PITTSBURGH, June 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Duquesne University, a Catholic, Spiritan institution, will tackle the topics of climate change and human relationship with the environment in its inaugural Presidential Conference on the Integrity of Creation in September.
The conference occurs at a critical time of influence and impact, falling between the religious discussion of climate change fostered by Pope Francis' just-released environmental encyclical and its secular bookend, the United Nations' Climate Change Conference in December. Additionally, Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia just days before the Duquesne conference, which is scheduled on its Pittsburgh campus Wednesday, Sept. 30, through Friday, Oct. 3.
Notables such as Dr. Richard Alley, a member of the Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning intergovernmental panel on climate change, will speak at the conference built around concern for the environment, a key facet of Duquesne's mission. President Charles J. Dougherty established a University endowment to support the annual conference series, which aligns with Duquesne's strategic plan to have respect for the environment shape academic and business decisions.
"The general conference theme, the Integrity of Creation, reflects the Spiritan mission of Duquesne University that celebrates global solidarity and environmental diversity on our planet," said Dr. Gerald Magill, chair of the conference committee. "There is a profound obligation of stewardship that we must honor, especially now when there is international understanding of the extensive global problems that climate change causes. The urgency and importance of climate change have inspired this inaugural conference."
Global health, housing in coastal areas, clean air and water, agriculture diversity and international security are among the areas climate change impacts, Magill said. "Our responsibility for and accountability to the common good connects the disparate elements of environmental degradation and destruction that arise from human-caused climate changes," said Magill, who also holds the Gallagher Chair for the Integration of Science, Theology, Philosophy and Law.
Among the invited speakers and topics will be:
- Dr. Richard Alley, a member of the Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning intergovernmental panel on climate change and the Evan Pugh Professor of Environmental Science at Penn State University, Gold and the Golden Rule: Economic and Ethical Opportunities on Energy and Environment
- Dr. Robert Brinkman, professor of geology, environment and sustainability at Hofstra University, Global Sustainability Indicators: Can We Get Along and Save the World in a Time of Crisis?
- Mary Wood, the Philip H. Knight Professor of Law and faculty director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program at the University of Oregon, Nature's Trust: A Legal and Sacred Covenant to Protect Earth's Climate System for Future Generations
- Dr. Laurie Zoloth, professor of religious studies, bioethics and medical humanities at Northwestern University, The Role of Faith and Religious Commitments to Stewardship.
Duquesne presenters will include:
- Dr. Lisa Lopez Levers, professor of counseling, psychology and special education, School of Education, with Peter R. Teahen, president of the International Mass Fatalities Center, and Dr. Vilia Tarvydas of the University of Iowa, Disaster, Climate Change and Public Health: Building Social-Ecological Resilience
- Dr. Robert Sroufe, Murrin Chair of Global Competitiveness, MBA Sustainability Program, Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, Operationalizing Organizational Sustainability
- Dr. John Stolz, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Education, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Weather Extremes as a Product of Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels.
"Each speaker brings extraordinary expertise on climate change," Magill said. "They will inspire fascinating discussion about this pivotal issue that is so much at the heart of the University's Spiritan mission."
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability.
SOURCE Duquesne University