Second KU-led Global Climate Teach-in offers local perspectives to worldwide event

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas scholars and students as well as activists and area professionals will share their research and advocacy as part of a global effort to come together around solutions and education for the climate crisis. The second annual Global Climate Teach-in will take place March 29 at Maceli’s Banquet Hall, sponsored by the KU Environmental Studies Program, The Commons, KU Libraries, Institute for Policy & Social Research, Center for Compassionate & Sustainable Communities, the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging and the Department of Geography & Atmospheric Science.

KU is one of more than 200 institutions around the world participating in the teach-in, organized by Bard College.

“Katharine Hayhoe tells us the most important thing we can do to fight climate change is to talk about it,” said Ward Lyles, associate professor of public affairs & administration. “Talking means learning. And learning brings power. Learning together about climate change in Douglas County and Kansas will empower us.”

The structure will follow the format set by the global movement. Broken into hourlong segments, each component series of the event will include short presentations, followed by a larger discussion among panelists and audience members. Each hour is organized around a central theme:

  • 5:30-6:30 p.m. Open Access
  • 6:30-7:30 p.m. Reducing Long-Term Risks
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m. Structures for Support.

In addition, a Theatre 560 class will perform an original play titled “Harsh Weather.”

“Since theatre has a rich history of inspiring action and developing empathy, the students hope to bring these tools to bear through their improvisation, acting, playwriting and design,” said Laura Kirk, associate teaching professor in theatre & dance.

Another area in which this event aims to create long-term impact is by building regional connections.

“As with everything we do, The Commons is deeply invested in bringing people together around shared challenges toward more informed understanding,” said Emily Ryan, director of The Commons. “That this event builds a space for community and campus to come together with diverse sets of knowledge is critical to awareness of this age-defining crisis.”

To facilitate engagement beyond campuses and across domains, the event is free and open to the public. It will take place from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and it will be livestreamed. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Organizations represented by presenters at this event include KU, Douglas County, Clean Air Now, Friends of the Kansas River and the Sunrise Movement.

Event participants include:

Open Access: Josh Bolick, head of the Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright in the KU Libraries; Shannon O’Lear, director of the KU Environmental Studies Program and professor of geography & atmospheric science; Beto Lugo, executive director of Clean Air Now; A. Town Peterson, University Distinguished Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and senior curator at the Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum; title, Atenas Mena, CleanAirNow.

Reducing Long-Term Risk: Ward Lyles, associate professor of planning in the School of Public Affairs & Administration; Ali Brox, assistant teaching professor in the Environmental Studies Program; Dawn Buehler, Kansas Riverkeeper; Kelly Overstreet, doctoral candidate in planning; Joel Campbell, undergraduate student and member of KU Sunrise Project.

“Harsh Weather”: KU Theatre Climate Clique: Quintin Castro, Reagan Ebert, Seth Klayson, Korbyn LeBlanc, Alex Young.

Structures for Support: Emily Ryan, director of The Commons; Jamie Hofling, sustainability impact analyst in the Douglas County Sustainability Office; Grant Misse, undergraduate student and leader of the KU Climate 2040 initiative; Wayne Briggs, warehouse and waste reduction manager of Just Food; Shannon Criss and Nils Gore, professors of architecture; and Joonmo Kang, assistant professor of social welfare.

For up-to-date information about this event, please visit Climate Teach-In

Tue, 03/21/2023


Emily Ryan

Media Contacts

Emily Ryan

The Commons