Dear Alumni and Friends,
Welcome to your 2019-20 EAPS Scope! This climate-themed edition is timely, coming at the end of a year with headlines crowded with climate news ranging from record heat in the Arctic Circle, to raging wildfires across Australia, California, and the Amazon, to deadly hurricanes in the Caribbean, Texas, and Japan.
At a recent MIT climate science symposium (the first in a series of six events), Susan Solomon's keynote speech included sober forecasts for rising temperatures and sea levels even if global carbon emissions were to cease abruptly. So, there is a growing imperative for MIT to bring its scientific and technical resources to bear to better understand our climate system and help communities around the world face the climate crisis head-on.
Our work to understand Earth's complex and intertwined processes makes EAPS uniquely qualified to help that pressing need, whether by sharing scientific data with leaders in industry, or by collaborating with peers to explore policy and technical solutions. I am greatly buoyed by the latest climate science emerging from EAPS, and by the rising generation of young EAPS scientists who are driven to not only study the intricacies of global system, but to also use their knowledge for societal benefit—and, for many, to take a stand in calling for urgent action before it is too late to make a difference. (Indeed, I was glad to see so many faces from EAPS on the plaza at Boston's Government Center participating in September global climate strike.)
Here, I am proud to share some of the department's latest climate research, and to report that our faculty and students are thriving, thanks in part to the support of alumni and friends like you.
Given the urgency to seek solutions to climate and other environmental challenges, our emerging partnership with the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI) could not be more timely. I am delighted to report that we have passed the halfway mark in our $30M fundraising campaign to create a stunning new portal to the Green Building, thanks to the generous support of members of the EAPS Visiting Committee and other donors. The Earth and Environment Pavilion will provide a shared home for EAPS, ESI, and the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography, as well as create a place to share our research and inspire collaboration among students and faculty from across the entire MIT community.
With gratitude and best wishes for the coming year.
Rob van der Hilst
In this issue
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