Dr. Jonathan Patz featured in The UW Now Series: A Discussion of Climate Risk

Watch Dr. Patz’s contribution here

After rising steadily for decades, global carbon emissions fell by 6.4 percent in 2020 — approximately 2.3 billion metric tons. What is the scientific evidence on the link between carbon emissions and climate? What human behaviors impact growing climate risks? Are businesses seeing the same real-world results that data projections have predicted? How can environmentally minded households or investors make changes to reduce risk? What would it really take to transform our society to an environmentally sustainable model? What are the risks to our way of life if we do — or do not?

Join fellow UW alumni and friends online for a livestream and Q & A with a panel of experts about the risks of current climate trends and the possibilities for our future. The talk will be moderated by Mike Knetter, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Steve Ackerman, PhD, is a professor at UW-Madison and the vice chancellor for research and graduate education in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. His research interests center on understanding how changes in the earth’s radiation balance affect and are affected by changes in other climate variables. He is the author and coauthor of several books and articles, including a series of children’s books explaining various weather phenomena. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal and the American Meteorological Society’s Teaching Excellence Award. He is an elected fellow of both the American Meteorological Society and the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters.

John Nelson MS’76 is an adjunct professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering. He also serves as chief technical officer of Fitzgerald Asset Management, a boutique registered investment adviser that focuses on the development of sustainable infrastructure. Nelson’s scholarly interests include the intersection of climate and energy, humans transactions with nature via sustainable infrastructure, and the tension between geometric and living order in project management. His research and applications involve the design, building, operation, and financing of sustainable infrastructure.

Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH is a professor and the John P. Holton Chair of Health and the Environment with appointments in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Population Health Sciences. He also serves as director of the Global Health Institute. Dr. Patz cochaired the health report for the first congressionally mandated U.S. National Assessment on Climate Change. For 15 years, he served as a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Among his many other awards and recognitions are the Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellows Award; the Fulbright Scholarship; the Chanchlani Global Health Research Award. Patz is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Benjamin Wright ’02 became the senior vice president and chief underwriting officer at Homesite — part of the American Family Insurance enterprise — in 2019. He previously served as vice president of personal lines product management at American Family Insurance. He now leads product development, management, data science, and operations teams for the American Family enterprise’s homeowners business. Ben has been with the American Family enterprise for almost 20 years in roles across actuarial, finance, product management, and product development functions. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2002 with a BBA in actuarial science.

A recording of this livestream will be available on uwalumni.com after the event.