For the past several years, the University of Michigan (UM) has sent a delegation of students to the various COPs to increase transparency of the negotiations toward civil society. In response, an on-campus group called Climate Blue has been organized to build a more resilient platform for the delegations and the broader UM community to engage in relevant climate change issues. The founding focuses of Climate Blue are to open connections to stakeholders, and bridge the activities of the delegation with our home community in Ann Arbor. The team performs critical work in researching the various policy topics being discussed at COP 22, brainstorming activities and other events for delegates and Climate Blue members to learn from, and identifying ways to communicate and engage more students and community members on these important issues.
Climate Blue Leadership
Samantha Basile, Director
Sam is a third-year PhD student in the Climate and Space Science and Engineering Department. She currently studies the natural carbon cycle, focusing on influence that climate drivers like precipitation, temperature and drought have on carbon stocks. She is also interested in the intersection of scientific research and the policy making process. She has worked on Climate Blue leadership teams for the past two years and this year she will attend COP 23 in Bonn, Germany as a delegate.
Emily Upton, Outreach Co-coordinator
Emily is a first-year Master’s student in the Department of Climate and Space Science and Engineering. Her research focuses on the effects of sea level rise on private industry on the eastern coast of the United States. She also works closely with the Ford School of Public Policy examining California’s vehicle emissions standards in relation to the Clean Air Act, and state sovereign wealth funds in relation to the boom and bust cycles of the oil and gas industry. Additionally, she is passionate about international sustainable development in rural communities and has worked on such projects in Nicaragua, Tanzania, and India. Emily was a delegate to COP 22 in Morocco and is looking forward to serving on the Climate Blue leadership team this year.
Kim Frauhammer, Outreach Co-coordinator
Kim Frauhammer holds a B.S.E. in Climate and Meteorology and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Atmospheric Science from U-M. She is an extreme weather fanatic and has even attended “Tornado Camp” to chase storms. Kim is interested in how weather and climate collide to directly affect people and that is why she became involved with Climate Blue. Her current research focuses on sea level rise on the east coast in response to hurricanes and nor-easter storms and how we can prepare for the future as climate change continues to influence these events.
Tyler Fitch, Communications Coordinator
Tyler Fitch is a second-year Master’s candidate at the School for Environment and Sustainability studying energy policy. His research at the Urban Energy Justice lab analyzes the social and political elements of transitioning to distributed, de-carbonized energy systems. In addition to his role as Communciations Coordinator, Tyler will be a delegate to the 23rd Conference of Parties. Outside of energy policy & politics, Tyler is a frisbee player & sourdough baker.
Matt Irish, Media Coordinator
Matt is a dual degree M.Eng./M.S.E. candidate at U-M, where he studies applied climate science and electrical engineering with a focus on energy systems. Irish researches climate change in the Great Lakes, reports on international climate negotiations, and works to break down stereotypes about environmentalism. He was a delegate at COP 21 in Paris.
Nicole Ryan, Events Coordinator
Nicole Ryan is a joint PhD student in the School for Environment and Sustainability and Mechanical Engineering. Her research focuses on assessing methods to reduce emissions from electricity generation with the use of optimization and life cycle assessment techniques. Nicole has been a member of Climate Blue since her attendance at COP 21 in Paris France, as a University of Michigan delegate.