WASHINGTON (April 16, 2021) — For Earth Day 2021, President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders to take part in a virtual summit to focus on solutions for climate change and other environmental problems. The George Washington University has experts who can talk about various topics related to Earth Day, including COVID-19 shutdowns and air pollution, melting permafrost in the Arctic, sustainability, and the health impacts of extreme weather driven by climate change.

Sabrina McCormick, an associate professor of environmental and occupational health, is a sociologist and filmmaker whose research investigates the social dynamics of environmental health. She can talk about climate change and health, how science is used in public health lawsuits, actions to address climate change and what consumers can do to live more sustainably.

Susan Anenberg, an associate professor of environmental and occupational health, has studied the health implications of air pollution and climate change from local to global scales. She can talk about traffic-related air pollution during and after COVID-19 lockdowns and the impact of air pollution on human health.

Melissa Perry, chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, is an epidemiologist, who has studied how climate change affects the properties of pesticides and other chemicals. She can also talk about how human health is affected by climate change.

Neelu Tummala, a clinical assistant professor of surgery, is a surgeon whose academic work focuses on the intersection of climate and health. She can speak to her experience treating patients who have been impacted by climate change, as well as how environmental justice impacts health disparities.

Politics & Policy/Business
Michael Svoboda, an assistant professor of writing, is an expert on climate change and politics, climate change and popular culture, and communication about climate change.

Robert L. Glicksman, the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law, is an expert on environmental, natural resources and administrative law issues. He can discuss alternative ways to allocate regulatory authority, climate change, federalism issues in environmental law and the challenges facing federal land management agencies. 

Jeff Lane is an adjunct professor of political management who teaches an energy and environmental policy course.. Lane is a counsel at the international law firm Dentons and served in senior federal positions in the executive and legislative branches for two decades, most notably as assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy in the Obama administration. He can provide unique insight into how environmental policy is developed and carried out in Congress and the White House.

Meghan Chapple, director of the GW Office of Sustainability, can discuss how organizations can take action on combating climate change, including through large-scale energy purchases, energy efficiency and mobilizing various groups for change.

Around the World
Lisa Benton-Short, chair of the Department of Geography, can talk about how climate change impacts cities and what they are doing to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

Robert Orttung, a research professor of international affairs, can discuss climate change and its effect specifically on the Arctic.

Dmitry Streletskiy, an associate professor of geography and international affairs, can discuss the diverse impacts of climate change on ecosystems, population and overall sustainability of the Arctic regions. He is the past president of the United States Permafrost Association.