Climate Change: Florida at Ground Zero

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:00 AM

USFSP Student Center
USFSP University Student Center
200 6th Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Topic Panelists

Tom Frazer
Thomas K. Frazer is Chief Science Officer for the state of Florida. He is also a Professor and Director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida. Dr. Frazer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University and a Master’s Degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Florida. He earned his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research addresses contemporary and emerging environmental issues, and is, by nature, interdisciplinary. His work involves collaborators from disparate disciplines, and it includes sampling and experiments conducted across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. During his tenure at the University of Florida, Dr. Frazer has received more than $14 million in research funding to address topics pertaining to water quantity and quality, nutrient dynamics, biogeochemical processes, fish population dynamics, food web interactions, and ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems. He has conducted field research in both freshwater and marine systems around the globe, and he is intimately familiar with a broad suite of environmental and natural resource issues (e.g., eutrophication of fresh, estuarine, and coastal waters; invasive species; and the ecological impacts of contemporary environmental change, including coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and sea level rise). Dr. Frazer has authored and/or co-authored more than 175 peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, and book chapters. He serves as Chief Specialty Editor for the Coral Reef Research section of Frontiers in Marine Science, and he regularly serves as a referee for leading international journals and granting organizations. Dr. Frazer currently serves as Chair of the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council. He is a member of APLU’s Board on Oceans, Atmosphere and Climate, and he previously served as member of the US EPA’s Oil Spill Research Strategy Review Panel. Other relevant professional service includes appointments to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Technical Advisory Committee on Marine Numeric Nutrient Criteria and Peer-Review Panel for Dissolved Oxygen Criteria.
Dave Jones
Dave Jones is a 35-year veteran of the weather industry and worked as an on-air meteorologist for NBC4 WRC-TV, the NBC Owned and Operated TV station in Washington, DC for nearly a decade in the 1990s. He also appeared multiple times on the NBC Today Show, NBC Europe and CNBC Asia. While working for NBC, Dave developed the FIRST television weather website in the nation in 1995 and launched a new era in communicating NASA data to the public. The website, “WeatherNet4” positioned NBC4 in Washington, DC and NBC across the nation as a broadcast leader and early innovator of Internet technology. In 2001, Dave then founded StormCenter Communications, Inc. and spent many years funding research that led to an exclusive technology, developed under the Federal Government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, that enables the sharing of trusted data across any platform, in real-time, improving situational awareness and decision making across multiple sectors, agencies and organizations. This revolutionary technology leads to more effective decision making for a wide variety of markets including military, intelligence, and civil agencies and can address issues such as climate resilience planning, energy and transportation, food, agriculture, healthcare, cyber and homeland security. Because of StormCenter’s SBIR success, the company was selected as a Tibbitts Award Winner by the Small Business Administration for exceptional performance under the SBIR program. “Winning the Tibbetts award from the Small Business Administration (SBA) is affirmation that dedication and focus of the StormCenter team has accomplished what was previously thought as impossible, enabling true interoperability between disparate common operating pictures (COPs). This has led to a technology that is now ready to be integrated into markets and products that desperately need to share information across platforms to save lives and protect property”, said Jones. Dave also continues to pursue his passion of climate change impact communication and co-organizes the National Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit that brings together TV meteorologists and scientists to advance TV meteorologist's understanding and communication of extreme weather impacts and climate science to build a more resilient nation. Streaming to more than 2 million viewers, the Summit is gaining visibility as more extreme events impact more citizens and future Regional Summits are in the planning stages. As a past president of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP Federation), Dave continues to participate in this unique, data focused, organization by co-chairing the ESIP Disaster Lifecycle Cluster and has recently helped develop Operational Readiness Levels for trusted data to drive decision making. DHS, FEMA and other agencies are looking to adopt ORLs as a basis of trust for making rapid decisions that save lives and property.
Craig Pittman
Craig Pittman is a native Floridian and, according to the Florida Heritage Book Festival, a Florida literary legend. Born in Pensacola, he graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking work for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him "the most destructive force on campus." Since then he has covered a variety of newspaper beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. Since 1998, he has covered environmental issues for Florida's largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, winning state and national awards. He is the author of four books, including The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World's Most Beautiful Orchid, which is the only book ever classified as "True Crime/Gardening," and Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, which won the gold medal for Florida non-fiction from the Florida Book Awards. His fifth book, Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther will publish in January. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children.