January 29, 2020
Climate! Solutions for Action – Moderated by Suzanne Malec-McKenna – Jerome McDonnell, Donald J. Wuebbles & Troy Peters
Jerome McDonnell hosted WBEZ’s global affairs program Worldview from 1994 until October of this year. He is now WBEZ’s environmental reporter. Over the past twenty-five years, he has interviewed world leaders and influential people, including Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, Condoleezza Rice and the Dalai Lama. But Worldview’s strong sense of social justice means some of Jerome’s most interesting guests were peasant organizers, environmental activists, and social entrepreneurs.
Jerome believes broadcasting’s highest calling is to bring people together to make a difference. Worldview’s long running Global Activism segment features people who’ve started health care, education, and community development organizations around the globe. The six “Global Activism Expos” WBEZ held gave thousands people each year an opportunity to connect with these social entrepreneurs and make lasting impacts.
Jerome has received journalism awards most recently a 2019 Studs Terkel award. Jerome is proud of the recognitions he’s received from community organizations, including the Chicago Fair Trade’s Change Maker Award, the CAIR Courage in Journalism Award, and the Excellence in Environmental Reporting Award from the Chicago Audubon Society. He’s been recognized by the Kovler Center for the Survivors of Torture, the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America, the Women’s Global Education Project, and the Syrian American Medical Society.
A graduate of Northern Illinois University, Jerome took his communications degree and began to volunteer at WBEZ in 1984. He never left. Jerome produced several shows including Midday with Sondra Gair, a program that featured monthly co-productions with Radio Kiev in the Soviet Union. Jerome was WBEZ’s executive producer of talk programing for several years, but now restricts his management activities to being Team Leader for Bike to Work Week and being in charge of the compost buckets.
Troy Peters joined Audubon in 2016 as the Engagement Manager at Audubon Great Lakes. He builds capacity and partnerships for communities to take conservation actions that have a positive impact on their environments and the birds that depend on them. Before joining Audubon, Troy managed the efforts of two collaborative organizations bringing diverse arts organizations together to improve cultural equity. Prior to that, he worked to support the City of Chicago’s climate change mitigation program. Troy holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan and an MA in Social Science from the University of Chicago.
Donald J. Wuebbles
Donald J. Wuebbles is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois. He is also a Presidential Fellow at the University of Illinois, with the aim of helping the university system develop new initiatives in urban sustainability (he is leading the development of the Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability (CURES) across the three UI campuses). From 2015 to early 2017, Dr. Wuebbles was Assistant Director with the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the Executive Office of the President in Washington DC, where he was the White House expert on climate science. He was Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois from 1994 to 2006. Dr. Wuebbles led the development of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment, and was its first director. While Department Head, he led the development of two highly successful undergraduate programs, one in Atmospheric Sciences, and the other, an interdisciplinary major, in Earth, Society and Environmental Sustainability (ESES).
Dr. Wuebbles is an expert in atmospheric physics and chemistry, with over 500 scientific publications related to the Earth’s climate, air quality, and the stratospheric ozone layer. However, his work goes well beyond that through providing analyses and development of metrics used in national and international policy and in developing analyses for understanding climate impacts on society and ecosystems, plus potential resilience and societal responses. He has co-authored a number of international and national scientific assessments, including being a Coordinating Lead Author on several international climate assessments led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that resulted in IPCC being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He was a leader in both the 2013 IPCC international assessment of climate science and the 2014 3rd U.S. National Climate Assessment.
More recently, he co-led the first volume of the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment published in November 2017 that assesses the science of climate change and its effects on the United States, as required by the U.S. Congress under the 1990 Global Change Act. He also coauthored Volume 2 of the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment, released in November 2018. He led a new assessment on the impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes that was published in March 2019.
Moderator: Suzanne Malec-McKenna
Suzanne’s career has been centered on stakeholder engagement and sustainability action, drawing from a balance of principles in environment, equity, and economy. Suzanne possesses deep knowledge and experience in climate mitigation and resiliency, workforce development, ecological restoration, urban forest management and industrial redevelopment. She led strategy and programs for 18 years at the Chicago Department of Environment, culminating as Commissioner, and served on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s transition team. Suzanne has 12+ years of nonprofit and business experience at a number of regional organizations such as Openlands, Jasculca Terman, and Chicago Wilderness, and currently works with ConTextos and Audubon Great Lakes. She holds a Ph.D. in Communications from Northwestern University.