Welcome to the CIRES Policy Center, Bill Travis!

September 25th, 2008

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

Must be moving day. Our new director is Bill Travis (pictured above), an excellent choice. Lets see if we can get him blogging here at Prometheus;-) Here is the CU News Release.

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences For
Immediate Release

Bobbie Klein, (303) 735-3751,
William Travis, (303) 492-6312,

Sept. 25, 2008


The University of Colorado at Boulder’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research — which works to improve decision making related to science and technology — welcomes Dr. William Travis as the new director.

Travis, an Associate Professor of Geography who has taught for more than 20 years at CU-Boulder, is the former director of the university’s Natural Hazards Center. He has researched and written extensively about humans and the environment, including in his latest book “New Geographies of the American West: Land Use and Changing Patterns of Place,” which was published in 2007. One of his current research projects focuses on how Colorado communities perceive and react to the mountain pine beetle outbreak.

“Bill Travis is a great fit for the position. He is very enthusiastic about our existing programs, and has good ideas for new directions for research,” said Bobbie Klein, Managing Director for the CIRES Policy Center. CIRES is the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, a cooperative institute of CU-Boulder and NOAA. Travis will take over for Acting Director William Lewis on September 25th.

One of Travis’ goals as director is for Center researchers to ask the types of questions he feels don’t get the attention they deserve, such as those related to climate adaptation and geo-engineering.

“In climate discussions, adaptation is often neglected in favor of mitigation, even though some amount of global warming is inevitable. Given this reality, there’s an urgent need to assess the likely costs and opportunities associated with adapting to climate change,” said Travis.

Travis said the CIRES Policy Center is also interested in asking how strategies already in place to address current atmospheric hazards, like droughts and hurricanes, might affect society’s ability to deal with future climate change. Research by former Center Director Roger Pielke, Jr., who frequently contributes to the Center’s popular science policy blog Prometheus, shows that social trends — like population growth in coastal regions — far outweigh climate trends in contributing to higher economic losses from hurricanes.

Related and ongoing research at the CIRES Policy Center analyzes gaps between carbon science and the needs of policy makers, as well as the challenge of communicating climate change in ways that facilitate personal and societal action. The Center’s Lisa Dilling was co-lead of the team that prepared “The First State of the Carbon Cycle Report” for North America, which appeared in print last November.

This fall, the CIRES Policy Center is also co-sponsoring a series of lectures and panel discussions on campus to examine the challenge of meeting rapidly rising global energy demand, while simultaneously reducing planet-warming greenhouse gases. The series is intended to foster discussion and debate on these issues to coincide with the 2008 presidential campaign.

For more information about the CIRES Policy Center, its research, and upcoming events: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/.


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