As scientists, policymakers and communities continue to grapple with extreme weather events and a changing climate, American University experts are available to comment on a wide range of topics and ramifications.


August 30, 2023 – ongoing; availability in-studio, through email, phone or Zoom


Paul Bledsoe is an adjunct professorial lecturer at the Center for Environmental Policy in AU's School of Public Affairs. He was director of communications of the White House Climate Change Task Force under President Clinton from 1998-2001, communications director of the Senate Finance Committee under Chairman Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and special assistant to former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. He can discuss issues related to climate change and climate risks.

Rosalind Donald is an assistant professor in the School of Communication. Her research focuses on the importance of connecting climate change to day-to-day life and the use of stock photos in depicting climate change. Donald is an expert in climate change communication and how environmental injustices shape today’s climate debate.

Larry Engel is an associate professor and associate director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking in the School of Communication. With more than 40 years of experience in teaching and filmmaking and a passion for environmental and conservation issues, Engel uses his film background to create award-winning films and innovative media that raise awareness and represent diverse voices regarding climate change. Engle is an expert in environmentalism in media.

Dana R. Fisher, director of AU’s Center for Environment, Community, & Equity focuses on environmental stewardship and climate politics, democracy, civic engagement, and activism — most recently studying political elites' responses to climate change, and how federal service corps programs are working to integrate climate into their efforts. She served as a contributing author for Working Group 3 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Sixth Assessment Review (IPCC AR6) and has a forthcoming book, Saving Ourselves: From Climate Shocks to Climate Action. Fisher can discuss social responses to climate shocks such as wildfire, floods, drought, and extreme weather, climate politics in the US, the international climate regime, and climate activism and protest.

Stephen MacAvoy is an environmental scientist with expertise in biogeochemistry, ecology and green roof technology. He can discuss weather events in the context of climate change and El Nino (if applicable.) He can also discuss the release of chemicals in wildfires and environmental and human harms.  About expecting more extreme weather events, MacAvoy said: “In general, there will be increasing incidences of regionally extreme weather. The subtropical jet stream (a swift upper troposphere westerly wind in the northern hemisphere), is increasingly becoming more "wavey" with larger crests to the north and troughs to the south. This occurs because the polar regions are warming much more than the lower latitudes, decreasing the temperatures differences between the tropics and the poles, which normally would constrain the jet's meanders into tighter bands.”

Jennifer Oetzel, professor in the Kogod School of Business, focuses on social, economic and environmental sustainability. Oetzel’s research explores how companies can reduce business risk by promoting economic, social and environmental development as well as peace building in countries where they operate. Oetzel is an expert in disaster preparedness, the role of the private sector in natural disasters, and risk mitigation and management.

Ayman Omar is an associate professor and associate dean in the Kogod School of Business. His research focuses on global supply chain management, specifically targeting areas such as supply chain integration and responsiveness, cyber risks, and sustainability in global supply chains. Omar is an expert in how extreme weather conditions are impacting global supply chains and international trade.

William Snape III is a practitioner-in-resident in AU’s Washington College of Law. He has litigated many environmental and related cases in federal court, including arguing Center for Biological Diversity v. Interior at the D.C. Circuit. Snape is an expert in environmental justice advocacy.