The Gunn Group, an organization focused on energy, water, national security and climate issues, will host a half-day conference at Virginia Wesleyan University to educate students about the ramifications of climate change on Friday, Nov. 8.
Senior Patrick Berard Jr., who is majoring in Earth and Environmental Science, is an intern at The Gunn Group. He advocated to have this conference on campus.
“I was appreciative and elated when President Scott D. Miller granted us permission to host and organize the first-ever Climate Change Symposium on campus,” Berard said. Climate change is a world-wide phenomenon that has been in discussion for years.
Locally, climate change has affected sea-level rise due to thermal expansion, the warming of the ocean due to warmer temperatures.
“As inhabitants of the Earth, we should be good stewards and take care of the Earth, now and for generations to come, our generation has the power to unite and address climate change by taking action. This is why we chose to name the event ‘Generations Uniting to Address Climate Change,’” Berard said.
Berard expressed his passion for raising awareness of climate change and its consequences.
“I actually run a blog for The Gunn Group called ‘Securing a Sustainable Planet,’ and on the blog we discuss issues such as clean water, air, energy and most of all, climate change,” Berard said.
The conference will feature numerous lectures and a panel of students and community members with an expertise in climate change.
Some of the panel speakers include Ann C. Phillips, Special Assistant to the Governor of Virginia for Coastal Adaptation and Protection, David Architzel, Chairman Maritime Industrial Base Ecosystem Hampton Roads and VWU junior Ashley Roehrman, President of Marlins Go Green and a student representative on the Virginia Wesleyan University Environmental Sustainability Council.
“It is exciting to work with so many people who are passionate about environmentalism and people who are also eager to make change… I’m honored and grateful to participate in the panel and I’m hoping to be able to relate to the way that other students feel about the topic. I think that it is important to have diversity in the environmentalism movement because climate change effects everyone, so it must inclusive to an all genders, races, and ethnicities” Roehrman said.
Throughout the duration of the symposium, there will be a Green Career Fair, to give students the opportunity to find internships and volunteer opportunities that will allow students to be active and take action in the Climate Change epidemic.