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American Geological Institute
Leadership Forum

“The Role of the Geosciences in Dealing with Climate Change and Energy”

Monday, September 14, 2009
American Geophysical Union
2000 Florida Avenue NW, Washington, DC

Conference Summary (PDF)

Agenda

Selected presentations and speaker biographies are available below.

Monday, September 14th

8:30

Welcome and Introduction

 

 

I. Views of the Congress on Climate Change and Energy: What is the role of the geosciences in addressing these related national priorities?

9:00

Dr. Holmes Hummel, Senior Policy Advisor for Policy & International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy

Dr. Robert “Bob” Simon, Staff Director, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Mr. Kevin Simpson, Senior Republican Counsel, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Dr. Karen Wayland, Policy Advisor, Energy and Climate, Office of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi

10:00

Panel Discussion*

10:15

Break

 

 

II. Examples and Directions of Federal Science Agency Programs and the Geosciences for Energy and its Relation to Climate Change

10:30

Dr. Paul Filmer, Program Director, Geosciences, National Science Foundation
The Role of Basic Research in Dealing with Energy Resources and Climate Change

Dr. Nicholas B. Woodward, Geosciences Research Program, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, Department of Energy
Basic Energy Sciences: Research Directions for Energy Resources and Geologic Sequestration

Dr. Berry H. (Nick) Tew, Jr., P.G., Alabama State Geologist/Oil and Gas Supervisor (for Dr. Scott Tinker, AAPG Past-President and Texas State Geologist)
Global Energy Resources: Fossil Fuels and Beyond

Mr. Ken Hnottavange-Telleen, Risk and Performance Manager, Schlumberger Carbon Services
Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Can CCS Make its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Wedge?

11:30

Panel Discussion

 

 

III. Views of Federal Science Agency Leadership on Climate Change and Energy: What is the role of the geosciences within agencies, between agencies and with other stakeholders?

11:45

Dr. Tom Armstrong, Senior Advisor for Global Change Programs, U.S. Geological Survey (for Dr. Suzette Kimball, Acting Director, U.S. Geological Survey)
U.S. Geological Survey: A Fundamental Federal Agency for Energy and Climate Change (presentation notes PDF)

12:15

Lunch

 

IV. Examples and Directions of Federal Science Agency Programs and the Geosciences for Climate Change and its Relation to Energy

1:30

Mr. Thomas Karl, Director of the National Climatic Data Center, NOAA
Global Climate Change Impacts in the U.S.: New Challenges Ahead

Dr. Compton Tucker, Senior Staff Scientist, U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and Senior Earth Scientist at NASA
Critical Satellite Observations for Climate Science

Dr. Antonio Busalacchi, Jr, Director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland
Climate Change Science: Where Do We Go from Here?

Dr. Miguel A. Medina, Jr.,Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University
The Climate Change – Energy Nexus: A Global Water Crisis?

3:30

Break

   

Views of AGI Leadership and Summary
(Discussion and development of action items for AGI leadership and societies)

3:45

How can we build upon the geosciences community’s transition document** policy guidance for energy and climate change?

How can the geosciences community (through societies) help the administration, federal agencies and policymakers deal with the dual issues of climate change and energy?

How can the geosciences community help geoscientists be highly effective in communicating their understanding and knowledge of these issues to the administration, federal agencies and policymakers?

4:45

Summary and Wrap-up (Summary PDF)

   
 

* All discussions will be conducted by having questions and comments written on cards and a moderator will choose the questions and ask the speakers. All comments and questions will be kept and tallied to determine the most important issues and concerns of the audience. If time permits, tallied items will be discussed at the end of the day. All participants will be encouraged to write down at least one question or idea per speaker. This will encourage comments, broader discussion, multiple viewpoints, and active participation from the full audience.

** The Government Affairs Program with the guidance and input of AGI's Member Societies has prepared a transition 2008 document for new federal leadership in the United States. The document entitled "Critical Needs for the Twenty First Century: The Role of the Geosciences" provides a list of seven critical needs followed by national policy actions to help the nation meet these needs. With a burgeoning human population, rising demand for natural resources and a changing climate, it is critical to more fully integrate Earth observations and Earth system understanding into actions for a sustainable world. The geosciences community stands ready to help deal with these challenges.

The first challenge on the transition document’s list is energy and climate change, which is the main topic of this forum.

For the full text of the transition document please visit:
http://www.agiweb.org/gap/trans08.html

Conference Summary (PDF)

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About the Speakers

Brief biographies about the speakers are available below.

Panel I

Dr. Holmes Hummel, Senior Policy Advisor for Policy & International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy
As a Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Policy & International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy, Dr. Hummel is working on international climate negotiations (UNFCCC), federal energy legislation, federal energy regulation and executive branch actions, and engagement with state energy policy. Previously she taught Climate Policy Design for the Energy Resources Group at UC-Berkeley and served as an AAAS Congressional Science Fellow focusing on energy and climate policy with the office of Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA). She has international experience, including work at the Institute for Energy, Economy, and Environment at Tsinghua University in Beijing, work on renewable energy in South Africa, oil development issues in Ecuador, and global energy scenarios in Europe. Dr. Hummel also worked at Google.org, advising development of its energy & climate strategy, and also at Silicon Energy (now Itron) crafting energy strategies for major corporate consumers. She has a B.S. and M.S.E. in Energy Engineering from Stanford and a Ph.D. from the Interdisciplinary Program on Environment and Resources, Stanford.

Dr. Robert “Bob” Simon, Staff Director, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Since 1993, Dr. Simon’s work for the United States Senate has addressed issues involving Federal basic and applied research programs, energy and environmental technologies, environmental regulation, economic development, and the management of Federal science and technology agencies. Specific issues for which he has been responsible include technology transfer, global climate change, energy efficiency and renewable energy, oil and gas policy, clean coal technology, nuclear waste policy, advanced nuclear reactor research and development, technical aspects of risk assessment in environmental regulation, nuclear medicine, and indoor air quality. Dr. Simon received his B.S. in Chemistry, magna cum laude, from Ursinus College in 1977 and his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982.

Mr. Kevin Simpson, Senior Republican Counsel, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Kevin Simpson recently joined the Minority Staff of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Kevin is from Juneau, Alaska and served through the end of the 110th Congress as Senator Ted Stevens's legislative assistant on energy issues. Kevin's issues include oil and gas, oil shale, liquid natural gas, management of natural gas by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and management of oil and gas by the Bureau of Land Management and Minerals Management Service (MMS).

Dr. Karen Wayland, Policy Advisor, Energy and Climate, Office of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi
Dr Wayland worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council as a Legislative Director on energy and climate change before joining the Speaker’s office. She began a policy-directed career as the AGU Congressional Science Fellow for 2001-2002. At that time she worked in the Office of Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). She has a Ph.D. in geology and resource development from Michigan State University and a M.S. in natural resources management and engineering from the University of Connecticut. Her research focused on land use and groundwater issues in Michigan and Connecticut. In between her degrees she also worked as a consultant on water resources in the U.S. and Latin America.

Panel II

Dr. Paul Filmer, Program Director, Division of Earth Sciences, Directorate for Geosciences, National Science Foundation
Dr. Filmer serves as the program director for Earth System History, Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology, and International Collaboration and Infrastructure Development in the Geosciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation. He serves as the U.S. Head of Delegation to the Conference of the Parties of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research, and is the current Chair of the Executive Council for that International Treaty Organization. He studied at the Economics and the Environment program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and previously worked at the Universities Space Research Association at NASA Headquarters. He is fluent in Spanish and French, and holds a Ph.D. in Marine Geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.Sc. (with Honors) in Geophysics from the California Institute of Technology.

Dr. Compton Tucker, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Senior Staff Scientist, U.S. Global Change Research Program (Senior Earth scientist, NASA Goddard)
Dr. Tucker is serving as a senior staff scientist for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and spends his research time at the Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA. Tucker has pioneered satellite monitoring of vegetation, using more than 30 years of data to track climate change, provide early warning of famine, chart deforestation and the spread of tropical disease. Tucker has penned more than 155 scientific papers. He has received numerous awards including the 2009 Service to America Medal finalist; NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award; William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Sciences; the William T. Pecora Award, U.S. Geological Survey; and the International Society for Optical Engineering Remote Sensing Award. He is a Fellow of the AGU. He has a B.S. in Biology from Colorado State University, an M.S. from the College of Forestry, Colorado State University and a Ph.D. from the College of Forestry, Colorado State University.

Dr. Berry H. (Nick) Tew, Jr, P.G., Alabama State Geologist/Oil and Gas Supervisor
Dr. Berry H. (Nick) Tew, Jr. was appointed Alabama’s State Geologist and Oil and Gas Supervisor in 2002. In these capacities, he serves as Director of the Geological Survey of Alabama and the State Oil and Gas Board of Alabama. He also holds an appointment as an adjunct professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Alabama. His research background includes petroleum geology, stratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology, and paleogeography of the surface and subsurface Mesozoic and Cenozoic strata of this area. Nick has just finished a term as President of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) and is now serving as Past President. He is Chairman of the North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature (NACSN). He also serves as a member of the Minerals Management Service Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Policy Committee, where he is Past Chairman, and is Alabama’s official representative to the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, where he holds an appointment to the Steering Committee and was elected Second Vice-Chairman for 2009-2010. He is a member of the Alabama Board of Licensure for Professional Geologists. Nick has earned Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in geology.

Mr. Ken Hnottavange-Telleen, Risk and Performance Manager, Schlumberger Carbon Services, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Mr. Hnottavange-Telleen has designed risk management programs for large-scale CCS pilot tests in Illinois and California, and has contributed to risk assessments for CCS projects in Canada and Europe. Ken’s role with Schlumberger Carbon Services is to ensure that risks to CCS project success from all sources – not limited to CO2 injection and migration - are accurately conceived and effectively managed. As a regular contributor to industry discussions of risk-assessment protocols, Ken has presented at numerous conferences and forums. He is currently developing risk-management methods for application to large-scale commercial CCS projects that are in their initial design stages. Ken started his career as a geologist with two years in the Peace Corps in West Africa. He then joined Conoco, and worked for 12 years in oil and gas exploration in the U.S. and West Africa. After obtaining a Professional Degree in Hydrogeology from the Colorado School of Mines in 1992, Ken worked for 14 years in mining hydrogeology in North and South America, and in contaminant hydrogeology and environmental remediation in the Upper Midwest and Northeastern States. He earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science (Sedimentary Geology) degrees from Stanford University.

Panel III

Dr. Suzette Kimball, Acting Director, U.S. Geological Survey
Dr. Kimball is serving as the acting Director of the USGS. She was appointed the Associate Director for Geology of the U.S. Geological Survey in 2008. Before that she served as director of the Survey's Eastern Region since 2004. She joined USGS in 1998 as Eastern Regional Executive for Biology. She has held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary, numerous elected positions with professional scientific societies, including the Consortium for Coastal Restoration through Science & Technology, the Council of Examiners of the National Association of State Boards of Geology and the DOI Ocean Policy Committee.  She is a licensed professional geologist.  She was a recipient of the Secretary of the Interior's Meritorious Service Award, the Secretary's Executive Leadership Award, the Secretary's Gold-level Executive Leadership Award and the Presidential Rank Award in 2002 and again in 2007. Kimball received her B.A. in English from the College of William & Mary, an M.S. in Geology/Geophysics from Ball State University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences/Coastal and Oceanographic Processes from the University of Virginia.

Panel IV

Mr. Thomas Karl, Director of the National Climatic Data Center, NOAA
Thomas Karl is the Director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina, and leads NOAA’s Climate Services.  He is a fellow of the AMS and the AGU, past chair of the National Academy of Sciences Climate Research Committee and an associate member of the National Academies. He has received numerous awards for his scholarly work on climate, including the Climate Institute’s Outstanding Scientific Achievements Award, three Department of Commerce Gold Medals, a Bronze Medal, the NOAA Administrator’s Award and the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive Award. He has served as the Convening and Lead Author and Review Editor of all the major IPCC assessments since 1990, which were recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  He was Co-Chair of the US National Assessment and the recent Global Climate Change Impacts in the US state of knowledge report and a number of other assessments produced by the US Climate Change Science Program. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, been co-author or co-editor on numerous texts, and published over 200 technical reports and atlases. Karl holds a master’s degree in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin and was awarded Doctorate of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) from North Carolina State University in 2002.

Dr. Antonio “Tony” Busalacchi, Jr., Director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland
Antonio J. Busalacchi is Director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center and Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science at the University of Maryland.  He has studied tropical ocean circulation and its role in the coupled climate system. His interests include the study of climate variability and prediction, tropical ocean modeling, ocean remote sensing, and data assimilation. His research in these areas has supported a range of international and national research programs dealing with global change and climate, particularly as affected by the oceans. From 1989-1996 he served on the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council (NAS/NRC) TOGA Advisory Panel and for 1991-1993 he was a member of the NAS/NRC Panel on Ocean Atmosphere Observations Supporting Short-Term Climate Predictions.  From 1999-2006 he served as Co-Chairman of the Scientific Steering Group for the World Climate Research Programme on Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR).  Presently, he serves as Chairman of the Joint Scientific Committee for the World Climate Research Programme and Chairman of the NAS/NRC Board on Atmosphereic Sciences and Climate. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and AGU.  He received his Ph.D. degree in oceanography from Florida State University in 1982.

Dr. Miguel A. Medina, Jr., Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University
Dr. Medina is Director of the International Honors Program of the Pratt School of Engineering, a registered Professional Hydrologist, and President of the American Institute of Hydrology. His research focuses on contaminant transport hydrology, specifically modeling flow and mass transport across surface/subsurface interfaces and interactions. He was selected as a Fulbright Scholar for 1984 at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. He conducted post-graduate intensive courses on urban hydrology for UNESCO in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Panama in 1985 and 1986. He was named External Evaluator of the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme from 2002 to 2003. He was selected the Lead Evaluator in 2007 of the UNESCO World Water Assessment Program. He is a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the World Health Organization, the Research Triangle Institute of North Carolina, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Pan American Health Organization, the Ministries of Water Resources in Venezuela and Spain, the Technical Advisory Service for Attorneys, and other private enterprises. He is a former Chairman of the International Technical Advisory Committee of the International Ground Water Modeling Center (Colorado School of Mines, and Delft, The Netherlands). In 1989, the Governor of North Carolina appointed Dr. Medina to the Environmental Management Commission. Miguel earned a Ph.D. degree in water resources and environmental engineering sciences from the University of Florida in 1976.

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Posted on September 18, 2009.


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