The SACP and the SSP present the folowing Continuing Education Symposium

Consequences of Climate Change and the Challenge for Pennsylvania

Although this symposium will present different ramifications and general information of climate change, it will focus on how Pennsylvania is and will be affected and what is being done about climate change now and what is planned for the future.

The presenters include the following:

“Introduction to Anthropogenic Climate Change and Its Impacts”
Dr. Josef Werne
Professor & Chair, Geology & Environmental Science, University of Pittsburgh

“The Human Role Within the Climate System” (Virtual presentation)
Dr. Roger A. Pielke Sr.
Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University

“Climate Drivers and Infectious Diseases in PA Through the Lens of One Health”
Dr. Maureen Lichtveld (MD, MPH)
Dean School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh

“Scaling Climate Change Impacts: Pennsylvania to the Pittsburgh Region”
Mr. Jeff Jumper
EM Program Manager – Resiliency, PA Emergency Management Agency

Symposium Details

Date: April 22, 2023
Registration: 8:30 AM
Symposium: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM


Cost: $11.00  (includes lunch + parking)
Location:  RJ Lee Group
800 Presque Isle Drive, Pittsburgh, 15239

Deadline for in-person registration is April 18.

Virtual Option via Zoom

(Webinar link will be emailed to you.)
Cost: Free 


Contact Manny Miller


8:15 – 8:55:  Registration check-in

8:55 – 9:00:  Introduction, Manny Miller, Chair, SSP Continuing Ed Committee 2022-23

9:00 – 9:40: “Introduction to Anthropogenic Climate Change and Its Impacts”
Dr. Josef Werne, Professor & Chair, Geology & Environmental Science, University of Pittsburgh

9:40 – 10:20: “The Human Role Within the Climate System” (Virtual presentation)
Dr. Roger A. Pielke Sr., Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University

10:20 – 10:40:  Recess

10:40 – 11:20: “Climate Drivers and Infectious Diseases in PA Through the Lens of One Health”
Dr. Maureen Lichtveld (MD, MPH), Dean School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh

11:20 – 12:00: “Scaling Climate Change Impacts: Pennsylvania to the Pittsburgh Region”
Mr. Jeff Jumper, EM Program Manager – Resiliency, PA Emergency Management Agency

12:00 – 12:30: Additional Questions & Lunch

Abstracts and Bios

“Introduction to Anthropogenic Climate Change and Its Impacts”

Warming of the climate system is now evident from observations of increases in surface air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of glaciers and ice caps, and shrinking Arctic Sea ice extent. Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures is due to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations associated with human activities (e.g., agriculture, industry, and land-use changes). Nonetheless, considerable debate surrounds the establishment of greenhouse gas emission limits, and informed government, corporate, and individual action to mitigate the extent and impact of warming has been limited. Improving our knowledge of the Earth’s climate system is therefore a matter of urgency to better understand human impacts on the climate system. This presentation will introduce the atmospheric and oceanic interactions that determine the nature of the global climate system, how humans have perturbed the system, and what likely impacts of these perturbations are and will be in the future.

Dr. Josef Werne
Professor & Chair, Geology & Environmental Science, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Werne received his PhD in Geological Sciences at Northwestern University in 2000 with an emphasis in Biogeochemistry. He was a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research from 2000-2002 and on the faculty of the Large Lakes Observatory and Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry (Assistant/Associate Professor) at the University of Minnesota Duluth before joining the Department in 2012. Dr. Werne spent a year in Perth, Australia as a Gledden Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies of the University of Western Australia, as well as a visiting scientist in the Western Australia Organic and Isotope Geochemistry Centre at Curtin University (2009-2010). He joined the faculty in the Department of Geology & Environmental Science at the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2017. He was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2018 for extraordinary accomplishments in developing and using molecular and isotopic paleolimnologic proxies to enable refined reconstructions of past continental climates and to improve understanding of the dynamics of climate, in publication of the results of this important research, and in nurturing and training of young scientists. In August 2019 Dr. Werne was appointed Chair of the Geology & Environmental Science Department of the University of Pittsburgh.

“The Human Role Within the Climate System”

Almost all reporting on the human role in climate has focused on the warming effects due to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. The assessment of climate change risk has even been distilled to a single metric: the global average surface temperature. That reality was evident at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, where the central negotiating point was whether the global temperature rise should be limited to 1.5 °C or 2 °C.

However, as with the addition of CO2 into the atmosphere, the effects of the human influences such as land use change, land management and aerosols can last for decades or longer and affect regions worldwide.

By focusing only on greenhouse gases and warming, we diminish our ability to respond to the diversity of human influences on climate and to the effects of natural variability and long-term change. Even if CO2 emissions were ended, human impacts on climate could manifest in other potentially hazardous ways.

In my talk I will discuss these issues including examples.

Dr. Roger A. Pielke Sr.
Professor Emeritus, Colorado State University

Professor Roger A. Pielke Sr. has a distinguished career of over half a century as a researcher, educator, and leader in atmospheric science and related fields. As one of the most accomplished atmospheric scientists in the world with an H-index of 100, he is the authority on the understanding and modeling of land surface impact (e.g., land cover and land use change, surface heterogeneities) on weather and climate, the co-developer of the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS), the author of the most popular textbook on mesoscale meteorological modeling, and a pioneer in interdisciplinary science. He has also provided exceptional service to our field, including three Chief Editor positions that require substantial time commitments (including AMS Monthly Weather Review and Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences).

“Climate Drivers and Infectious Diseases Through the Lens of One Health”

While non-communicable diseases such as Diabetes Mellitus, and cardiovascular disease conditions including stroke and heart attacks are leading causes of mortality in many communities, infectious diseases continue to pose a major public health threat. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) ranked heart disease, cancer, COVID-19, accidents, and cerebrovascular diseases as the top 5 causes of death in the State during 2020. (2019: heart disease, cancer, accidents, cerebrovascular disease, and chronic lower respiratory disease). Infectious and parasitic diseases as a group of adverse health conditions, was reported to be the cause of death in 3,417 Pennsylvanians in 2020.
The Covid -19 pandemic brought new attention to vaccine- preventable or -mitigated infectious diseases resulting in 2,865,533 confirmed cases and 49,921 deaths in the state as of Feb 9, 2023. It is also important to note that PADOH reported 131, 282 cases of influenza from Sept 2019-September 2020; Annual influenza-related deaths between 2015 and 2020 ranged from 64 to 258 in PA. The State also continues to be among the top states for incidence of Lyme disease. In 2019, 29% of Lyme disease cases in the United States were in PA.
While prevention measures such as vaccines and masking are critical to control the consequences of infectious diseases, climate change plays an increasingly important role in the incidence, transmission, and prevalence of both known and new vector-borne infectious diseases caused by agents not circulated in humans before. Key climate drivers are flooding, often the result extreme weather events, warmer temperatures, and intrusion into animal habitats, many of those intermediate hosts for several infectious diseases agents. Since the health of the environment is inextricably linked to that of people, this presentation will focus on a One Health approach. Taking a One Health approach will enable us to prevent emerging infectious diseases, improve food safety and security, reduce antimicrobial resistance, and ultimately improve animal-, human- and plant health. Specifically, we will explore the role climate drivers play on the interconnectedness of animal- and human health, and the implications for public health.

Dr. Maureen Lichtveld
Dean School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Maureen Lichtveld is the Dean of the School of Public Health, the Jonas Salk Chair in Population Health, and Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh with over 35 years of expertise in environmental health. As Dean, Dr. Lichtveld oversees seven academic departments, over 900 students, 165 faculty and 320 staff. Her research focuses on environmentally-induced disease, health disparities, climate and health, environmental health policy, disaster preparedness, public health systems, and community resilience. Dean Lichtveld is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), the NAM Council, and a member of many NAM and National Academies of Sciences Boards, Roundtables, and Committees. She serves on the Advisory Committees for the NASEM Climate Communications Initiative and the Division of Earth and Life Sciences. Dean Lichtveld is the Chair of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH). She has co-authored the textbook on Environmental Policy and Public Health. Honors include Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars, and Woman of the Year for the City of New Orleans for her contributions to science.

“Scaling Climate Change Impacts: Pennsylvania to the Pittsburgh Region”

The impacts of a changing climate are often discussed on a global scale. Global views help us understand the overall trajectory of challenges facing our world, but can we qualify these impacts here in Pennsylvania? During this presentation, we will review weather averages and some extremes from Pennsylvania to the Pittsburgh region. We’ll look at what trends in global climate can mean for Southwest Pennsylvania. Detailing hazards impacting Pennsylvania, we will discuss how Commonwealth agencies are attacking the issue of climate change head on to build a more resilient commonwealth.

Mr. Jeff Jumper
EM Program Manager – Resiliency, PA Emergency Management Agency

Jeff Jumper is the Resiliency Program Manager within the Bureau of Recovery at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), a role which he began in December 2022. Prior to moving to Resiliency, Jeff worked for PEMA as the State Meteorologist from 2015 until 2022. During his tenure, Jeff has helped to better prepare the agency and its stakeholders for weather hazards through forecasts, outreach, partnerships, and training.

Prior to PEMA, Jeff worked for a decade as a broadcast meteorologist with television stations in Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Louisiana. He is an ACCO Climate Change Professional (CC-P), an AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, and has earned the NWA Television Seal of Approval. Jeff is a graduate of the FEMA National Emergency Management Advanced and Basic Academies and has received the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Associate and Professional Practitioner Certifications. He earned a Master of Science in Emergency Management from Millersville University in 2016, and a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from The Pennsylvania State University in 2006.

Mr. Jumper teaches part-time for the emergency management programs at both Millersville and Jefferson Universities. For 25 years, Jeff has been an active volunteer firefighter and EMT, serving in numerous leadership roles in the fire and emergency medical services. Jeff was appointed by the Governor to serve as an inaugural member of Pennsylvania State Fire Advisory Board for 2022-2024. A northeast Pennsylvania native, Jeff now lives in central Pennsylvania and says his proudest accomplishments are being husband to wife Amanda, and father to his son Hayes and daughter Reagan.