University of Utah Announces New Climate Science Policy Center with $20 Million Endowment
The University of Utah President’s Circle in Salt Lake City, pictured Tuesday. The university has received a $20 million donation for him to launch a new Climate Science Policy Center. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
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SALT LAKE CITY — A changing climate continues to play an important role in Utah, U.S. and global policy, as evidenced by the Paris Agreement and growing regional conflicts over how to deal with the receding Colorado River. I’m here.
While this subject will continue to be at the forefront of future policy debates, the University of Utah hopes to be a model in formulating public policy and proposing business solutions aimed at improving the climate. increase.
The university announced Wednesday the creation of the Wilkes Center for Climate Science and Policy, named after Utah philanthropists Clay and Marie Wilkes. The couple, founders of the climate change education charity Red Crow Foundation, donated her $20 million to help kickstart the new center.
“The Wilkes Center for Climate Science and Policy is a multidisciplinary model for the 21st century. will be,” the science department said in a statement.
William Anderegg, a climate researcher and associate professor in the University’s Department of Biological Sciences, will serve as the center’s first director. Wilkes said the center will also host an annual summit, inviting international experts to Utah to discuss climate issues around the world.
According to Wilkes, the idea for the center first came to mind last year in a conversation with University of Utah President Taylor Randall. He explained that the topic is “absolutely important” to the future of human civilization, and that the effects of long-term and severe droughts and wildfires are already appearing in Utah and the West.
There is also growing concern that toxic dust from the dry Great Salt Lake is blowing into many Wasatch Front communities.
“Each year, thousands of students from a variety of disciplines participate in the Center’s programs and have the opportunity to work with the Center’s research faculty,” says Randall. “We will educate a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators, advance basic and applied research, and address some of the most difficult and important problems posed by climate change.”
This research will not be done only at the new center. Wednesday’s announcement follows a similar launch at Utah State University, which will open the Janet Queenie Lawson Land, Water, and Air Institute in late 2021. Both centers aim to provide science-based policy solutions, which Utah Gov. Spencer Cox called “a bargain.”
This story will be updated.