2015 Schwartz Forum: Communicating Climate Change

Beaver Dam Pond by Richard Estes

Richard Estes (United States, born 1932), Beaver Dam Pond, Acadia National Park, 2009, oil on board, 12 3/8 x 29 7/8 inches. Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Anonymous gift, 2014.2 © Richard Estes, courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York

Where: Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland

When: October 24, 2015, 9:00 am – 3:45 pm

Cost: $20 per person; includes complimentary coffee/tea/refreshments and same-day admission to the Portland Museum of Art. CEUs available for educators. A limited number of student discounts are available; please call 773-5051 to find out more.

Program Schedule

9:00 am Registration opens; refreshments available
9:30 – 9:45 Introduction: Hayden Anderson, Executive Director, Maine Humanities Council
9:45 – 10:45 Andrew Pershing, GMRI

The Gulf of Maine as a Window on a Warming World

10:45 – 11:45 Thomas Tracy, Bates College

Climate Change as a Moral Challenge

11:45 am – 1:00 pm Lunch on your own
1:00 – 2:00 Jan Piribeck, University of Southern Maine and Michel Droge, Maine College of Art, moderated by Jennifer DePrizio, Portland Museum of Art

From Observation to Activism: Reflections on the Role of Artists in Communicating Climate Change

2:00 – 2:15 Break
2:15 – 3:15 Susanne Moser, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting

The Hard Work of Hope: Sustenance in Times of Climate Change

3:15 – 3:45 Closing panel


Andrew PershingAndrew Pershing, Chief Scientific Officer, Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Mr. Pershing took over as GMRI’s Chief Scientific Officer in 2014 and continues to run the Ecosystem Modeling Lab. Prior to becoming CSO, he had a joint appointment as a faculty member in the University of Maine School of Marine Sciences and as a research scientist at GMRI. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of changing conditions in the Gulf of Maine, and he is an expert on how climate variability and climate change impact the ecosystems in the northwest Atlantic. He uses a variety of techniques, including analysis of past changes in the physical and ecological conditions, as well as advanced mathematical and computer models of how marine populations change through time. Andy has worked primarily on zooplankton, especially rice grain-sized crustaceans called copepods, but he has also studied lobsters, herring, cod, salmon, bluefin tuna, and right whales. He is actively involved in regional efforts to understand and adapt to climate change.

Thomas TracyThomas F. Tracy, Philipps Professor of Religious Studies, Bates College

Professor Tracy’s research focuses on issues in philosophy of religion and theology, and to a lesser degree, on topics in applied ethics, particularly medical ethics and the morality of warfare.  His published work has dealt with philosophical questions raised by the classical conception of God in Western religions. He written on the problem of evil, on the concept of God as an agent who acts in the events of history, and on the relation between these classical issues in philosophical theology and contemporary developments in the natural sciences.

Jan PiribeckJan Piribeck, Professor of Digital Art and Foundations, University of Southern Maine

Jan Piribeck has an MFA from Northern Illinois University in Painting and Drawing, where she also studied Computer Imaging. For over a decade the focal point of her work has been a series of projects that fuse Art and Geographic Information Science. She helped establish the Digital Art Concentration offered by the USM Art Department and often works with students on collaborative research/creative projects that merge Art, Science and Technology, most recently Envisioning Change: Sea Level Rise in Casco Bay. Prior to her arrival at USM she was an Associate Professor of Art and Gallery Director at the University of Maine at Farmington and was Curator of Exhibitions and Education at the Rockford Art Museum in Rockford, Illinois. Her past experience working in galleries and museums continues to inform her work as an artist. She has been a Visiting Artist/Professor at schools of Art, Architecture, Design and Engineering in China, France, Germany and Latvia.

Michel DrogeMichel Droge, Faculty, Maine College of Art

Michel Droge received her BA from Oberlin College and her MFA from Maine College of Art. She is the recipient of awards and grants including the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Award and a Maine Arts Commission Grant. She exhibits regularly both nationally and internationally. Droge currently teaches at Maine College of Art and maintains her studio at the Bakery Studios in Portland Maine. She is researching the impact of climate change on small Island communities. Her paintings and prints are an exploration of the environment, coastal ecosystems, and adaptation.

Jennifer DePrizioJennifer DePrizio, Peggy L. Osher Director of Learning and Interpretation, Portland Museum of Art
Jennifer DePrizio supervises the PMA’s Learning and Interpretation Department. Prior to coming to the PMA, Ms. DePrizio was the Director of Visitor Learning at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where she designed and facilitated innovative and effective training programs for the Gardner’s 50 docents and more than 150 volunteers. DePrizio has taught museum education programs and art history courses at Tufts University’s Museum Studies Graduate Program, College of the Holy Cross, Anna Maria College, and the Worcester Art Museum. Her previous museum positions include education specialist for Public Teaching Programs at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, assistant curator of education at the Worcester Art Museum, and director of education at the Vermont Historical Society, Montpelier, Vermont. DePrizio holds a B.A. in Art History from the College of the Holy Cross and a M.A.T. in Museum Education from The George Washington University.
Susanne MoserSusanne Moser, Director and Principal Research, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting; Social Science Research Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University; Research Associate, University of California-Santa Cruz, Institute for Marine Sciences

Susi’s work focuses on adaptation to climate change, vulnerability, resilience, climate change communication, social change, decision support and the interaction between scientists, policy-makers and the public. She is a geographer by training (Ph.D. 1997, Clark University) with an interests in how social science can inform society’s responses to this global challenge. She has worked in coastal areas, urban and rural communities, with forest-reliant communities, and on human health issues.

Susi contributed to Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports and served as Review Editor on the IPCC’s Special Report on “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation.” She is also a Convening Lead Author for the coastal chapter of the Third US National Climate Assessment (NCA), and a member of the federal advisory committee to the NCA. Over the years, she has advised federal, state and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and foundations on various aspects of climate change.

She is a co-editor with Max Boykoff (University of Colorado-Boulder) on Successful Adaptation to Climate Change (2013, Routledge) and previously co-edited a ground-breaking anthology on climate change communication, called Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change (2007, Cambridge University Press) with Lisa Dilling (University of Colorado-Boulder). Her work has been recognized through fellowships in the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, the UCAR Leadership Academy, Kavli Frontiers of Science Program, the Donella Meadows Leadership Program, the Google Science Communication Program, and the Walton Sustainability Solutions Program at Arizona State University.

In Partnership With

Portland Museum of Art logo Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center logo Gulf of Maine Research Institute logo

Funded by:


NEH Logo MASTER_082010
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.