This year’s Summit is centered on the theme of climate change. At the Summit, we will explore climate change's implications for national security and social justice, as well as how climate change could impact Nebraskans and how we can prepare for the future.
12:30 – 1:00 Registration and Welcome
1:00 Panel Discussion: Overview of Climate Change’s Impacts on Nebraska
Featuring Nebraska State Climate Director Martha Shulski and Dr. Clint Rowe, co-author of Understanding and Assessing Climate Change, Implications for Nebraska
2:00 Breakout session 1
Climate Change and National Security
Moderator: Dr. Elizabeth Chalecki
Dr. Chalecki came to the Unversity of Nebraska Omaha in August 2014. She earned her Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, and also earned an M.Sc. in Environmental Geography from the University of Toronto. She is a Non-Resident Research Fellow at the Stimson Center. Dr. Chalecki recently concluded a fellowship at Goucher College as the Visiting Mellon Scholar for Environmental Studies. She has taught at Boston College, Boston University, California State University-Hayward and the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She has also worked for the Pacific Institute, Environment Canada, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Brookings Institution.
Climate Change and Natural Systems in Nebraska
Join the Nature Conservancy of Nebraska for a discussion about how climate change could impact Nebraska’s landscape and natural systems.
Panelists: Dr. Mace Hack, Nature Conservancy; Dr. Rick Schneider, Nebraska Game and Parks, and Sarah Sortum, Switzer Ranch and Calamus Outfitters and field representative for the Great Plains Eco-tourism Coalition.
3:00 Breakout session 2:
Climate Change, Food Security, and Agricultural Production
Moderator: Nebraska Water for Food Institute
Panelists: Dr. Terry Mader, Professor Emeritus at the University of Nebraska, Department of Animal Science, and Dr. Tala Awada, UNL School of Natural Resources
Climate Change and Public Health
Discussion with Dr. Ali Khan
Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH, is a former Assistant Surgeon General and current Dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). Dr. Khan’s professional career has focused on health security, global health, and emerging infectious diseases. He completed a 23-year career as a senior director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which he joined as a disease detective. At CDC, Dr. Khan led and responded to numerous high profile domestic and international public health emergencies, including hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Ebola hemorrhagic fever, monkeypox, avian influenza, Rift Valley fever, severe acute respiratory syndrome, the Asian Tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina. He has authored numerous papers and publications and consulted extensively for multiple U.S. organizations, ministries of health, and the World Health Organization. Dr. Khan is the author of The Next Pandemic: On the Front Lines Against Humankind’s Gravest Dangers.
4:00 Breakout Session 3
Water and Climate Change
The Groundwater Foundation will lead us through a discussion about how Nebraska’s water resources will be impacted by climate change, and how we can effectively manage our resources and adapt for the future. Speakers include Kim Morrow, Verdis Group; Bob Swanson, Director, USGS Nebraska Water Science Center; Mike Sousek, General Manager, Lower Elkhorn NRD, and Karen Griffin, VP Water Resources, Olsson Associates
Climate Smart Solutions, Building Blocks and Actions
A discussion led by Verlon Barnes of the USDA and Michael Wilson of the NRCS about how improving soil health, the amount of organic matter, and the amount and balance of the soil microbiology can significantly address climate change and many of our natural resource issues that we are facing today.
5:00: Discussing Action on Climate Change
Discussion led by Dr. Theresa Jedd of the National Drought Mitigation Center, and Dr. Ryan Wishart, Creighton University
5:50 Networking and hors d’oeuvres; Registration for Evening-Only Ticket Attendees
6:30 Keynote Speaker, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Dennis McGinn
The Honorable Dennis McGinn was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment) on September 3, 2013. In this position, Mr. McGinn develops Department-wide policies, procedures, advocacy and strategic plans. He also oversees all Department of the Navy functions and programs related to installations, safety, energy, and environment. This includes effective management of Navy and Marine Corps real property, housing, and other facilities; natural and cultural resource protection, planning, and compliance; safety and occupational health for military and civilian personnel; and timely completion of closures and realignments of installations under base closure laws. You can learn more about Secretary McGinn here.
Keynote Speaker Bio
Mr. Dennis McGinn was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment) on September 3, 2013. In this position, Mr. McGinn develops Department-wide policies, procedures, advocacy and strategic plans. He also oversees all Department of the Navy functions and programs related to installations, safety, energy, and environment. This includes effective management of Navy and Marine Corps real property, housing, and other facilities; natural and cultural resource protection, planning, and compliance; safety and occupational health for military and civilian personnel; and timely completion of closures and realignments of installations under base closure laws.
Mr. McGinn is the former President of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), an organization dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. While at ACORE, he led efforts to communicate the significant economic, security and environmental benefits of renewable energy. Mr. McGinn is also a past co-chairman of the CNA Military Advisory Board and an international security senior fellow at the Rocky Mountain Institute.
In 2002, after 35 years of service, Mr. McGinn retired from the Navy after achieving the rank of Vice Admiral. While in the Navy, he served as a naval aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer, and national security strategist. His capstone assignment was as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Requirements and Programs, where he oversaw the development of future Navy capabilities. In a previous operational leadership role, he commanded the U.S. Third Fleet.
Mr. McGinn is a past member of the Steering Committee of the Energy Future Coalition, the United States Energy Security Council, and the Bipartisan Policy Center Energy Board. He earned a B.S. degree in Naval Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy; attended the national security program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; and was a Chief of Naval Operations strategic studies fellow at the U.S. Naval War College.
The Nebraska Conservation Summit is Hosted by the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters and Nebraska Conservation Education Fund
Based in Lincoln, but serving a statewide membership, the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters and the Nebraska Conservation Education Fund work to defend and strengthen the laws that safeguard the wellness of our communities and the beauty of our great state. We envision an engaged citizenry and a sustainable Nebraska. We enjoy strong community and regional partnerships that allow us to achieve this vision, and we hope you will join us at the Nebraska Conservation Summit!
Members of the Host Committee:
The Water for Food Institute
The Nature Conservancy