ERI’s Climate Ambition Summit will focus the UVA community on how the University of Virginia can rise to the challenge and play a leading role in discovering climate solutions. The Climate Ambition Summit will bring together UVA researchers, leading global experts, university leaders, and the broader UVA community at this critical moment of opportunity to respond to the growing climate emergency. With so much on the line and time running out, it is a chance to bring the UVA community together to identify actionable research directions we can pursue to catalyze much-needed global change.

We invite you to attend this exciting series of events, culminating in a Keynote Conversation between UVA President Jim Ryan and Dr. Arun Majumdar, leader of President Biden’s energy transition team and founding director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) under the Obama Administration.


March 31st

10-12pm

Research Symposium

ERI, in partnership with the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, UVA Career Center, and others, will host a four-hour research symposium for undergrad and grad students, postdocs, and faculty to promote ongoing and potential research advancing climate action.

March 31st

1-2pm

Flash Mentorship

An opportunity for students to meet and socialize with UVA Alumni for career and research advice. 

April 1st

7-8:15pm

Ghost Forest Reception and Virtual Art Exhibit

“Ghost Forests” — the sudden die-off of forests driven by saltwater intrusion caused by sea level rise, are a growing phenomenon on our coasts.  UVA environmental scientists are collaborating with Eastern Shore artists to highlight ghost forests as sentinels of climate change, showcasing their eerie beauty and raising awareness of sea-level rise on our coasts. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the resulting virtual art exhibit and talk about the project and about climate impacts on Virginia’s coasts with the artists and with UVA researchers. Offered in collaboration with the Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research (VCR LTER) Program at UVA’s Coastal Research Center in Oyster. Welcoming remarks by ERI and VCR LTER Director Karen McGlathery. Enjoy a signature event cocktail!

April 6th

1:30-2:30pm

Frontiers of Climate Science: A 5-year review

Provost Liz Magill will interview Environmental Sciences Professor Scott Doney  on the current state of climate science. The emissions reductions targets for the Paris Climate accord were set based on science developed before 2015, and the last IPCC report came out in 2016. Provost Magill and  leading UVA climate scientist Scott Doney will discuss what we have learned in the past five years about human carbon emissions, our changing climate, and impacts on people and the planet. Opening remarks by ERI Director Karen McGlathery.

April 8th

2-3pm

On-Air with Andres Clarens 

How do we get to net-zero and will this solve climate change? 

Professor Andres Clarens from the School of Engineering will discuss commitments to achieving ‘net zero’ carbon emissions that states like Virginia and institutions like UVa are making to respond to the climate crisis. He will discuss what it will take to achieve these targets, the big unanswered questions, and the ways in which this transition will impact all of us.

April 9th

2-3pm

Climate Risk and Opportunity for Private Capital 

Matt Coleman (Director, Strategic Partnerships at Nephila Climate) and Alice Hill (Senior Fellow for Energy and Environment, Council on Foreign Relations) and Mike Lenox (Professor, Senior Associate Dean and Chief Strategy Officer, Darden School of Business) discuss areas of climate risk and opportunities for private sector mitigation and adaptation. Opening remarks by ERI Director Karen McGlathery. Meeting emissions reductions targets will require major transitions across the global economy. A range of businesses, including producers of fossil fuels, automobile manufacturers, energy producers, and many others are already adjusting their business strategies to adapt. Entirely new economic sectors will need to be built to promote, among other activities, removal of carbon from the atmosphere and climate resilience.

April 13th

2-3pm

Climate Justice

Discussion panel moderated by College of Arts and Sciences Dean Ian Baucom with panelists Barbara Brown Wilson (Faculty Director, UVAEquity Center), Kim Fields (Assistant Professor, Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies), and Howie Epstein (Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental Sciences). Opening remarks by ERI Director Karen McGlathery.  Climate change has differing social, economic, public health and other adverse impacts on underserved populations. Extreme weather, rising sea levels, floods and drought amplify inequitable social conditions. Panelists will discuss how environmental justice must be a core tenet of climate action, bringing considerations of race, gender, indigenous cultures and class to the center of plans to achieve equitable mitigation and resilience outcomes.  

April 15th

4-5pm

The Economy and Carbon Emissions: In Conversation with President Jim Ryan and Dr. Arun Majumdar

UVA’s President Jim Ryan sits down with Arun Majumdar, to discuss how our economy can achieve net zero carbon emissions and what policies can be implemented now to achieve that grand challenge. Welcoming remarks by Provost Liz Magill and ERI Director Karen McGlathery.