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The Global School Event Series 2021-2022: Community Climate Adaptation at Home and Abroad

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The Global School sub-brand
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

The Global School Event Series 2021-2022 is a public forum highlighting the significant role of The Global School at WPI in addressing global grand challenges. From climate adaptation to new technologies for development, from re-thinking water and energy systems to poetry and place-making, our student projects, faculty research, and community collaborations bring the innovative WPI ethos around the world.

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2:00 pm - 2:05 pm 

Opening Remarks 
President Laurie Leshin, WPI 

2:05 pm - 2:15 pm 

The Global School & Climate Adaptation 
Mimi Sheller, Inaugural Dean of the Global School 

2:15 pm - 3:15 pm 

Conversation about Community Climate Adaptation at Home and Abroad 
moderated by Doug Parsons 

Doug Parsons  is Director and the host of the America Adapts! podcast and a partner/host at  Cimpatico Studios. He is a national climate adaptation influencer, who first started doing adaptation in Queensland, Australia, focusing on the impacts of climate change on the agriculture sector. Upon returning to the United States, he joined the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and quickly assumed the duties of their first Climate Change Coordinator, and contributed to various national initiatives such as the National Fish, Wildlife and Plant Adaptation Strategy. As his interests increasingly turned national, he took a position as Climate Change Liaison with the National Park Service’s Climate Change Response program, where he contributed to some of the earliest federal policy discussions around adaptation. Today Doug is committed to creating awareness around the emerging topic of climate adaptation and his show is often listed as one of the top climate podcasts in the U.S. 

Dr. Franco Montalto  is a civil engineer and Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Drexel University.  He is interested in the development of ecologically, economically, and socially sensible solutions to urban environmental problems, with a focus on sustainable water resources engineering and climate change. His ~25 years of experience have included research and design of a variety of nature-based solutions involving ecological restoration of degraded landscapes, the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater and stormwater treatment, as well as work with “green infrastructure” and “low impact development” technologies as a means of managing urban runoff, while promoting urban sustainability and resilience. He is currently a Professor at Drexel University, where he directs the Sustainable Water Resource Engineering Lab. He is the Founder and President of eDesign Dynamics LLC, an environmental consulting firm based in New York City, with an international portfolio of projects.  He also serves as the Director of the North American Hub of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) and in June of 2020 was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as a Member of the 4th New York City Panel on Climate Change.  

Maria Belen Power is Associate Executive Director of the community organization GreenRoots, in Chelsea, MA. She oversees GreenRoots’ environmental justice campaigns and supports the work of the organizing team. She represents GreenRoots in the Green Justice Coalition of the Greater Boston Area as well as national movements for environmental and climate justice.  She was appointed by President Biden to serve on the newly established White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (WHEJAC), which advises the executive branch on all issues related to environmental and climate justice. Maria Belen serves on the Board of Directors of the Student Immigrant Movement and grew up in a bicultural family in Nicaragua.  

3:15 pm - 3:30 pm 


3:30 pm - 3:45 pm 


3:45 pm - 4:45 pm 

Lightning Talks 
WPI Students & Faculty 

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Measurements in Eilat, Israel 

  • A Justice-Centered Approach to Climate Resilience Planning  

  • Coastal Resilience in Boston 

  • Wildfires and Climate Change 

  • Climate Change Adaptation Using Serious Games in Albania  

  • Sustainable Campus Design in Mozambique 

  • Watershed Scale Adaptation 

4:45 pm - 5:00 pm 


5:00 pm 

Closing Remarks  
Mimi Sheller, Inaugural Dean of the Global School 

Registration Deadline:
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 2:00 pm
Carrie West