Campus News

Shepherd to moderate White House climate education event ‘Champions of Change’

J. Marshall Shepherd

Athens, Ga. – J. Marshall Shepherd, the University of Georgia Distinguished Athletic Association Professor in the Social Sciences, will moderate the “Champions of Change for Climate Education and Literacy” event Monday, Feb. 9, at the White House. The event will celebrate eight Americans who are doing extraordinary work to enhance climate education and literacy in classrooms and communities across the country.

The event is closed to the press but will be streamed live on the White House website. To watch the event, see at 1 p.m.

Shepherd, director of the atmospheric sciences program at UGA and host of The Weather Channel’s “Weather Geeks,” has become a respected expert and national media presence on climate and weather-related issues.

“The White House provides a platform like no other for promoting science education, particularly as science is increasingly prevalent in daily life with our smartphones, weather models and new medical procedures,” Shepherd said. “Climate science isn’t a liberal or conservative issue, it is a human challenge. I am pleased to offer my voice to this event because climate literacy is essential for changing the tone and finding common ground.”

In his Climate Action Plan, President Barack Obama laid out a series of steps to combat carbon pollution, prepare for climate-change impacts and lead global efforts to tackle this shared challenge.

“Accomplishing these goals will require a 21st-century workforce, where tomorrow’s community leaders, city planners and entrepreneurs have the information, knowledge and training needed to make climate-smart decisions and grow businesses in the context of a changing climate,” according to a White House news release on the event.

In December 2014, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy launched the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative, focused on connecting Americans of all ages with the best-available science-based information about climate change.

This Champions of Change event builds on the initiative by honoring those who are taking action to improve understanding and awareness of climate change. During the event, White House officials will recognize their efforts and lead a discussion about how to advance opportunities for enhancing climate literacy.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals, businesses and organizations doing extraordinary work to empower and inspire members of their communities. To learn more about the program and to nominate a champion, see