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Climate Science Expert Draws Standing-Room Only Crowd in Visit to Ferris Campus

Ferris State UniversityAn audience of Ferris State University students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the Big Rapids community, heard from an expert in climate science, last month, as Susan Hoban, of the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, presented in the Interdisciplinary Resource Center.

Jennifer Johnson, a professor of Geography in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education, said that Hoban offered to speak while she was on the Ferris campus due to her interest in the Information Security and Intelligence program and its faculty. Hoban is currently pursuing studies in digital security.

“When someone with that kind of background offers to give a talk, we welcome that,” Johnson said. “My students felt that they got different information on the topic because of Hoban’s background in astronomy and were pleased that it was presented at their level.”

Fred Heck, a professor of Geology in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education, also had students in attendance at the event. He said that there is an important distinction between climate science and the divisive issue of climate change.

“The really valuable thing for our audience is that she is directly involved in the research, through JCET’s facility at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County,” Heck said. “She didn’t speak of politics, though there were political overtones in the discussion. Her background provided the audience with an understanding of climate, that the climate is changing, and that humans have played a significant part in that.”

Heck and Johnson noted that the audience was engaged and that Hoban was more than willing to support their learning on the issue.

“Around 25 students stuck around after the talk to ask questions about her research, and to get clearer answers, in general,” Heck said. “It was an opportunity to learn about climate, which is certainly changing.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Susan Hoban, Senior Research Scientist with the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology at University of Maryland-Baltimore County spoke to a Ferris State University audience Thursday, Jan. 14 on Climate Science. (Photo courtesy Angela Graf, Ferris State University Torch)