Conferences and Workshops
Previous Conferences and Workshops
Urbino, Italy is the site of a 5-day conference devoted to climate change in the Holocene organized by the University of Urbino, Italy, California Institute of Technology and the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. The meeting convenes over 20 leaders in paleoclimatology, archaeology, and history for an interdisciplinary discussion of new research on climate impacts on ancient societies.
The conference focuses on research from two specific regions, Mesoamerica and the Mediterranean, in addition to general presentations on Holocene climate variability and its potential impact on ancient societies.
The conference setting of Urbino is a UNESCO heritage site of great significance for the Italian Renaissance, whose walls were built to repel the invasions by the Paganis.
Confirmed presenters include:
− Mark Pagani (Yale University)
− Peter Douglas (California Institute of Technology)
− Marcello Canuto (Tulane University)
− Peter de Menocal (Columbia University)
− David Kaniewski (Université Paul Sabatier-Toulouse)
− Neil Roberts (University of Plymouth)
− Martin Medina-Elizalde (Amherst College)
− Ben Cook (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies [New York])
− Christophe Morhange (CEREGE/ Universite d’Aix-Marseille)
− Arthur Demarest (Vanderbilt University)
− Nicholas Dunning (University of Cincinnati)
− Francisco Estrada-Belli (Tulane University/Boston University)
− Joseph Tainter (Utah State University)
− David Wahl (USGS- Menlo Park)
− Harvey Weiss (Yale University)
− Ray Bradley (University of Massachussetts)
− Michael McCormick (Harvard University)
− Chris Fisher (Colorado State University)
- Timothy Beach (Georgetown University)
- Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach (University of Texas- Austin)
- Pallechi Pasquino (University of Florence)
This workshop was motivated by the appreciation that our knowledge of the human role in the Arctic system over millennia can be refined and greatly improved through better integration of high-latitude archaeology, ice core and other re-constructions of climate parameters, and studies of the contemporary Arctic environment. The two-day workshop brought together researchers working across a range of disciplines in order to explore the complex relationship between the dynamic Arctic environment and long-term human cultural responses.
More information regarding the conference speakers and their topics is available here
YCEI’s fifth annual conference took a critical look at the world of energy in 2030. Jumping off from current projections, a distinguished international group of experts from industry, government, universities and NGOs examined key countries, sectors, technologies and policies that may disrupt conventional views and dramatically change the world of energy within the next 15 years.
This year’s conference honored Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and first director of YCEI, who closed the event with an address on energy scenarios and climate impacts from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Karen Seto, Coordinating Lead Author on the Working Group III’s new chapter on urbanization, made a short presentation prior to introducing him.
Niel Golightlly (Shell Oil), David Lawrence (Stone Energy), Daniel Esty (Yale), Zhang Xiliang (Tsingua University) Karen Hussey (Australian National University), Luke Tonachel (NRDC), Stéphane Dion (Canadian Parliament), Richard Lester (MIT) Susan E-H Steward (Soltage), Nebojsa Nakicenovic, (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) and Holmes Hummel (formerly Department of Energy).
Photos of the event are available for download in our Photo Gallery.
Coverage of the event by the New Haven Register’s Jim Shelton is here.
A previous workshop sponsored by YCELP and YCEI at Pace Law School confirmed that many land use impacts of fracking are not adequately addressed by state and federal regulatory schemes. This follow-up event at Yale will summarize the findings of the first event and convene practitioners and experts to help identify local governance best practices that municipalities can employ to control the impacts of fracking in place of outright bans on the practice.
The featured presentor at this second workshop is Dr. Hannah Wiseman, assistant professor of law at Florida State University. Dr. Wiseman is a former managing editor of the Yale Journal of Regulation and an acknowledged expert on the current state of gas shale regulation throughout the nation.
Over 3 billion people rely on solid fuels burned in inefficient devices to meet their cooking and heating needs with profound social and environmental consequences. There is strong evidence indicating that Household Air Pollution (HAP) caused by poor combustion of biomass and other solid fuels contributes to acute lower respiratory infections in children, low birth weight and stillbirth, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer, as well as cataracts and tuberculosis. As a result, HAP is the fourth leading cause of illness and death worldwide. Poor combustion of household solid fuels is also a major source of short-lived climate forcers including black carbon aerosols and methane. There are also concerns that solid fuel use contributes to forest degradation, which adds to climate impacts of household energy and causes local environmental problems.
Since the 1970s, researchers and development practitioners have attempted to design and disseminate improved household technologies to reduce fuel consumption and HAP emissions, catalyze the development of cottage industries, increase opportunities for skilled labor, and promote women’s empowerment. However, the results of these programs have been highly variable and long-term acceptance of new technologies and behaviors has proven elusive. In this way, clean cookstoves are similar to other simple, inexpensive technological and behavioral changes that have been promoted to address critical development challenges, but are adopted and used at surprisingly low rates. Other examples include health-improving technologies like insecticide-treated bed nets and condoms, agricultural technologies like high-yield crop varieties and fertilizer, and financial savings instruments such as insurance.
At a recent global forum on clean cookstoves organized by the UN Foundation in Phnom Penh in March 2013, a broad range of experts convened. Among the themes discussed at the forum was the admission that while great gains have been made quantifying the health and environmental impacts of HAP, increased efforts were still required to achieve large-scale adoption and long-term use of cleaner burning stoves among at-risk populations. Closing the so-called “adoption gap,” between successful small-scale efforts in a few hundred households and long-term, financially sustainable and culturally appropriate solutions for the hundreds of millions who are at-risk requires much more engagement between technical experts and social/behavioral scientists. In response to this challenge, this workshop brings together a small group of development practitioners and academic researchers to discuss ways to better understand and overcome the barriers to successful technical and behavioral change at the household level.
Workshop Goals and Projected Outcomes Include:
v Create dialogue between social and behavioral science researchers with public health experts and engineers to identify opportunities and barriers for the dissemination of HAP-reducing technologies;
v Articulate complementary and competing relationships within varying models of household technology diffusion;
v Generate a consensus statement, which identifies a research agenda for reducing HAP as well as recommendations for fruitful collaboration across the disciplines and sectors committed to its reduction.
The event will be livestreamed at: http://new.livestream.com/YaleFES/adoption-gap
twitter handle: #AdoptionGap
Welcome and Opening Remarks:
Dr. Rob Bailis, Professor, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Keynote Talk: The Stove Adoption Gap
Ms. Corinne Hart, Manager of Gender and Markets, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
The Puzzle of Low Adoption for Welfare-Enhancing Technologies
Presentations of Studies on technology diffusion and adoption
Dr. Douglas Barnes, President, Energy for Development
Dr. Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor, Yale School of Management
Mr. Adam Ross, Senior Officer of Strategy, Measurement and Evaluation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr. Ethan Kay, Managing Director of Emerging Markets, BioLite
Ms. Yiting Wang, Master’s Candidate, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Lessons from other Approaches or Sectors
Perspectives on technology adoption and behavior changes from other sectors
Dr. Raj Pannu, Former Director of Global Health at McCann Public Health
Dr. Alix Zwane, CEO, Evidence Action
Mr. Ali Akram, PhD Candidate, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Dr. Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor, Yale School of Management
Adoption in Practice
Success stories and lessons learned on working with communities to enhance adoption and re-purchase of household energy technologies
Ms. Suzanne Chew, Alliance Director, Nexus-Carbon for Development
Dr. Helen Petach, Biomedical Research Advisor, USAID Bureau for Global Health
Dr. Rema Hanna, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School
Ms. Jasmine Hyman, PhD Candidate, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Wrap up session
Moderators from panels present key ideas from discussions for incorporation into a consensus document.
Since 1993, Pace University’s Land Use Law Center has fostered development of sustainable communities by promoting innovative land use strategies and techniques for dispute resolution. This year’s 13th annual Land Use and Sustainable Development Conference includes discussions involving local control of what many experts see as the inevitable development of New York State’s gas shale resources.
Panelists explored issues related to the premises that: (i) Horizontal gas exploration will continue because of the nation’s need for the resource and (ii) Industry, governmental agencies, and responsible environmentalists support regulations that render the practice safe, and (iii) Impacts of the practice are imperfectly protected by current and proposed federal and state regulations. Lacking sound models for protecting against adverse impacts, local governments have banned fracking. This, in turn, has led states to preempt local authority, which perpetuates the neglect of local impacts. This panel gathtered industry representatives, regulators, scientists, and local leaders to discuss models for regulatory and non-regulatory options for localities to consider in lieu of prohibiting the practice.
Mark K. Bolling, President, V+ Development Solutions, a division of Southwestern Energy
Bill Nordhaus (Yale), Marty Weitzman (Harvard), Gary Yohe (Wesleyan), John Reilly (MIT), Tony Smith (Yale), Geoff Heal (Columbia), Mark Pagani (Yale), Dan Lunt (U. of Bristol), Chris Forest (Penn State), Trude Storelvmo (Yale), Klaus Keller (Penn State), Kevin Trenbert (NCAR), Bill Boos (Yale), Stephen Schwartz (Brookhaven Nat. Laboratory) were the climate scientists and economists participating in a day-long workshop to discuss the role of uncertainty in climate change and its economic and social impacts.
The workshop, which was jointly sponsored by the center for Sustainable Climate Risk Management at Penn State, was a rare gathering of these two disciplines, and the first since the release of the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report. Speakers explored topics such as uncertainty in the climate’s sensitivity to greenhouse gases, the role of aerosols in atmospheric modeling, and the deep statistical issues inherent in projections of global warming from climate models and their implications for economic modeling of climate policies.
Ken Gillingham, School of Forestry and Environmental Science
Mark Pagani, Department of Geology and Geophysics
Trude Strolevmo, Department of Geology and Geophysics
Researchers from Tokyo’s Todai University and Yale climate scientists made up a 5-person forum that included talks on a variety of climate science topics Friday, September 21, at Kroon Hall. Featured talks included:
Asia: Observations and modeling - Yutaka Kondo (University of Tokyo)
Aerosol effects on ice clouds: Climate forcing and potential for geoengineering
Trude Storelvmo (Yale University)
Modeling the 100,000-year glacial-interglacial cycles: Forcing and Feedbacks
Ayako Abe-Ouchi, (The University of Tokyo)
Land use impacts on chemistry-climate interactions
Nadine Unger (Yale University)
A convective quasi-equilibrium view of observed monsoons
Bill Boos (Yale University)
How will global warming affect New England in the 21st century and how is the region preparing for the coming changes? On September 13th Yale Climate & Energy Institute hosted a town hall meeting on these questions, featuring short talks by climate and infrastructure experts and a panel discussion with Senator Chris Murphy (D, CT).
Anthony Leiserowitz, Director; Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, moderated a panel including:
Marion McFadden, Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)
Katie Scharf Dykes, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
Kerry Emanuel, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
Alexander Felson, School of Architecture; Director, Urban Ecology and Design Laboratory
Ronald Smith, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale Center for Earth Observation
The Yale Energy Science Institute’s Spring Symposium: Geophysical Approaches to Energy, Materials for Energy and Biological Approaches for Energy.
- Sally Benson, Stanford University
- Donald J. DePaolo, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Cristina L. Archer, University of Delaware
- Michael Strano, MIT
- Lynden Archer, Cornell University
- Yi Cui, Stanford University
- Bruce Logan, The Pennsylvania State University
- Stephen Mayfield, University of California, San Diego
- Derek Lovley, University of Massachusetts
A collective brainSTORM: How do you define the problem of coastal development in an uncertain climate? What makes the Northeast vulnerable to mega storms like Sandy? What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for coastal climate change adaptation moving forward? Organized by Land Use and Urban Coalition at Yale, and the Risk Reduction Adaptation and Disaster and Fresh & Salty SIGs. Sponsored by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Yale Climate and Energy Institute.
Alex Felson; FES, Yale School of Architecture, Assistant Professor
George Kral; Town of Guilford, Connecticut, Planner
Jennifer Pagach; Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Climate Specialist
Adam Whelchel; The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut, Director of Science
Tim Terway; Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Doctoral Student
Public discussions of climate change often focus on greenhouse gases and rising temperatures, but the most severe and immediate societal impacts of global warming are likely to be associated with changing hydrological conditions. Disruptions in water supply, extreme storms and record droughts may impact every aspect of rural and urban society: from agriculture and manufacturing to housing, energy and human health. Planning and adapting to large shifts in Earth’s water resources will require better climate and weather forecasting, as well as technological advances in engineering and biology. Forward-thinking public officials will have to invest in far-reaching strategies. As hurricanes Sandy and Katrina revealed, coastal cities are poorly prepared for sustained increases in storm intensity and sea level. Weathering the coming changes will require public and private commitment to mitigation and adaptation, along with strong international cooperation as shifting water resources press against food supplies and national security.
Water: The Looming Crises, the 4th Annual Conference sponsored by Yale Climate & Energy Institute, focused on the science of predicting the effects of climate change on global hydrology and on how industry, government, and NGOs are planning for dealing with all aspects of water in a warmer world. Discussion and analysis was framed by leading experts in science, industry, policy, and government.
Featured speakers included:
Kerry Emanuel (MIT), Gavin Schmidt, (NASA), Jay Gulledge, (Oak Ridge National Lab Climate Science), Farhana Sultana, (Syracuse University), Torgny Holmgren, (Stockholm International Water Institute)
- Anticipating and Adapting to Water Extremes Today
- Understanding and Planning for Future Water Needs
Video: Panel discussion which concluded the symposium. We invite you to check back for more videos of individual presentations, here.
Yale Climate & Energy Institute (YCEI) and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) recognize the need for sound earth and environmental science in development of energy resources. This joint symposium featured a broad mix of talks on research frontiers in the interdisciplinary science of unconventional hydrocarbon resources.
Mark Pearson, SPE Distinguished Lecturer, gave the introductory keynote address, “Hydraulic Fracturing of Horizontal Wells – Realizing the Paradigm Shift that has been 30 Years in Development.“
John M. Deutch, Institute Professor, MIT, and chair of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board 2011 Subcommittee on Hydraulic Fracturing moderated a panel discussion by industry, academic and government experts on best practices in development of unconventional resources.
Featured talks included:
Quinn R. Passey, ExxonMobil: The spectrum of ﬁne-grained reservoirs from shale gas to shale oil/tight oil: Geological and petrophysical attributes,
Carl Regone, BP: Geophysical models of unconventional reservoirs for seismic exploration and microseismic monitoring,
Emmanuel Detournay, University of Minnesota: Is toughness needed to predict the propagation of a hydraulic fracture?
Franz-Josef Ulm, MIT: The unconventional science and engineering of gas shale
Ridvan Akkurt, Schlumberger: Unconventionals research: The search for simple answers to a complex problem,
Avner Vengosh, Duke University: Shale-gas development and impacts on water resources,
Tad Fox, Battelle: Lessons learned in baseline water characterization for monitoring unconventional resource recovery,
Tarek Saba, Exponent Environmental: Environmental science of hydraulic fracturing: Separating the realities from the myths
Uriel Kitron’s talk on the eco-epidemiology of dengue, Chagas disease, malaria, schistosomiasis and West Nile virus is just one of 10 forum presentations that can be viewed here.
The YCEI, recognizing the need for sound science in evaluating the potential impact of climate change upon infectious diseases of humans, held a forum on climate and human disease on January 25, 2013. The forum was open to the public and the Yale community and offered formal overview presentations. Presentations addressed the impacts of temperature and hydrological changes on human health. Climate change effects on vector borne disease were emphasized.
“COP 18: What is the state of play in global action to address climate change?”
Jake Schmidt, International Climate Policy Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, discussed the state of play of the international climate negotiations in anticipation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP 18 meeting in Doha, Qatar. Sponsored by YCELP, the Yale Environmental Protection Clinic, YCEI, YELA, and the Yale FES Climate Change SIG.
The 2012 conference explored how animal species mediate carbon exchange and feedbacks between land, water and the atmosphere. This focus arose because the role of higher species is not currently well conceptualized or included in regional carbon budgets. The conference included a plenary talk, a day of talks and a day of discussion/workshop. The findings of the meeting were published in the journal Ecosystems
Pete Raymond and Os Schmitz (co-organizers)
IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri provided a context for the 2011 annual conference.
The 2011 Annual Conference of the Yale Climate & Energy Institute was held on April 9th, jointly with the Yale Alumni in Energy Conference, on the theme Technology Innovations For a Secure Energy Future. The YCEI’s second annual conference focused on some of the scientific advancements in clean energy production, and the obstacles hindering the transition to a post-fossil fuel economy. The event’s discussion and analysis of our clean energy future will be framed by leading experts in climate, finance, policy, and science.
A subject as broad as geo-engineering requires an interdisciplinary approach, which is made even more urgent by the fact that, so far, the conversation around geo-engineering has been largely restricted to a small subset of natural scientists and engineers. This 1.5-day workshop will facilitate a conversation between scientists who are working on deployment technology, climate modeling, and other aspects of the problem and ethicists, social scientists, legal and political theorists, and diplomatic representatives (from the U.S., China, India, and small island states) whose insights are urgently needed.
Organizer: Douglas Kysar, Yale Law School
The 2010 Annual Conference of the Yale Climate & Energy Institute was held on April 23 and 24th, the weekend after the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day. The conference them was Clean Energy Innovation: Overcoming Barriers to a New Energy System. At the conference, leaders in science, policy, and finance together with Yale faculty, students, alumni and guests convened to discuss these obstacles to clean energy innovation and proposed innovative solutions to overcome them.
Featured Speakers included: Richard Levin (Yale University President), Gina McCarthy (EPA), Yale Climate and Energy Institute, Rajendra Pachauri (YCEI/IPCC), Matt Rogers (U.S. Department of Energy), Daniel Sperling (U.C. Davis), Dan Reicher (Google), George Pataki, (Former Governor of New York), John DeStefan (Mayor of New Haven), Lise Dondy (Connecticut Clean Energy Fund), Bill McKinnon (Northeast Utilities), Heidi (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), Judy Chang, The Brattle Group), Kevin Rennert, U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee), Richard Kauffman (Good Energies), Daniel Gross (Hudson Clean Energy Partners), Scott Kleeb (Energy Pioneer Solutions), Reed Hundt (Coalition for Green Capital)
More information can be found at the conference website http://www.yale.edu/ycei/annualconference2010/
Behavioral Ecology and Conservation of Chimpanzees at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda
The direct impact of climate change on pathogenic microorganisms is complicated in most instances by their obligatory dependence upon living hosts. Changes in the distribution and abundance of vectors will ultimately determine the response of most vector-borne pathogens to climate change. The distribution and prevalence of vector-borne diseases are largely dependent on the distribution and abundance of arthropod vector species which are capable of transmitting infectious agents to humans. Arthropod vectors are exquisitely sensitive to environmental variables, such as temperature and precipitation because they are small, ectothermic, and widely dispersed in the environment. Global or regional changes in climate seem certain to influence the distribution and abundance of vector taxa (mosquitoes, other flies, fleas, ticks, etc.) that spend substantial or critical periods of time independent of their host. The diversity of vector species and their highly variable adaptations to existing climatic conditions pose a serious challenge to our understanding of changing vector/climate relationships.
This workshop provided an opportunity to review and discuss the state of current knowledge on how vector-borne diseases will respond to climate change. Insight from a broad range of disciplines by keynote speakers provided background for in-depth discussions on common methods and approaches to identify gaps in knowledge, improve methodologies, and foster increased collaboration among relevant disciplines.
Durland Fish, School of Public Health
Maria Duik-Wasser, School of Public Health
Oswald Schmitz, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
David Skelly, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Paul Turner, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The ability to predict future climate relies heavily on our understanding of past climates. We can view these ancient climates as natural experiments that provide a range of examples for the behavior of the Earth’s climate system, enabling us to understand how the climate system responds to forcings. A wide variety of methods have been developed to study these natural experiments.
The workshop provided an opportunity for the climate-change community at Yale to gain a better understanding of the current status of the ability to reconstruct past climate change. Participants examined both organic and inorganic methods for estimating the past temperature history of the Earth, both on land and in the oceans.
Organizers: Hagit Affek, Department of Geology and Geophysics; Mark Brandon, Department of Geology and Geophysics
Black carbon is the third most important warming agent after carbon dioxide and methane and a principal component of indoor air pollution, which causes an estimated 1.8 million deaths a year. Black carbon has long been an object of regulation in the developed world – the United States has reduced black carbon emissions by over half since 1950 and by 75 percent since emissions peaked in 1920, with similar declines occurring in Western Europe. The vast majority of black carbon emissions now come from developing nations, which also have higher per-capita emissions of black carbon than the developed world, indicating substantial opportunities for abatement.
This workshop brought together atmospheric scientists, climate policy specialists, public health and development experts to explore various policy options for black carbon mitigation, including: incorporation into the existing climate policy regime, creation of a new black carbon protocol under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, incorporation into the trans-boundary air pollution regime, and extension of multilateral and bilateral development programs.
Organizer: Rob Bailis, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies