You are here: American University College of Arts & Sciences News AU Amplifies Climate Action Commitment with Inaugural Seeing Climate Change Symposium

Contact Us

Battelle-Tompkins, Room 200 on a map

CAS Dean's Office 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016-8012 United States

Back to top


AU Amplifies Climate Action Commitment with Inaugural Seeing Climate Change Symposium

CAS proud to host AU's first annual Seeing Climate Change symposium, held virtually November 5-7.

Climate change remains this generation’s defining challenge. As the first university in the United States to achieve carbon neutrality, American University is deeply committed to climate action. AU's College of Arts and Sciences is proud to amplify the climate action conversation by hosting the university's first annual Seeing Climate Change symposium, November 5-7, 2021. 

Watch the Conference

Coinciding with the pivotal United Nations COP26 meeting in Glasgow, where world leaders will convene on efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, this virtual weekend event will bring together leading figures from the arts, sciences, and policy worlds to address the climate emergency, with a special focus on the role of communications and art. Registration for this event is free and open to all. Select events will be held in-person at AU for those within the AU community.

Among the speakers will be Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International and SIS alum, who will address symposium attendees about the solutions she will be fighting for at COP26. Leaders, scholars, activists, and artists in the field will lend their voices and expertise throughout the intensive weekend of discussions. In the midst of COP26, we will learn from scientists, artists, policymakers, and activists how to see climate change with new and different eyes.

Jennifer Morgan"This is the moment to think big, act big, for the biggest thing we have is at stake. We are a part of nature, and by protecting it we protect ourselves. This is a future not only worth imagining, but worth fighting for. Such opportunities for huge progressive change are rare, we are in that moment now. So let's act together for a greener, healthier, more just world," remarked Morgan.

The Seeing Climate Change symposium is sponsored in 2021 by American University’s environmental programs and is inspired by the exhibition Diane Burko: Seeing Climate Change, on display through December 12 at the American University Museum.

Summer Heat Painting Summer Heat, 2020. Mixed media on canvas, 84 x 120 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Symposium Overview

Friday, November 5

  • AU Museum Open Hours
    11:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Exhibition Opening Panel Discussion
    5:00-6:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 6

  • Session I: Who Sets the Climate Agenda
    9:00-10:15 a.m.
  • Session II: Making Change—Voices in Climate Action
    10:45-12:00 p.m.
  • Lunchtime Keynote Speaker: Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali
    12:30-1:45 p.m.
  • Session III: Making Climate Change Visible
    2:00-3:15 p.m.
  • Closing Keynote Speaker: Devi Lockwood
    3:30-4:45 p.m.

Sunday, November 7

  • Artist Talk with Jaimes Mayhew
    10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Green Tours of Campus
    11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.