Climate Science Explained Clearly: “Translators Showcase” to Connect California Grad Students with Delegates of Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco
VIP reception will feature 12 graduate researchers and postdocs from UC, Caltech, Stanford, USC, and Berkeley Lab, as an Affiliate Event of GCAS 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. | September 10, 2018
CONTACT: Ben Landis,

The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) is bringing 12 talented graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to #GCAS2018 to practice a crucial skill: translating climate science for policymakers and decision makers.

The “CCST Climate Science Translators Showcase” will take place on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, in conjunction with the Global Climate Action Summit’s Science to Action Day and the CCST 30th Anniversary Celebration at The Exploratorium in San Francisco. Hailing from some of California’s top universities and laboratories, these masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral researchers will practice their budding craft for communicating science in an open-networking setting. At this private evening reception, invited delegates and guests will hear these Climate Science Translators explain timely topics such as decarbonizing energy grids of developing economies, assessing carbon storage value of mangrove forests, preparing California agriculture for future warming, and analyzing strategies for sustainable beef production.

The Showcase format intentionally breaks from academic tradition, placing emphasis on conversational, face-to-face engagement instead of lengthy slideshows packed with dense jargon. Leaders, managers, and senior researchers get to learn about timely science related to climate change adaptation and planning — while these young scientists improve their skill and savvy in conveying the importance of their science to decision makers and stakeholders. Guests will also receive a special “science slogan” bookmark from each Showcase presenter taking home a memorable message conveying the importance of the climate research topic at hand.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for research trainees interested in a policy engagement experience,” says Amber Mace PhD, CCST Interim Executive Director. “CCST is honored to be a participating partner in Governor Brown’s historic Global Climate Action Summit, and we look forward to showcasing the brilliant talent and innovation from California’s leading institutions on this important world stage.”

The CCST Science Translators Showcase Program debuted in February 2018 as a new way to provide graduate researchers and early career scientists at California institutions with training and experience in communicating science advice to policymakers. Candidates submit 60-second audition videos, and chosen presenters participate in scicomm training webinars on message crafting, California policy, and conversational networking.

Eight institutions are represented at the September 11 CCST Climate Science Translators Showcase: UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Caltech, Stanford, University of Southern California, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The 12 chosen presenters are:

Brian Y. An
PhD Candidate, University of Southern California
Brian will explain how the domino effect of local climate policy diffusion that he observed in California can help us design new climate initiatives for other states and countries.

Linh Anh Cát
PhD Candidate, UC Irvine
Linh Anh will explain how understanding the airborne movement of soil microbes can help us predict when and where fungal diseases of humans and agricultural crops will strike — especially if climate change dries out more soil into wind-carried dust.

Ranjit Deshmukh PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Ranjit will explain how developing economies could meet the twin challenges of cost-effectively decarbonizing their rapidly growing energy systems and providing reliable energy access to the millions of people who lack access.
Zach Erickson
PhD Candidate, California Institute of Technology
Zach will explain how the ocean takes up excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by storing it deep in the ocean interior.

Benjamin Fildier
PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Ben will explain why storms get stronger with global warming and what can be done to make our predictions more reliable.
Miyuki Hino
PhD Candidate, Stanford University
Miyuki will explain how managing the amount of homes and infrastructure in high-risk areas can help communities adapt to climate change and sea level rise.

Sarah Klopatek
PhD Candidate, UC Davis
Sarah will explain how varying beef production systems have assorted production costs, meat quality, water footprints, and carbon intensities and how these differences in beef cattle systems directly affect producers, consumers, and climate.

Joy Kumagai
MS Candidate, UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Joy will explain how mangrove forests like those found in Mexico provide valuable carbon storage-and-capture service in the face of climate change — revealing the cost of mangrove deforestation to climate goals.

Kaitlyn Lowder
PhD Candidate, UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Kaitlyn will explain how lab-based experiments with crustaceans like California spiny lobsters can help us understand how changing ocean conditions will impact marine life.

Alison Marklein PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Alison will explain four ways in which California agricultural systems can adapt to climate change, and how certain management practices may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Phillippe Phanivong
PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley
Phillippe will explain how smart charging electric vehicles (EVs) can help use the excess solar energy we generate in California and why careful EV policies are required to protect our power grid.

Hannah Welsh
PhD Student, UC Berkeley
Hannah will explain why it is important to understand how levels of greenhouse gas emissions from soils in desert landscapes will be affected by climate change.

The University of California, Caltech, Stanford, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are among the many partner institutions of CCST, which was established in 1988 via Assembly Concurrent Resolution 162 (Farr) as a nonpartisan body which would respond to the Governor, the Legislature, and other State entities on policy questions relating to science and technology. In addition to the #CCSTShowcase, CCST will also be hosting the “CCST 30th Anniversary VIP Reception” and co-hosting the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research “Science and Education Celebration” during #GCAS2018 Week.

Download This Press Release and Climate Translators Handout

About the California Council on Science and Technology
The California Council on Science and Technology is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established via the California State Legislature in 1988. CCST engages leading experts in science and technology to advise state policymakers ― ensuring that California policy is strengthened and informed by scientific knowledge, research, and innovation. Find CCST on Facebook at, on Twitter @CCSTorg, and on LinkedIn. Discover how CCST makes California’s policies stronger with science at, and join us in celebrating #CCST30th.

The 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, hosted in San Francisco on Sept. 12–14, will bring together state and local governments, businesses and citizens from around the world to showcase climate action taking place, thereby demonstrating how the tide has turned in the race against climate change and inspiring deeper national commitments in support of the Paris Agreement. To keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, and ideally pursue 1.5 degrees—temperatures that could lead to catastrophic consequences—worldwide emissions must start trending downward. The Summit will showcase climate action around the world, along with bold new commitments, to give world leaders the confidence that they can go even further by 2020. The Summit’s five headline challenge areas are Healthy Energy Systems, Inclusive Economic Growth, Sustainable Communities, Land and Ocean Stewardship, and Transformative Climate Investments. A series of reports is set to be launched over the coming months and at the Summit, underlining the contribution of states and regions, cities, businesses, investors, and civil society, also known as “non-party stakeholders,” to national and international efforts to address climate change. Many partners are supporting the Summit, including The Climate Group; the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group; Business for Social Responsibility (BSR); CAN International; Ceres; WWF; and Mission 2020. For more information on the Summit, visit #GCAS2018 #StepUp2018
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