts around the globe on how we can address the challenges of a changing global climate.”

The event, which is being held in collaboration with Università Politecnica delle Marche, will be held from 8:50 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, Great Room, 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, D.C.

For more information on this event and its participants, or to R.S.V.P., visit the event website.

MEDIA: Members of the media are invited to cover the event. Video will be available after the workshop. To schedule an interview or attend the event, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at or 202-319-5600.

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