Target Area Rationale:

Climate change might be the most vexing challenge the world has ever faced. Meeting this challenge—by reducing emissions of heat trapping gases while also coping with the effects of continuing climate change on humans and ecosystems—requires more collaboration across specialties and colleges and between academia and communities than any other problem. OSU has expertise, research facilities, and a track record of engaged research that position us uniquely to drive big solutions to this challenge. For example, our climate experts use ice cores and marine sediment cores—curated and archived in a uniquely large repository at OSU—to make fundamental and globally significant discoveries about past climates, which help us understand how the planet responds to heating unseen in millions of years. Our natural and managed ecosystem experts, working in landscapes in Oregon and around the world, are discovering how species respond to environmental changes, findings that will help guide human stewardship of ecosystems in the future. And OSU’s transdisciplinary researchers have been engaging with human communities on the front lines of climate change: in the wildland-urban interface, on the coasts of Oregon and elsewhere, and Indigenous communities, helping to localize climate effects and impacts and develop solutions. This target area links closely with the other three focus areas, and AI, data science, and research computing, and is also featured in the plans for the Huang Collaborative Innovation Complex.

Climate Science and Related Solutions Task Force:
  • Hilary Boudet, Associate Professor, Sociology; Graduate Program Director, Public Policy – Co-Chair (CLA)
  • Philip Mote, Vice Provost and Dean, Graduate School – Co-Chair
  • Taal Levi, Associate Professor, Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences (CAS)
  • Beth Marino, Associate Professor, Anthropology, OSU-Cascades (CLA)
  • Erin Pettit, Professor, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS)
  • Chris Still, Professor, Forest Ecosystems and Society (COF)
  • Virginia Weis, University Distinguished Professor, Integrative Biology (COS)