Fran Pavley, MA (Senator, 23rd District)

Senator Fran Pavley was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Sherman Oaks. She is a former middle school teacher and was the first mayor of Agoura Hills. She has lived nearly her entire life in the 23rd State Senate District and understands the issues that matter to the 925,000 constituents in her district, which encompasses portions of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties

The people of Fran's district care deeply about protecting the natural beauty, environmental health, and livability of California, and she has been a longtime leader for this cause. While serving in the State Assembly, Senator Pavley authored landmark laws to combat climate change by capping greenhouse gas emissions in California. Those laws, AB 32 and AB 1493, have become models for other states and nations. Please visit for further information.

Spencer Weart, Ph.D. (Director for the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics, College Park, MD)

Dr. Weart was originally trained as a physicist and is a noted historian specializing in the history of modern physics and geophysics. Until his retirement in 2009 he was Director of the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) in College Park, Maryland, USA, and he continues to be affiliated with the Center.

In 1974 Dr. Weart produced numerous historical articles and three major books: Scientists in Power, a history of the initial development of nuclear science, weapons, and reactors in France; Nuclear Fear: A History of Images, which has been widely praised and used in many contexts (a second edition is in preparation); and Never at War: Why Democracies Will Not Fight One Another, a historical survey of international relations among democracies, oligarchies and autocracies. His most recent book is The Discovery of Global Warming (2003, revised edition, 2008, translations in five languages), which is a condensed version of his extensive and widely used scholarly website on the history of climate change research. Please visit for further information.

Paul Wennberg, Ph.D. (R. Stanton Avery Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Director of the Linde Center for Global Environmental Science, California Institute of Technology)

Dr. Wennberg's research group applies traditional physical chemistry techniques (e.g. LIF, absorption spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy) to study the mechanisms of chemical transformation in the Earth's atmosphere and the carbon cycle.

Through these studies, they are working to understand the evolution in time and space of the trace gas composition of the atmosphere. This includes investigations of the oxidative chemistry of the atmosphere and how this chemistry is influenced by and in turn influences the biosphere. An important component of this research effort is to understand the influence of anthropogenic activity, including biomass burning, on the global atmosphere. Please visit Paul Wennberg for further information.

Joseph Francisco, Ph.D. (W.E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Purdue University)

Dr. Francisco's research laboratory focuses on basic studies in spectroscopy, kinetics and photochemistry of novel transient species in the gas phase. These species play an important role in atmospheric, biochemical and combustion processes. Yet questions dealing with how structures correlate to reactivity and photochemical mechanisms have not been addressed for these systems. These problems are addressed by research efforts in this laboratory.

Work in this laboratory includes measurements of the kinetics of elementary gas phase reactions of free radicals involved in complex reaction mechanisms. Using photolysis-laser induced fluorescence, photolysis-time resolved chemiluminescence, and photolysis-UV absorption techniques, they are able to study the reactions of specific intermediates in real-time. These techniques are used to study reactions involved in the gas phase atmospheric oxidation of chlorofluorocarbons and their potential replacements. This process is important toward understanding how the chemistry of man-made materials perturbs the ozone concentration profiles in the upper atmosphere. Please visit Joseph Francisco for further information.

Healy Hamilton, Ph.D. (Director, Center for Applied Biodiversity Informatics, California Academy of Sciences)

Dr. Hamilton's interests range from researching the effects of climate change on biodiversity to the evolution and conservation of cetaceans and seahorses. When she talks about biodiversity, she calls it the “magic carpet ride” of life. She's talking about all the strands of the natural world—the vast array of plant, animal, and microbial life, the food, medicines, pure air and clean water they provide, and the network of habitats such as forests, deserts, coral reefs and tundra, lakes, and oceans—woven together in a rich, diverse, and detailed tapestry of life.

Today, she's worried the magic carpet ride is unraveling before our eyes. She sees the effects of climate change in temperature and rainfall, causing shifts in the locations where species can survive. Plants are rooted and can only move as their seedlings track the right environmental conditions, while animals can often migrate across landscapes “as long as there isn't a shopping center or an interstate in their way.” Even plants and animals currently living within the boundaries of protected areas face local extinction if their habitat shifts right out from under them. Please visit Healy Hamilton for further information.

Peter Freed (Carbon Offset Project Developer, Terrapass)

TerraPass is the brainchild of Dr. Karl Ulrich at the University of Pennsylvania. Along with 41 of his students, Dr. Ulrich launched TerraPass in October, 2004 as a way to help everyday people reduce the climate impact of their driving. Within its first year, TerraPass registered over 2,400 members, reduced 36 million pounds of CO2, and earned countless national press and blog articles.

TerraPass has grown steadily over the past few years. They've helped individuals and businesses to reduce over 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide. They work directly with carbon reduction projects, providing revenue to dairy farms, landfill gas installations and other projects that yield carbon credits. As of March 2009, they have 2.5 million tons of CO2 under management for sale to wholesale and retail customers. On behalf of event speakers and participants, TerraPass has invested in emissions reductions projects at landfills and dairies across the country to help balance the environmental impacts of the Poe Symposium. Please visit for further information.

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