Media Tip Sheet: Colorado State Experts Speak on Variety of Issues and Topics Related to Global Climate Change

Colorado State University experts are available to talk about a variety of subjects related to global climate change. The following list of faculty members is provided for media use only, not for the general public.

Science of global climate change

Professor Scott Denning is available to talk about climate and global change, carbon dioxide emissions and natural processes that also control changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide. He can also talk about the Center for Multi-Scale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes, the large new climate modeling center at Colorado State University, and about the relationship between clouds and climate. Finally, he can talk about the many CMMAP-sponsored educational resources available for public schools and teachers regarding weather and climate, and about educational and employment opportunities in the field. To speak with Denning, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Global environmental governance

Michele Betsill, associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Colorado State, teaches courses in international relations, global environmental politics and qualitative research methods. Her research focuses on global environmental governance with particular emphasis on the politics of climate change. Prior to coming to Colorado State, she was a post-doctoral fellow with the Global Environmental Assessment project at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. To speak with Betsill, contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or

Biofuels and greenhouse gas emissions reductions

William Parton, senior research scientist at Colorado State’s Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory, or NREL, can discuss how different crops used for biofuels have varying effects on decreasing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Parton also can talk about the effects global warming will have on the eastern plains of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and the western parts of North and South Dakota. Additionally, he has experience studying the potential impact of climatic changes for forest and savanna systems at local, regional and global scales. To speak with Parton, contact Kimberly at (970) 491-0757 or

Antarctic ecosystems

Diana Wall is biology professor and senior research scientist at NREL. Wall’s research explores how soil biodiversity contributes to healthy, productive soils. In December 2006, Wall completed her 16th research season in the Antarctic Dry Valleys examining how soil food webs and ecosystem processes respond to global change. Wall can discuss how the changing global climate is affecting Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity. To speak with Wall, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Religion and environmental ethics

Holmes Rolston III is widely recognized as the father of environmental ethics as an academic discipline. He has shaped the essential nature, scope and issues of the discipline. A University Distinguished Professor of philosophy professor at Colorado State and a noted author, Rolston said he’s seeing an evolution of clergy concerned about better stewardship for the Earth. He teaches environmental ethics at Colorado State. To speak with Rolston, contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or

Biodiversity of grasslands

Alan Knapp is directing a 15-year study concerning the effects of global warming on grasslands in the United States. Halfway through the study, Knapp’s research has show that some U.S. grasslands will become more diverse but less productive as predicted changes in precipitation patterns related to global warming takes place. Reduced production of grasslands would have a negative economic impact on ranchers. To speak with Knapp, contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or

Carbon sequestration and agriculture

Keith Paustian, soil and crop sciences professor and senior research scientist at NREL, can discuss the role agriculture industry can play in greenhouse gas mitigation. Paustian also can talk about agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration for the United States inventory. Paustian also is involved in developing accounting tools for farmer and ranchers to receive credit under the United States voluntary greenhouse gas reduction program. To speak with Paustian, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or

Atmospheric processes

Professor David Randall, a coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change fourth assessment and director of the Center for Multi-Scale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes, is available for discussions of scientific questions about global warming. To speak with Randall, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or

Sun’s radiation

Jim Slusser, director of Colorado State’s UVB Monitoring and Research Program, can discuss how aerosols – tiny airborne solid particles consisting of mixtures of water, acids, black carbon or dust – can either cool or warm the planet depending largely on the amount of radiation that they scatter rather than absorb. These measurements can be applied on a global scale and allow scientists to make global predictions on how various mitigation strategies would work at reducing pollution and greenhouse warming effects of aerosols around the world. He also can discuss the causes and effects of global dimming, or more recently, global brightening which are thought to be caused by changes in pollution and cloud cover. To speak with Slusser, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or