MSU’s Cathy Whitlock to deliver TEDx talk at Big Sky Ideas Festival on Jan. 30
from MSU News Service
BOZEMAN – Cathy Whitlock, a Regents Professor Emerita at Montana State University and an internationally respected Earth scientist who studies past climate and environmental change, will deliver a TEDx talk during the Big Sky Ideas Festival on Saturday, Jan. 30. The festival will run from Wednesday, Jan. 27, until Saturday, Jan. 30, and be streamed online.
The theme of the TEDx Big Sky event is “Awakening,” and Whitlock is one of nine speakers. Whitlock will present “Awakening to Endless Change” and discuss what climate change means for wild places like Yellowstone National Park based on her research and climate assessment work.
In addition to her TEDx talk, Whitlock will participate in “The Arctic to Yellowstone: A Conversation on Climate” at 6 p.m., Jan. 27, on YouTube. She will be joined by documentarian Max Lowe; Twila Moon, a scientist for the National Snow and Ice Data Center; and Kristin Gardner, executive director of the Gallatin River Task Force. A screening of Lowe’s film “Bare Existence” will follow.
Whitlock is a member of the Department of Earth Sciences in the College of Letters and Science whose four-decade career has earned national and international recognition for her scholarship and leadership on past climate and environmental change. She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and book chapters on the topics of vegetation, fire and climate history and in 2011 co-founded the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, which she directed until 2017.
She was lead author of the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment, a report released by the Institute on Ecosystems that details future climate trends and the consequences for Montana’s water, forests and agriculture. She worked with healthcare professionals to produce a special report on “Climate Change and Human Health in Montana” this year, and she helped co-author the Montana Climate Solutions Plan in 2020. Currently Whitlock is part of a three-state team that is developing a climate assessment of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which will be released later this year.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event will be livestreamed only. Information on how to stream it can be found at http://www.tedxbigsky.com/live-stream/. •