Emory has 14 faculty and students attending the COP23 climate negotiations in Bonn.
Lauren Balotin—Junior, Emory College. Lauren majors in environmental sciences and media studies and is interested in a career in science communications or environmental health. She is involved with the Emory Wheel student newspaper, the Emory Environment Senate Standing Committee, Pi Beta Phi, Hybrid Vigor, and Emory Eagle Runners. She is interested in climate change as a global issue and interdisciplinary study that affects fields ranging from economics to public health. Through her interests in science communications and environmental health, she hopes to mobilize the public for action on climate change and its impact on food supply and malnutrition, the spread of vector-borne diseases and other issues.
Claire Barnes—Junior, Emory College. Claire is pursuing a degree in religion and philosophy with a minor in sustainability and is passionate about food and environmental justice and interdisciplinary education. During her time at Emory, she has developed an interest in climate justice as it relates to indigenous peoples in the U.S., and is currently conducting research in the department of anthropology on these intersections. She has held leadership positions in Slow Food Emory, the American Mock World Health Organization, the IDEAS Fellowship, and Residence Life and Housing at Emory.
Zola Berger-Schmitz— Junior, Emory College. A junior majoring in political science and music performance, Zola is passionate about environmental advocacy and has testified on renewable energy at public hearings before government agencies such as the Georgia Public Service Commission. She is a co-president of the Emory Climate Organization and hopes to pursue a career in environmental policy and to run for political office someday on a green platform.
Jennifer Fundora—Senior, Emory College. Jennifer studies environmental sciences and international studies and is a Mellon Mays undergraduate fellow investigating rates of deforestation in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She leads the Emory Climate Organization as co-president, and creates climate change advocacy events on campus and in the city of Atlanta. During the UN climate negotiations, she looks forward to learning more about adaptive capacity and resilience building within the more vulnerable communities in the United States and developing countries in the Caribbean.
Orli Hendler—Senior, Emory College. Orli studies linguistics and sustainability sciences and engages in the Emory community in a variety of ways. Since her sophomore year, she has lived in the sustainability-themed first year residence halls. In her junior year, she participated in multiple projects to further Emory sustainability efforts, including writing Emory's sustainable history on green space and mapping invasive species in Lullwater Preserve. She currently serves as an intern at the Carter Center, captain of Emory’s women’s club soccer team, and a member of the mock trial team.
Maria Jolly—MSPH, Environmental Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health. Maria, an energetic leader with a last name fitting her personality, became interested in climate and health as an undergraduate studying environmental science and policy at the University of Illinois. The impact of dirty-burning cooking fuels on her family’s health in India also has involved her in issues of indoor air pollution. She was a fellow at the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2 ½ years. At Rollins, she is co-president of Students for Social Justice and is part of the HERCULES Exposome Research Center’s efforts to strengthen relationships between Emory and Atlanta community organizers and members.
Jamani (Roe) Montague—Senior, Emory College. Roe, a major in international studies and environmental sciences, conducts research on prison ecology or the intersections between prison facilities and the natural environment. She is interested in the relationship between prison labor and environmental pollution and climate change and is an active participant in multiple student organizations on campus, including the Emory Climate Organization, the Student Alumni Board and Emory SPEAR.
Aspen Ono—Senior, Emory College. Aspen majors in environmental sciences and international studies with a focus on developing a holistic view of international environmental relations, especially pertaining to climate and global environmental justice. She is co-author of a study on climate change research priorities in Georgia and has conducted research in the environmental justice field. She is currently focused on the impact of climate change on global migration patterns. At the Bonn climate talks, she intends to explore global plans for dealing with projected increases in climate change migration and attend meetings related to migration issues.
Cassidy Schwartz—Senior, Emory College. A major in environmental sciences and international studies, Cassidy is president of the Emory College Council and works to establish a culture of sustainability within student organizations. She also serves as vice president of solutions management for the Emory Climate Analysis and Solutions Team, a forum organized to advance climate-related student projects. Through this organization, she hopes to educate the student body about the benefits of clean energy and build a coalition of student support for increased solar deployment on campus. Cassidy aspires to a career in environmental policy to mobilize urban residents to take action against climate change.
Margaret (Meggie) Stewart—Senior, Emory College. Meggie describes herself as a sassy, sincere, and sustainability-minded senior studying environmental sciences with a minor in Arabic. She is passionate about environmental justice, agriculture, and local food systems in communities around the world. Her environmental interests also include ecology, especially mycology (studying mushrooms), and climate change mitigation efforts. As a student at Emory, she also enjoys riding bikes, gardening, playing ultimate frisbee, and tutoring children in the Clarkston area. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in law or public health to help people mitigate climate change and improve their lives.
Ken Wakabayashi—Senior, Emory College. Ken is studying environmental science and chemistry at Emory and focuses his climate-related efforts on air pollution, greenhouse gas mitigation, and adaptation. He has worked with the city of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Sustainability and Emory's Office of Sustainability Initiatives. He has experience working on the Atlanta Greenhouse Gas Inventory project and created an annual sustainability report for each Emory academic unit. His current interest is establishing an air pollution monitoring system at Emory.
Dillon Wu—Junior, Emory College. Dillon is interested in international relations and climate change as the most important issue in global politics. Climate change has significant impacts not only on global economic health but also on security relations among developing countries. He hopes to become a U.S. diplomat and play a role in addressing these intersecting challenges. At Emory, he is involved in the Emory International Relations Association (EIRA) and its associated Model UN team, Project SHINE, the East Asia Collective, and the Barkley Forum.
Sheila Tefft—Senior Lecturer, Department of English Writing Program. Sheila Tefft specializes in science writing about health and climate change, composition, and multimedia journalism. She was a reporter, editor and foreign correspondent for almost 25 years and served as Emory Journalism director 2000-2009. She spent 12 years in Asia where she was a correspondent and bureau chief for The Christian Science Monitor in Beijing, Bangkok and New Delhi and developed a special interest in environmental journalism. She has also worked for The Chicago Tribune and The Atlanta Constitution and freelanced for many other publications.
Eri Saikawa – Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences. Dr. Saikawa has developed and organized the Emory delegation to the UN Climate Change negotiations since 2015. She taught the CoLA course with Sheila Tefft and Wes Longhofer in 2015 and led the first Emory delegation to the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris that year. She was head of the Emory delegation to COP22 in Marrakech in 2016, and is leading the Emory student delegates to COP23 in Bonn in 2017. She is excited to have an opportunity to showcase Emory research on climate change and hopes to establish more links with other universities and NGOs for future delegations.
Climate Change and Society Student Websites: