Alex Hall, professor and vice chair of the department of atmospheric and oceanic Sciences and director of the Center for Climate Change Solutions at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, was named by the University of California as UCLA’s Climate Action Champion. A member of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Hall is an expert on climate modeling, the mechanisms that govern Earth’s climate and the planet’s sensitivity to historical increases in greenhouse gas emissions.
The UC program, which is in its inaugural year, is designed to help meet and focus students’ interest in climate-action education, and to inspire other faculty members to help the university’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025 through engaged research and education. The 2015-16 champions — one at each of the university’s 10 campuses — will work with students on projects aimed at building community engagement and awareness.
The Climate Action Champion recognition comes with a $25,000 award, which Hall will apply to an educational and public outreach project to “downscale” information from global climate models to create high-resolution projections of future climate at the neighborhood scale. This approach, which Hall pioneered, helps people envision how climate change will affect them in their own backyards and increases public support for action to adapt to inevitable impacts and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so the worst impacts can be prevented.
Working with Katharine Reich, associate director of the Center for Climate Change Solutions and a specialist in science communication, Hall will focus on his research team’s recently completed Climate Change in the Sierra Nevada Project, which explores the potential consequences of climate change for water resources in California. The project will include the production of video, data visualization and other materials; the presentation of a special lecture on campus; teaching the undergraduate GE class, “Climate Change: From Puzzles to Policy”; meeting with stakeholders and potential collaborators across the state; and engaging with researchers with a wide range of expertise to pursue future interdisciplinary research.