National Academy of Medicine

National Academies Announce Initiative on Climate Communication; Appoints Advisory Committee

January 24, 2018

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are launching a major initiative to more effectively enable their extensive body of work on climate science, impacts, and response options to inform the public and decision makers.

“The National Academies have a vast library of authoritative information to help everyone from savvy citizens to responsible decision makers understand, prepare, and respond to climate change,” said Marcia McNutt, president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.  “This initiative facilitates access to that storehouse to help protect the many sectors of human investment from unnecessary surprises.”

All branches of the Academies are addressing climate change. In addition to examining new frontiers in climate science, the Academies have studied climate impacts on national security, agriculture and food security, extreme weather events, coastal communities due to sea level rise, transportation infrastructure, community resilience, ecosystems, and human health; new innovations in energy, vehicles, and carbon removal; and social and behavioral sciences dimensions of environmental change.

The Climate Communications Initiative (CCI) aims to coordinate efforts across the Academies to successfully address public questions about climate change, develop innovative approaches for communicating and disseminating climate information to military, corporate, and civic leaders so that they can responsibly lead their organizations and communities, and provide easy access to evidence-based findings and explanations of climate change to various audiences.

A multidisciplinary advisory committee has been appointed to develop a strategic plan for the initiative and also provide guidance in implementing the plan.  The committee will be chaired by David Titley, professor of practice in meteorology and founding director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at the Pennsylvania State University and former Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy (a full committee roster follows).  Members of the committee bring a diverse set of expertise in climate science, climate impacts and economics, potential response options, science communication, social media engagement, and science education and represent a variety of different sectors and stakeholders, including government, industry, communications, and academia.   The group is anticipated to hold a public meeting in March of this year.

For more information about the CCI, visit

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit

Riya V. Anandwala, Media Relations Officer
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail


Division on Earth and Life Studies
Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Advisory Committee for the Climate Communications Initiative

David W. Titley (chair)
Professor of Practice in Meteorology, and
Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk
Pennsylvania State University
University Park

Dominique Brossard
Professor and Chair
Department of Life Sciences Communication
University of Wisconsin

Robert D. Bullard
Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy
Texas Southern University

Mariette DiChristina
Scientific American, and
Director of Editorial and Publishing
Nature Research Group
New York

David Goldston
Washington Office
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Washington, D.C.

William K. Hallman
Professor and Chair
Department of Human Ecology
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, N.J.

David Herring
Director of Communication and Education
Climate Program Office
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Silver Spring, Md.

Matthew Krehbiel
Science Director
Achieve Inc.
Washington, D.C.

Maureen Lichtveld1
Professor and Chair
Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Tulane University
New Orleans

David May
Chief Marketing Officer
AIG Inc.
New York City

Sabrina McCormick
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
Milken Institute School of Public Health
George Washington University
Washington, D.C.

Tancred Miller
Coastal and Ocean Policy
Division of Coastal Management
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
Morehead City

Philip W. Mote
Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, and
Associate Dean and Professor
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University

Anton Oenning
Future Shape LLC
San Francisco

Michael P. Ramage2
Executive Vice President (retired)
ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co.
Annandale, N.J.

Louis Schick
NewWorld Capital Group LLC
Delmar, N.Y.

Susan F. Tierney
Senior Advisor
Analysis Group
Aurora, Colo.


Amanda C. Purcell
Staff Officer

1Member, National Academy of Medicine
2Member, National Academy of Engineering

Link to National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Press Release