Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

University Newsroom


Media Contacts:
Shanna Yetman
Communications Coordinator
Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Anna Gaynor
Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago’s Fifth Annual
Climate Change Conference Focuses on Climate Change
as a Driver for Public Health Issues in the 21st Century

Former U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
to deliver keynote address

CHICAGO, March 6, 2018—Loyola University Chicago will host its fifth annual conference on climate change from Thursday, March 15, through Friday, March 16, at the University’s Lake Shore Campus. This year’s conference, “Climate Change and Human Health: 21st Century Challenges,” will include panelists who are leaders in the U.S. and abroad in climate change and public health advocacy. These proponents of climate change solutions will discuss a variety of relevant issues, from furthering the U.S. commitment to the Paris Agreement to the overwhelming growth of climate refugees throughout the world.

Gina McCarthy, senior leadership fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and former U.S. EPA administrator under President Barack Obama, will deliver the keynote address. McCarthy will highlight the need to protect public health to ensure a robust economy, as well as the direct effects environmental degradation imparts on humanity’s health and well-being.

“Exploring the intersection of climate change and human health has never been more urgent,” said Seth Green, JD, the founding director of the University’s Raymond Baumhart, S.J., Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility and one of the conference moderators. “We need to embrace smarter policies and practices to better support our society. I have no doubt this conference and Gina McCarthy’s keynote address will serve as an essential call to action.”

Loyola’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability and Gannon Center for Women and Leadership will host the conference with McCarthy’s address serving as the Gannon Center’s annual Ann F. Baum Women in Leadership lecture.

“We are pleased to have Gina McCarthy, a leading advocate for common sense strategies to protect public health and the environment, giving the 2018 keynote address,” said Janet Sisler, director of the Gannon Center at Loyola University Chicago. “We have the responsibility to act boldly as engaged citizens to decrease our carbon footprint and develop better public health protections. There is no better time than now to meet the challenges of climate change.”

The second day of the conference is devoted to five panels that will feature a scholarly discussion from climate change experts, physicians, and public health advocates surrounding current environmental issues. Panelists will discuss major climate change issues, such as catastrophic weather events, the U.S. federal government’s lack of commitment to the Paris Agreement, and the increasing prevalence of climate refugees. Panel topics include:

Attendees can also attend a research-centered poster session displaying conference participants’ academic research.

“The increasing intensity and frequency of climate-related disasters that directly affect human health points to the need for a comprehensive, immediate, and humane solution,” said Nancy Tuchman, PhD, founding dean of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability. “It’s always our goal that the awareness raised during our panel discussions will spark a deeper conversation and promote positive action in our community.”

Loyola is well positioned to host an important human health discussion like this on sustainability and the environment. In addition to its biodiesel and clean energy laboratory, the Institute of Environmental Sustainability boasts a facility containing a green house, two aquaponics systems, and many sustainable features, including a geothermal heating and cooling installation, rainwater harvesting, and high-efficiency heat-recovery technology.

Conference sponsors also include the Baum Family Foundation, the Canadian Consulate, Iroquois Valley Farms, THIMUS, the Loyola Phoenix, the Archdiocese of Chicago, Loyola’s Fellowship Office, and the THEA Institute at Loyola University Chicago. The keynote event and panel discussions are open to the general public with registration. For more information, including costs and schedules, visit LUC.edu/climatechange.

About the Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES)
The Institute of Environmental Sustainability was founded in 2013 with the mission to engage students in understanding and responding to local and global environmental issues. IES delivers core environmental science degrees to Loyola University Chicago’s undergraduate students and prepares them for socially responsible professions in environmental science, policy, public health, and sustainable business practices. The IES aims to advance the knowledge of environmental problems and develop solutions through original research and community action, and the annual Climate Change Conference. To learn more about IES, visit LUC.edu/sustainability, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaIES, or follow us on Twitter via @GreenLoyola.

About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with more than 16,600 students. Nearly 11,500 undergraduates call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 13 schools, colleges, and institutes, including the Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, Graduate School, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago or @LoyolaNewsroom.

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