Written by Macy Kailing

We kicked off the first IGCoffeeConvo of the spring 2020 semester on February 12th. These IGC events provide a unique opportunity to chat casually with and get to know GCC faculty. GCC Faulty Todd Schenk met with IGC Fellows Ariel Heminger, Caleb O’Brien, Kerry Gendreau, and Macy Kailing. Collectively, the group represented four different departments which showcased a fundamental value of the Global Change Center and IGC program – interdisciplinarity!

The expertise among the group ranged from evolutionary biology to disease and invasion ecology to human dimensions of climate change. A highlight of our discussion was realizing that everyone is passionate about similar global issues but are taking different pathways and approaches to address them. Todd told us about his approach to address climate change through environmental policy and planning, using his role on the sustainability panel at Virginia Tech as one example.

We then had an enlightening conversation about the panel’s mission to reduce the carbon footprint of the university, our excitement about implementing the strategies as a community, and the ways people, including students, could get involved.

Overall, this IGCoffeeConvos reminded us that interdisciplinary teams are necessary to accomplish big goals but may require us to start by finding common ground.

If you are a GCC Faculty member and interested in participating in an upcoming IGCoffeeConvo, please contact Nicole Ward at nkward@vt.edu. Fellows should keep an eye on their email inboxes for opportunities to join in on future IGCoffeeConvo meetings!