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Because Hamiltonians Fight Climate Change: J. Overpeck ’79


Jonathan Overpeck ’79

Jonathan “Peck” Overpeck ’79 spent his senior year at Hamilton researching climate and vegetation change in the Adirondacks, an experience he suspects sowed the seeds of his life’s work.

A climate scientist and the Samuel A. Graham Dean of the School for Environmental and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, Overpeck was appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the state’s new Council on Climate Solutions . Its charge is to create and oversee a statewide climate action plan. We asked him about his work on the panel. Here is some of what he had to say, edited for length and clarity.

Why did you want to be on the council?

I think what’s really important at this stage of human civilization is to tackle climate change, and everybody needs to think of what they can do. As a climate scientist, I still do some climate research, but it’s really much more focused on climate action now, ensuring that we transition to a climate-change-free, sustainable, and just world.

Why this particular organization? I am at the University of Michigan, so Michigan is my home. But I also see Michigan as a very fruitful place […]

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