At a Glance

  • 2015−16 season |  Oct 8, Nov 5, Dec 3, Feb 4, March 3, April 7, and May 5
  • Time | 7 p.m.
  • Location | Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul campus
  • Tickets | Series pass: $80; individual events: $20
  • Registration | 612-624-4000, on site, or online

Celebrating ten years of lively discussions on timely topics.
Hear it here, as it happens.

Headliners, the University of Minnesota’s popular current event series, returns this fall for its tenth season with new opportunities to meet with University experts as they share firsthand knowledge of today's most intriguing stories—medical breakthroughs, culture clashes, social trends, foreign affairs, and more! Hear the Who, What, Why, and How from an insider's point of view, and then ask questions and share your insights in a moderated Q&A.

News from Paris: Deciphering the UN Conference on Climate Change

Jessica Hellmann

In December 2015, the world reached an unprecedented agreement on climate change. At the heart of the agreement are tangible emission reductions, with countries worldwide committing to keep greenhouse gases from reaching catastrophic levels. Countries, regardless of economic standing, also put forward specific commitments to reduce emissions. Yet, the overall agreement fails to cite tangible targets and lacks any teeth for enforcement.

Furthermore, a large amount of ink is dedicated to a topic that didn’t make international headlines: adaptation. Adaptation—living with climate change—remains an idea more than a practice, and invites both fascinating and timely research questions, many of which are being tackled by Dr. Jessica Hellmann and her students. 

In fact, it was Hellmann who led this paradigm shift in ecology and natural resource management by suggesting that adaptation is just as crucial to the future of humanity and Earth’s ecosystems as slowing and stopping greenhouse gas emissions. Her research has shown that differences in the way populations respond to climate change are key to predicting and managing their respective futures.

Join us March 3 when Hellmann, an internationally recognized leader on topics related to global climate change and climate adaptation, will discuss the highlights and opportunities afforded by the Paris Agreement, and also scrutinize it with a critical lens. 

In addition, Hellmann will outline current efforts to measure adaptation risk throughout the world and illustrate the new technical and socioeconomic challenges that go hand-in-hand with adaption.

Central to the discussion will be the University’s Institute on the Environment. Directed by Hellmann, the Institute is responsible for pursuing interdisciplinary scholarship to help generate and nourish what Hellmann calls “a sustainable future that we can see, but still need to create." 

Dr. Jessica Hellmann is the Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair in Excellence in the College of Biological Sciences, at the University of Minnesota, where she also directs the Institute on the Environment, an internationally recognized organization working to solve grand environmental challenges while promoting interdisciplinary research, teaching, and leadership. She regularly counsels state and national governments on habitat management, restoration, and endangered species conservation, and similarly, works with governments and corporations to build investment in and plan efforts for climate change adaptation. Hellmann received her PhD from Stanford University and served as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Biodiversity Research. She is an alumna of Stanford’s Leopold Leadership Program and a recipient of a career enhancement fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. A frequent contributor to leading scientific journals, Hellmann serves on the editorial board of Evolutionary Applications, is an associate editor for Conservation Biology and Elementa, and sits on committees for the Ecological Society of America, the College Board, and the National Academy of Sciences. In December, Hellmann was one of 15 scientists named to the first cohort of Pubic Engagement Fellows of the Leshner Leadership Institute at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Follow Jessica Hellmann on Twitter @JessicaHellmann

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