HomeIonE Affiliate#CoveringClimateNow: Meet our Experts

#CoveringClimateNow: Meet our Experts

Are you a journalist reporting on #CoveringClimateNow? IonE’s interdisciplinary network of environmental thought leaders would be happy to answer your questions. Connect with one of the staff experts listed below or explore our Affiliates Network.

University of Minnesota Climate Change Experts
Available for #CoveringClimateNow:

Climate Change Adaptation


Jessica Hellmann
Director, Institute on the Environment | Ecolab Chair of Environmental Leadership | Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair of Excellence in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior in the College of Biological Sciences | American Association for the Advancement of Science Leshner Leadership Fellow

“There are two big issues we need to pay more attention to. First, we will have to help nature adjust to climate change, with all kinds of new approaches. But nature also will be a key ingredient in the human response to climate change. Second, in Minnesota and beyond we’re making progress in advancing renewable energy and curbing greenhouse gases, but emissions of methane — one of the most potent greenhouse gases — are headed in the wrong direction.”

AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS: Climate adaptation, ecological impacts of climate change


Melissa Kenney
Associate Director of Knowledge Initiatives, Institute on the Environment | Third National Climate Assessment lead author, Decision Support chapter | U.S. National Climate Indicators lead | American Association for the Advancement of Science Leshner Leadership Fellow

“When it comes to climate change, inaction isn’t an option. Our role as a research community is to provide policy- and decision-makers with actionable information that allows them to clearly see the trade-offs associated with different paths to a more sustainable future.”

AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS: Climate adaptation, evidence-based decision-making, environmental indicators

Climate Change and Agriculture


James Gerber
Lead Scientist, Global Landscapes Initiative | Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) lead author

“While many actions we undertake to address climate change involve trade-offs, there are measures that produce multiple wins, in particular involving diets and agricultural practices.”

AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS: Impacts of agriculture on climate, agriculture-based greenhouse gas mitigation


Jennifer Schmitt
Lead Scientist, NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise, Institute on the Environment | Food Recovery Network (FRN) national board member

“Most greenhouse gas emissions occur upstream of consumer-facing companies, especially in the food industry. While leading companies want to impact their supply chain greenhouse gas emissions, most do not know how — but they are in the process of designing systems of accounting and attribution to ‘capture’ greenhouse gas reductions.”

AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS: Corporate greenhouse gas commitments, U.S. agriculture supply

dray@umn.edu @RayDeepakk

Deepak Ray
Senior Scientist, Institute on the Environment

“One of the most underreported issues today is how farmers are already experiencing the impacts of climate change — especially in the developing world.”

AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS: Impact of climate change and climate variability on agriculture

Climate Change and Water


Kate Brauman
Lead Scientist, Global Water Initiative, Institute on the Environment | Intergovernmental Science- Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment Coordinating Lead Author | American Association for the Advancement of Science Leshner Fellow

“Climate change means water will change, and we do need to plan for that, but nearly all of the water stress that occurs now and will occur in the future is driven by human water use. That’s great news, because it means it’s in our power to address this, quickly, now and in the future.”

AVAILABLE TO DISCUSS: Climate change and precipitation, green infrastructure for climate adaptation, crop water use including irrigation

Media contact:
Katrinna Dodge, Public Relations Consultant, University of Minnesota Public
Relations Team

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