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OU Department of Biology to host speaker Jessica Hellmann, discuss climate change

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Climate change speaker

Dr. Jessica Hellmann will discuss the impact of climate change at an event Jan. 24.

The Department of Biology will host a speaker to discuss the impact of climate change and future conservation techniques.

Dr. Jessica Hellmann’s “Surviving and Thriving in a Future with Climate Change” talk will be held at 7 p.m., Jan. 24, in the Robert S. Kerr Auditorium, located in the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.

As director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, Hellmann provides leadership in efforts to solve environmental challenges and regularly counsels state and national governments on habitat management, restoration and endangered species conservation.

OU dean of the Honors College Douglas Gaffin said he selected Hellmann to speak on global change ecology and climate adaptation at the university due to her distinctive ability to open up conversations on the topic.

“Dr. Hellmann is one of the leaders in thinking about sustainability and responses to what’s going on,” Gaffin said. “She’s a really important voice in this and I’d love for the community and especially our students to have a chance to come and visit with her and hear what she has to say.”

Gaffin said he has talked with many students who have expressed concern about the future state of the planet and hopes Hellmann’s visit will help address their worries.

"Global climate change is on everyone’s minds and there’s lots of uncertainty, and fear and misinformation being spread,” Gaffin said. “It’s all of our future, especially the students." 

Sierra Rains-Moad is a senior journalism major at the University of Oklahoma and a news reporter for the OU Daily.

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