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Climate Change Forum Planned at Marylhurst

For Release: September 11, 2012

Marylhurst University will co-sponsor and host a daylong forum that explores global climate change from an interdisciplinary perspective Saturday, October 6.

The event is free and open to the public, and will feature an extraordinary array of presentations and conversations on climate change from local and national experts. Co-sponsors include the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Columbia Weather Systems and the Oregon chapter of the American Meteorological Society. Several Marylhurst organizations also are involved, including the university's Net Impact chapter, the Marylhurst University Sustainability Advisory Council and the Department of Science & Mathematics.

Keynote speaker is Anthony Strawa, a microphysicist at NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley and a member of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. He'll open the conference shortly after 10 a.m. with a presentation entitled "Science, Spirituality and the Work Ahead," and also speak in the afternoon session about the Catholic position on climate change.

"There are a lot of questions about the models used to predict climate change, so that's why the first half of the day is devoted to the science of global warming," said Greg Dardis, interim chair of Marylhurst's Department of Science & Mathematics. "But climate change also has moral implications. It drives public policy, influences health policies and has real effects on our economy. To have a comprehensive conversation about the impact of climate change, you have to talk about social justice issues, and we'll spend a whole afternoon at the forum doing that."

In addition to Strawa, presenters will include Washington state climatologist Nicholas Bond and Andy Harris of the Oregon Health & Science University Medical School. Other speakers from Oregon State University will address topics ranging from climate change models to resiliency needed in coastal communities.

"We're bringing together some wonderful, engaging experts who come at climate change from unique perspectives," Dardis said. "Our goal is to create a day that gets many more of us thinking more broadly about the impacts global warming has on our lives, and of our obligations as citizens of our local and world community to concentrate our energies in ways that will make a meaningful, positive difference."

The climate change forum will be held in Clark Commons on the Marylhurst campus, located just south of downtown Lake Oswego on Highway 43. The program begins at 10 a.m. and concludes with a reception shortly after 3 p.m. Lunches will be available for purchase; RSVPs are appreciated for food planning purposes.

For more information about the event or to RSVP, contact Greg Dardis at or 503.675.3969.

About Marylhurst University

Marylhurst University, a private liberal arts university 10 miles south of Portland, Ore. on Highway 43, is regionally accredited and nationally recognized for innovation and academic excellence in serving adult learners. More than 1,900 students earn degrees on campus and online. Marylhurst offers 20 undergraduate degrees, 9 graduate degrees and 13 professional certificates, all of which integrate the liberal arts with professional studies to prepare students as interdisciplinary thinkers and ethical leaders.

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