• Pitt-Greensburg News: Cobetto Lecture to discuss climate change

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    April 04, 2019
     The Dr. Bernard Cobetto Lecture on Contemporary Ethical Issues will tackle the issue of Climate Change as it affects Western Pennsylvania at this year’s event to be held 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. The program, a discussion featuring a panel of experts, will be held in Ferguson Theater (Smith Hall) and is open to the public. Please call 724-836-7980 by April 12 to ensure a seat.
    Contributing to the discussion will be:
    ·        Richard Alley, PhD – Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences at Penn State.
    ·        Inês M.L. Azevedo – Professor, Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and Co-Director for the Climate and Energy Decision Making Center.
    ·        Grant Ervin – Chief Resilience Officer and Assistant Director for the Department of City Planning for the City of Pittsburgh.
    ·        Barry Kukovich – Director of Community Relations for the Peoples Gas Company in Pittsburgh.
    ·        V. Kerry Smith (moderator) – Emeritus Regents Professor and an Emeritus University Professor of Economics, as well as a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist in GIOS at ASU.
    Climate Change is a controversial topic with people holding a variety of opinions about whether it is happening, its long-term effects, and what should be done about it. The predictions, from the Union of Concerned Scientists, range from longer, more intense summer heatwaves; decreasing snow packs during the winter months; loss of habitat, native plants, and migratory birds as conditions change; increased precipitation; and loss of key agricultural crops from increased temperatures and the proliferation of harmful insects. These changes are predicted to affect energy use, create greater health issues, and cause changes to the region’s economy.
    The panelists participating in this year’s Cobetto Lecture will share their expertise and knowledge concerning Climate Change and how they believe it will affect Western Pennsylvania.
    Panelists Biographies:
    Dr. Richard Alley, PhD, is the Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences at Penn State. He studies the great ice sheets to help predict future changes in climate and sea level, and has made four trips to Antarctica, nine to Greenland, and more to Alaska and elsewhere. He has been honored for research (including election to the US National Academy of Sciences and Foreign Membership in the Royal Society), teaching, and service. Alley participated in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), and has provided requested advice to numerous government officials in multiple administrations including a US Vice President, Presidential Science Advisors, and committees and individual members of the US Senate and House of Representatives. He has authored or coauthored more than 300 refereed scientific papers. He was a presenter for the PBS TV miniseries on climate and energy Earth: The Operators’ Manual, and author of the book. His popular account of climate change and ice cores, The Two-Mile Time Machine, was Phi Beta Kappa’s science book of the year. Alley graduated with a degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin.
    Inês M.L. Azevedo, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Azevedo is the Primary Investigator (PI) and Co-Director for the Climate and Energy Decision Making Center. She has a BSc in Environmental Engineering, a M.Sc. in Engineering Policy and Management of Technology from the Technical University of Lisbon (IST-Portugal), and a PhD in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Azevedo’s research interests focus on how to transition to a sustainable, low carbon, affordable and equitable energy system. She combines engineering and technology analysis with economic and decision science approaches. She has published 70+ peer-reviewed publications that have been published in journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Applied Energy, Environmental Science & Technology, Environmental Research Letters, Energy Policy and Energy Economics. She has participated as an author and committee member in several National Research Council reports from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (Assessment of Solid State Lighting, 2013; Assessment of Technologies for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Phase II, First Report, 2014 and Phase II, Final report). She has graduated 22 PhD students and currently advises/co-advises nine PhD students in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. Azevedo has received the World Economic Forum’s “Young Scientists under 40” award (2014), and the C3E Women in Clean Energy Research Award (2017). Papers from her research team have received awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014 at the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems & Technology, the best poster award at the 2015 US Association for Energy Economics conference and two awards at the 2014 Pike Powers competition.
    Grant Ervin serves as the Chief Resilience Officer and Assistant Director for the Department of City Planning for the City of Pittsburgh. Ervin oversees the integration of sustainability and resilience into City services, programs and policy.  He works to make the City of Pittsburgh a smart, sustainable and resilient city by fostering partnerships, leveraging assets and finding creative ways to solve problems. Prior to joining the City of Pittsburgh, Ervin served as the Regional Director for 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide sustainable development policy organization; and as Public Policy Manager for Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG).
    Ervin serves as an integrator of city activities by working across departments, agencies and sectors. He brings deep experience, intersecting the worlds of environmental, community & economic development, and infrastructure policy to create innovative and sustainable solutions for local governments, community development organizations, and state agencies. Ervin has helped lead the development of a variety of innovative programs including, Pittsburgh’s OnePGH Resilience Strategy, Pittsburgh Climate Plan, Pittsburgh’s inclusion in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative; the United States Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities Challenge, the creation of the Uptown
    Eco-Innovation District, District Energy Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh and Neighborhood Community Information System, and the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative.
    Ervin serves on the board of directors of Sustainable Pittsburgh, Eco Districts, Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal (PACT), and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).
    Barry Kukovich is the Director of Community Relations for the Peoples Gas Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has been employed with Peoples since 2010. His major responsibilities include job creation and community development activities, community outreach, media relations, corporate branding and strategic vision, issues management, and crisis planning.
    Prior to joining Peoples he was the Director of Marketing for the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. He was employed with the Duquesne Light Company for 22 years in various capacities and managing diverse initiatives; media relations, community relations, corporate giving, universal services programming, crisis and emergency planning, and corporate communications. Before his career at Duquesne Light, he was the Director of Public Relations for the American Red Cross Pittsburgh Chapter, and a member of the Red Cross National Emergency Team for natural disasters.
    He has served on various boards in southwestern Pennsylvania including Conservation Consultants Inc., Allegheny County YMCA, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, the National Aviary, and Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities. He has also served on various advisory boards and committees with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.
    He is a 1974 graduate of Duquesne University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and received a Master of Arts in Strategic Communications & Leadership in 2000 from Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ). He has also been trained in the Harvard/MIT Program for Conflict Resolution.
    V. Kerry Smith is an Emeritus Regents Professor and an Emeritus University Professor of Economics and a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist in GIOS at Arizona State University (ASU). A member of the National Academy of Sciences, his research considers environmental policy issues. A University Fellow at Resources for the Future, and a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, he came to ASU from North Carolina State University in 2006 where he was the University Distinguished Professor and was Director of the Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy. Prior to North Carolina State, he held positions as the Arts and Sciences Professor of Environmental Economics at Duke and the Centennial Professor of Economics at Vanderbilt. He is a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association. He has advised federal and state agencies in the US, Canada, and other countries on the assessment of economic values for non-market environmental resources.
    The Dr. Bernard Cobetto Lecture Series was established at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg by Dr. Cobetto and his wife, Ellen, in 2005. It is held each year and focuses on contemporary ethical issues. Bernard Cobetto, MD, and his wife, Ellen, are residents of Greensburg. Dr. Cobetto is a 1945 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and a 1947 graduate of the University’s School of Medicine.
    Founded in 1963, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a publicly assisted, four-year, liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pitt-Greensburg offers 29 baccalaureate degree programs, including new majors in Nursing, Healthcare Management, Public Policy, and Education, as well as 24 minors and four certificate programs. With nearly 1,500 students, more than 10,000 alumni, and faculty and staff numbering 260, Pitt-Greensburg provides a vibrant, diverse community that is a dynamic model of a 21st century liberal arts education. As part of the University of Pittsburgh system, Pitt-Greensburg offers the resources of a world-renowned university combined with the individualized and immersive experiences of a small liberal arts college. Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit permeate the campus and extend into its many collaborative projects with the Westmoreland County community. Nestled in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Laurel Highlands, the campus is a five-minute drive from uptown and less than an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh.
    Susan Isola
    (724) 836-7980