The UW teach-in on climate change and the solutions to global warming was highly successful. Click here for story.

On Thursday January 31, 2008, the Husky Union Building was transformed into a hive of activity focusing on the science and solutions to global warming. The day included plenary talks, panel discussions, exhibitors and a "Climate Action Cafe" and an evening townhall in Kane 130 that focused our attention on our local politicians. Links to session summaries and presentations can be found below, more will be added when available.

Focus the Nation is a major educational initiative coordinating teams of faculty, students and staff at over a thousand colleges, universities and high schools in the United States, to collaboratively engage in a nationwide, interdisciplinary discussion centered around the theme of "Global Warming Solutions for America". On January 31, 2008, the first large event was held, and took the form of one-day, national symposia held simultaneously on campuses across the country. The national campaign will spearhead a second event at the same time of year in 2009. A search is on for student groups to take the lead...let LuAnne Thompson know if you are interested in learning how the 2008 event unfolded.

Link to information on the national Focus the Nation campaign.


Grist: Undriving Miss Daisy: Focus the Nation events aim for interactivity, accountability

The Daily: Treading lightly: A look at the UW's carbon footprint (January 29, 2008) and UW to ‘Focus the Nation’ at public forum tonight (January 31, 2008)

Dr. Luanne Thompson, lead on the UW Focus the Nation event, was featured in an E/The Environmental Magazine article.

University Week Article: January 17, 2008. UW to participate in national teach-in Jan. 31: Global warming solutions to be discussed.

Press Release: January 8, 2008. University of Washington Joins the Largest Teach-In in U.S. History


  • Educate participants in the scientific principles and possible solutions to the climate problem.

  • Actively engage participants in critical discussions about what our future could look like; create a framework for closing the gap between science and action.

  • Begin an interdisciplinary discussion about the academic and societal response to this important problem.

  • Come up with solutions for both the UW and for individuals, with discussion on how to implement them.

Day's Agenda

Detailed agenda (pdf)

Panelists biographies (pdf)

Exhibitors and participants in the Climate Action Cafe (pdf)

10:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. - Exhibitors in the Husky Union Building (HUB) West Ballroom

Noon - 5:00 P.M. Climate Action Café; HUB West Ballroom
The Climate Action Café – Student and community groups discuss ways to effect change.  Tully’s Coffee, CLIF bars and other refreshments will be available.

10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. Plenary Talks in the HUB, UW Campus
10-11"Global Warming: Facts, Fiction and Solutions" presented by Professor Tom Ackerman, UW Atmospheric Sciences and JISAO Director
11-12 "Why Values Are the Glue of Social Movements" presented by Professor David Domke, UW Communications

Noon - 1:00 P.M. Facing Climate Change: Understanding global change through local people. A multimedia presentation in the HUB.

1:00 P.M. - 4:30 P.M. - Panel Discussions in the HUB

Panel Topics:
Science at the Cutting Edge
Green Building and the Urban Landscape in the 21st Century
Can Capitalism Save Us?
Community Impacts of Climate Change: Public Health and the Environment
The Politics and Ethics of Finding Solutions
Climate Change Impacts on Indigenous Populations
Where Will We Find the Energy? Technological Solutions to Global Warming

7:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M. - Town Hall Discussion in Kane Hall 130 and Kane 220
with political leaders, including Mayor Greg Nickels, Kitsap County Senator Phil Rockefeller, State Representative Fred Jarrett and King County Executive Ron Sims;moderated by Steve Sher (NPR) and introduced by UW President Mark Emmert.


Support Letter from President Emmert

Endorsement from the UW Faculty Senate

Endorsement from the UW GPSS (Graduate Professional Student Senate)

Endorsement from the UW ASUW Senate (Associated Students of the University of Washington)

Classes Participating in  Focus the Nation

Italian 202, Sabrina Tatta
"Intermediate Italian"
The class will discuss articles (in Italian) on global warming.

Environmental Health 511, Bill Daniell
"Env. and Occupational Health"
Scheduled class topics around Focus the Nation. Climate
change on Jan 30 and other global environmental health topics on Feb 1.

Ocean 499, Danny Grunbaum
"The Dynamics of Ocean Life"
Student projects will apply predictions about changes in the ocean state to the ecosystem structure.

Philosophy 416, Stephen Gardiner
"Ethics and Climate Change"
Students will participate in the panel discussions.

Chemistry 152, Richard Gammon
"General Chemistry"
Extra credit for attending part of the event.

ATMOS 211, Joel Thornton
"Climate and Climate Change"
Attend the event and obtain extra credit for writing a description of one aspect they find interesting

Ocean 420, Mitsuhiro Kawase
"Physical Processes in the Ocean"
Canceling class on Th so students can attend.

Law School Activities Include Showing of An Inconvenient Truth, The 2% Solution, Who Killed the Electric Car and Revolution Green and a lunch time discussion.

ENVIR 100, Yoram Bauman
"Environmental Studies: Interdisciplinary Foundations "
Class will be attending Tom Ackerman's plenary lecture and some of the panel discussions.

ESS 203, Ed Waddington
"Glaciers and Global Change" will have a writing assignment about "Focus the Nation" and how it might relate to their lives.