Pope Francis’ climate ambassadors to convene at Paul Smith’s College

Feb 11, 2016 | News

Seven Catholic Climate Ambassadors from around the nation will meet next month at Paul Smith’s College for a summit on climate change.

A panel discussion titled, “Climate Change as a Moral Issue,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5, in the Freer Auditorium. It’s free and open to the public.

The ambassadors, who will travel from as far away as Seattle and California, were selected and trained by the Catholic Climate Covenant, a U.S. Catholic organization devoted to solving climate change, in keeping with the pope’s encyclical.

“Addressing climate change is a moral issue as well as a scientific one,” said Curt Stager, professor of natural sciences at Paul Smith’s College who helped organize the event. “And the world faith community is taking it on as one of the great challenges of our time. Our goal with this summit is to help the ambassadors communicate the scientific and ethical aspects of this issue as widely and effectively as possible.”

The panel discussion will kick off with an introduction from Daniel Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant in Washington, D.C., followed by a short presentation from the other panelists: Patty Bowman of Seattle, Washington; Valerie Chapman of Portland, Oregon; Gerry Gacioch of Fairport, New York; Mark Potosnak of Chicago, Illinois; Susan Searle of Manitou Springs, Colorado; and Tony Strawa of San Jose, California.

A group of professor Craig Milewski’s students will also hold an informal discussion with the ambassadors after the panel discussion.

Faculty, students and staff from Paul Smith’s College and The Wild Center will offer workshops in climate science and communication skills for the ambassadors earlier in the day on Saturday, as well.

The summit will be cohosted by Paul Smith’s College and the Wild Center and funded by the National Science Foundation.


At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. Paul Smith’s, which was founded in 1946, is the only bachelor’s-degree-granting institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs – in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences – draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere.



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