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Winkler_JulieClimate change is a major environmental challenge facing humankind today. Geographies of Climate Change, a featured theme for the upcoming AAG Annual Meeting in Tampa, highlights the complex spatial dimensions of climate change including the observed and anticipated geographical differentiation in potential impacts and vulnerability. The theme will address such topics as the scientific complexity and uncertainty of climate change, its political and policy contextualization, the challenges of formulating adaptation and mitigation strategies, and the importance of effective communication strategies.  The Presidential Plenary that opens the Annual Meeting will focus on this theme, and will feature four leading experts in the area of climate change research.

Mike Hulme is professor of climate and culture in the Department of Geography at King’s College London.  His work explores the idea of climate change using historical, cultural and scientific analyses, seeking to illuminate the numerous ways in which climate change is deployed in public and political discourse.  His latest book – Can Science Fix Climate Change? A Case Against Climate Engineering (Polity) – is due out in April.  He is also the author of Exploring Climate Change Through Science and In Society (Routledge), Making Climate Change Work For Us (Cambridge) and Why We Disagree About Climate Change (Cambridge).  This latter book was chosen by The Economist magazine as one of its science and technology books of the year.  From 2000 to 2007 he was the Founding Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, based at the University of East Anglia, and since 2007 has been the founding Editor-in-Chief of the review journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) Climate Change.

Linda Mearns is a Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and serves as NCAR’s Director of the Weather and Climate Impacts Assessment Science Program and Head of the Regional Integrated Sciences Collective within the Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences.   She has performed research and published mainly in the areas of climate change scenario formation, quantifying uncertainties, and climate change impacts on agro-ecosystems, and has worked extensively with regional climate models. She was an author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1995, 2001, 2007, and 2013 assessments.   She leads the multi-agency supported North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP), which is providing multiple high-resolution climate change scenarios for the North American impacts community.

Susanne (Susi) Moser is Director and Principal Researcher of Susanne Moser Research & Consulting, a Social Science Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment, and a Research Associate of the Institute for Marine Sciences at the University of California-Santa Cruz. As a nationally and internationally recognized expert in climate change adaptation, communication for social change, and science-policy interactions, she works with researchers, governmental and non-governmental organizations in the US, Europe and Australia. She contributed to the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and was a Review Editor for the IPCC Special Report on extreme events, disaster risk management and adaptation. She also is a member of the federal advisory committee on the Third US National Climate Assessment and serves as one of the Convening Lead Authors on its coastal chapter. She is a fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership, Kavli Frontiers of Science, Donella Meadows Leadership, Google Science Communication, and Walton Sustainability Solutions Programs.

Marshall Shepherd is the 2013 President of the American Meteorological Society.  He is the UGA Athletic Association Professor of Geography at the University of Georgia and director of the University’s Atmospheric Sciences Program. Prior to joining the University of Georgia faculty, Shepherd was a research meteorologist in the Earth-Sun Division at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and deputy project scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission.  In 2004, he received the PECASE Award, one the nation’s highest scientific awards, for pioneering research on urban-hydroclimate relationships.  Dr. Shepherd currently serves on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Advisory Board, the Earth Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council,  the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Visiting Expert Committee and numerous other high level committees. He co-authored a recent National Academy of Sciences report on urban meteorology and is working on the Wiley textbook, The Urban Climate System. He is also the Climatology Editor for the AAG Encyclopedia of Geography.