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What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic (or Why you Should be Paying Attention to the Arctic)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 | 06:00 PM

Kroon Hall, Burke Auditorium | 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT
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Please join us Tuesday, September 24, for a conversation with Fran Ulmer, chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

With efforts to mitigate climate pollution floundering or, at best, moving forward only incrementally, adaptation strategies are increasingly important. Following Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, which made plain the vulnerability of the U.S. coasts, President Obama’s climate policy speech in summer 2013 gave climate adaptation policy equal billing with climate mitigation. The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, together with the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, are hosting a speaker series this fall highlighting regional and local approaches to climate adaptation, and how those strategies fit within the larger context of climate change mitigation.

Fran Ulmer, chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and the former Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, kicks off the series Tuesday, September 24. Her talk, titled “What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic (or Why you Should be Paying Attention to the Arctic),” begins at 6:00 PM in Kroon Hall’s Burke Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Other speakers in the series, titled From Mitigation to Adaptation: Regional Responses to Climate Change, include Professor Maxine Burkett of the University of Hawaii, an expert in Pacific island adaptation and relocation (October 17), William Hohenstein, Director of the Climate Change Program Office for US Department of Agriculture (October 29), and Rohit Aggarwala, former director of long-term planning and sustainability for New York City and currently special advisor to Michael Bloomberg in his role as chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

Fran Ulmer is chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, appointed by President Obama in March 2011. In June 2010, President Obama appointed her to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Ulmer was Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Before that, she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. Ms. Ulmer served as an elected official for 18 years as the mayor of Juneau, as a state representative and as Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. Ms. Ulmer served as Director of Policy Development for the State of Alaska, managing diverse programs, including coastal management, intergovernmental coordination, and public participation initiatives. She has served on dozens of non-profit and government boards and commissions in Alaska, such as the Denali Commission, Commonwealth North, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, March of Dimes, Salvation Army, Alaska Gas Pipeline Committee, The Nature Conservancy and many more.

At the national level, Ms. Ulmer served as a member of the Federal Communications Commission's State and Local Advisory Committee, the Federal Elections Commission's State Advisory Committee and co-chaired the National Academies of Science’s Committee on State Voter Registration Databases. For more than ten years, she served as one of the US Commissioners on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, appointed by President Bill Clinton. Ms. Ulmer earned a J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and has been a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. She is married to retired attorney Bill Council, and they have two adult children and one grandson.

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