White House climate task force hosts discussion on campus

Paula Brooks

Paula Brooks

Paula Brooks, a member of the Bipartisan White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, hosts a roundtable discussion on Resilience in the Face of Climate Impacts at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25, in the Ohio Room of Kilcawley Center on the campus of Youngstown State University. The event is open to the public.

Brooks, a Franklin County Commissioner, is a native of East Liverpool and earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science/Pre-Law from YSU in 1975. She later earned a law degree from Capital University.

President Obama appointed her to serve on the 25-member Climate Preparedness and Resilience Task Force. She is the only member from Ohio. The Task Force is charged with providing recommendations to the president on removing barriers to resilient investments, modernizing federal grant and loan programs to better support local efforts and developing the information and tools they need to prepare. The YSU meeting is one of a series across Ohio to gather facts and ideas for the report.

Moderator of the session is Martin Abraham, dean of the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Among the speakers are YSU faculty Dawna Cerney, associate professor and chair of Geography; A.J. Sumell, associate professor of Economics; and Felicia Armstrong, associate professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences.

RSVP to Jenifer Miller at 330-941-4635 or jamiller10@ysu.edu.

Cerney is an environmental geographer who specializes in landscape change as a function of natural hazards, climate and human activity. Over the last 15 years, she has worked on understanding change at the landscape level to permit adaptive ecological management. Her early work with Agriculture Canada focused on the harvesting and propagation of natural prairie grasslands seed banks to establish ecological community reclamation strategies for changing environmental conditions. Since then her work has included, recognizing how mountain ecological communities have adapted to climatic shifts over the last 200 years, and recovery of plant communities from forest fire.

Sumell, who earned a Ph.D. in Economics from Georgia State University in 2005, has published in numerous academic Economic journals, including The American Economist, Pennsylvania Economic Review, Journal of Housing Research, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, and Economic Development Quarterly. He has received YSU’s Distinguished Professor award in the area of Teaching and was featured in the Excellence in Education Series of Ohio Magazine in 2012.

Armstong’s current research activities include plant tolerance to brine water from oil/gas operations, using amendments to improve urban soils for plant growth, evaluation of Snyder Ditch water quality using chemical and macroinvertebrate diversity, modeling sediment transport after low-head dam removal, and investigation of lead transport in soils from 40-year-old outdoor shooting range.

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