CCEP I: Partnership for Education on Climate Change, Engineered Systems, and Society

Climate, Society, & Technology Agenda

The first workshop of the Climate Change Educational Partership focuses primarily on issues of adaptation and mitigation for climate and engineered systems, where these systems are understood as complex socio-technical systems with significant political, cultural, economic and ethical dimensions. It also pays attention to larger scale climate interventions such as geo-engineering. Learn more about the Project which is funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.


Workshop on Climate, Society, and Technology

At the Beckman Center of the National Academies

Huntington Room

June 7-8, 2011


Background: The goal of the CCEP Phase I project on “Climate Change, Engineered Systems, and Society” is to develop conceptual and educational frameworks and networks of change agents to promote effective formal and informal education for engineering students, policymakers and the public at large. These activities should address, visibly and systematically, issues of climate and engineered systems, including issues of governance, sustainability, justice, and public engagement and trust. The goal of the workshops component of the project is to lay the foundations for the project partners – the National Academy of Engineering, Arizona State University, Boston Museum of Science, Colorado School of Mines, and University of Virginia-Charlottesville - to use in developing these frameworks and networks. 

In the intersection of climate, engineered systems, and society, it is the second term in this triumvirate that provides important and under-recognized challenges and opportunities for our examination. The implications of how engineered systems interact with climate for engineers and the public must be emphasized in the project. The planning effort for this project includes two workshops: one focusing on the interactions between climate and socio-technological systems, and a second one on the educational dimensions of this interaction between climate and those systems.


8:25 – 8:35                  Call to Order: Rachelle Hollander, NAE CEES

8:35 – 10:30                Session I: Interactions-Defining the Problems       

In this opening session, speakers will present views about climate and its interaction with engineered systems understood as socio-technical systems, from the varied perspectives of their expertise and experience. The session will review the contributions that those perspectives make to identifying and understanding the problems facing engineered systems in society. Much research and many reports identify problems expected from the likely range of interactions among climate, engineered systems and societies, and some recommend solutions. More than a few consider problems of sustainability as an environmental rather than a social issue. Relatively few consider or critically explore associated issues of governance, sustainability in social contexts, justice, and public engagement and trust. In their talks, speakers are invited to explore the ways in which scientific, engineering, political and social interventions and priorities can, do, and should influence the interactions of climate, engineered systems, and society, and how these influences are likely to affect the success of programs and recommendations.

Moderator:    Juan Lucena                                         
Liberal Arts and International Studies; Colorado School of Mines

Speakers:        James McCarthy 
Biological Oceanography; Harvard University
Science Perspectives

Jay Golden 
Center for Sustainability & Commerce; Duke University
Business and Engineering Perspectives

Ann Bostrom
School of Public Affairs; University of Washington
Public Perspectives

RespondentsJoseph Herkert 
School of Applied Arts and Sciences; Arizona State University

Jason Delborne
Liberal Arts and International Studies; Colorado School of Mines


10:45 – 1:00                Session II: Interventions-Examining the Range of Socio- technological Responses

Adaptation? Mitigation? Geo-engineering? Other Large Scale Interventions? All of the above? Often, discussions about responding to climate change focus on one or more of these options and involve projections about potential costs and benefits. Speakers in this session will probe further on the social justice dimensions of these options, e.g., the kinds, likelihood and distribution of potential benefits, costs, risks, and harms from the range of options under discussion. Also considering issues of governance, sustainability, and public engagement and trust, the panelists should summarize and assess positions that have been taken about these interventions, their potential likelihood, and estimations of those associated consequences and their distribution. They should consider how cultural and societal norms and priorities would be likely to influence results.

Moderator    Junko Munakata Marr
Environmental Science and Engineering: Colorado School of Mines

Speakers      Edward Rubin 
Environmental Engineering and Science; Carnegie Mellon University
Mitigation Strategies – Potentials and Problems    

Jackie Kepke 
Water Portfolio Management; CH2M Hill
Engineering Perspectives – Towards Structural Change

David Daniel 
President’s Office; University of Texas at Dallas
Adaptation of Technological Systems

Alan Robock
Department of Environmental Sciences; Rutgers University 
Geoengineering Potentials and Myths

Respondents:  Kathryn Johnson
Division of Engineering; Colorado School of Mines

David Slutzky
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; University of Virginia


2:00 – 3:00
                 Session III: Panel on Cross-Cutting Themes

Moderator:    Deborah Johnson
Science, Technology, and Society; University of Virginia

Panelists:        Joe DesJardin
President's Cabinet; Saint John’s University

Paul Thompson
Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics; Michigan State University

Susanne Moser 
Institute for Marine Sciences; University of California-Santa Cruz
Governance, Trust, Public Engagement

3pm – 4:30pm: Group Breakouts

This session consists of four small group breakouts that will address each of these topics in relationship to the presentations and discussions in prior sessions, and report back to a roundtable/plenary about what we know, and what we need to know, based on the results.


4:30 – 5:30                  Reports From Breakouts

Facilitator:         Rachelle Hollander

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

9:00 – 11:00                Session IV: Education

This plenary will brainstorm ideas about the implications for education that have come from the prior sessions and informal interactions among workshop participants. The goal of this session is to help us map stakeholders and issues to be considered in workshop II in October which will focus exclusively on education. These considerations should address where limited investments are likely to provide the greatest payoff for a Phase II implementation project. 


Chair:             David Rabkin
Current Science and Technology; Museum of Science, Boston

11:00 – Noon              Session V: What We’ve Learned

In this session, the co-principal investigators of the Phase I CCEP award will highlight the initial take-home messages from the workshop and ask the participants for their comments, suggestions, criticisms, and additional thoughts.

Chair:             Clark Miller
Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes; Arizona State University

Noon                           Workshop Adjourns