Montgomery Fellows Focus on Climate Change & Society

February 6, 2015  Dartmouth Now

Two Montgomery Fellows—a diplomat and a scientist—will be on campus this term to talk about  the theme of “Climate Change and Society.” U.S. Ambassador to Sweden Mark Brzezinski ’87 will be in residence Feb. 14- 17. His public lecture, “#OurSharedArctic: U.S. Embassy Sweden and Modern Diplomacy,” is at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 16, in Filene Auditorium. His wife, the blogger Natalia Brzezinski, who writes on women’s issues, will also be on campus and is scheduled to meet with students during the residency.

Brzezinski has served as ambassador since 2011. In that capacity, he has developed a reputation for engaging both international policymakers and the public around issues of climate change and the Arctic—producing a series of videos for the general public, also entitled “Our Shared Arctic,” which are available on the embassy website and on YouTube. These short productions explore the science and societal impact of climate change in the North.

Soil ecologist Diana Wall will be in residence Feb. 28-March 7. Her public lecture, “Soil Biodiversity in the Cold: Life in the Antarctic Dry Valleys,” is at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3, in Filene Auditorium. A University Distinguished Professor and the director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University, Wall studies how soil biodiversity contributes to productive soils, as well as the consequences of human activities on soil sustainability.

Wall is one of the most distinguished ecologists in the world,” says Ross Virginia, Director of the Dickey Center's Institute of Arctic Studies, who has collaborated closely with Wall since the 1980s. Wall’s work includes nearly a quarter-century of research in Antarctica. “Her research and her leadership have created a new discipline of soil ecology, and she’s been working to help international agencies, the government, and the public understand that soils sustain life on the planet. Most of us don’t think about the fact that most of the world’s biodiversity is beneath our feet. She’s really mobilized the scientific community.” 

Read the entire article by Hannah Silverman MALS '09 on Dartmouth Now.