Welcome Letter

LuAnne Thompson, PCC DirectorThe most recent negotiations at COP21 in Paris highlighted the profound changes that our planet will experience in the coming decades.  Not only has it become clear that we need better understanding of the climate system, but also we need to prepare to live in a changed world.  This requires multiple perspectives from a myriad of disciplinary approaches.  To face this challenge, the Program on Climate Change brings faculty, staff and students together to study climate and climate change from multiple perspectives, building on the depth and breadth of climate research taking place throughout UW.  The PCC is a place where scholars can take risks in their intellectual endeavors by collaborating across disciplines in teaching, research and outreach.  To facilitate the strengthening of the UW community, we have a yearly 2 day retreat at the beautiful UW Friday Harbor Laboratories, open to all graduate students, faculty, post-doctoral scholars and staff at UW where we focus on interdisciplinary approaches to addressing understanding, predicting, and preparing for climate change.

Graduate students involved in the PCC come from a variety of departments where they are working towards professional and masters degrees as well as PhDs.  These students are involved in the PCC because they realize that deep understanding of one discipline does not bring them all of the skills they will need for the future.  They realize that in addition to their disciplinary training, they need training and practice in interacting outside of their primary departments.  To support interdisciplinary inquiry, we collaborate with departments in the College of the Environment to offer advanced interdisciplinary courses in climate science.  We also offer a Graduate Certificate in Climate Science where students obtain a credential to demonstrate their commitment to engagement with the breadth  of climate science.  As part of this program, we also offer graduate students a wide range of opportunities to participate in outreach efforts that allow them to practice communicating difficult concepts to a variety of audiences.  Undergraduates can obtain a Minor in Climate, also offered by the PCC.

Over the next decade, the Program on Climate change will be working towards strengthening collaborations across campus including with the Center for Health and the Global Environment, the Climate Impacts Group, the Center for Demography and Ecology, The Clean Energy Institute and the Future of Ice.  We will be exploring creating a more focused training program for the next generation of climate scholars and professionals who will be prepared to help the world prepare for and adapt for the changing climate.

LuAnne Thompson
Director, Program on Climate Change
Professor of Oceanography
Adjunct Professor Physics and Atmospheric Sciences

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