posted September 8, 2011

Address Will Discuss “Global Warming and Bicycle Adventure”

Insights from a two-year, 21,000-mile bike ride will be the focus of the address "Global Warming and Bicycle Adventure" by guest speaker David Kroodsma on Monday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. in room 1019 of the A. Paul Schaap Science Center at Hope College. 

The public is invited.  Admission is free. 

From 2005 to 2007, Kroodsma biked from his home in California to the tip of South America and used the journey to raise awareness of climate change.  Using the best of more than 15,000 photographs and videos, he takes audiences through his trek, sharing the joys and hardships of bicycle travel. Drawing on his master's degree and research in climate science, he relates how the people and ecosystems he visited are at risk to a warming climate, telling stories of subsistence farmers in Honduras, mountaintop forests in Costa Rica, glaciers in Peru, and coastline settlements the length of the Americas. His presentation tells stories of individuals--many of whom he stayed with on his journey--who are already suffering the consequences of global warming. 

By biking across 16 countries, Kroodsma also made a statement about the closeness of connection - that others sharing the planet are just a bike ride away. Implicit in his presentation is a call for stronger global citizenship, and Kroodsma encourages young and old to travel, see the world, and develop their own global ethic. He wants people to ask, "How does my life compare to the lives of the 6.7 billion other people on the planet?" and notes that answering the question will help in solving the challenge of climate change, a problem that has no borders. 

Kroodsma is a data journalist at Climate Central, a collaboration of scientists and journalists communicating climate science to the public. His job is to tell stories using relevant climate data, including through the use of interactive maps, apps and widgets. He is also developing a new data portal for the website. Prior to coming to Climate Central, he was a climate researcher at the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science, and a consultant for philanthropic organizations at California Environmental Associates. 

In 2009 he won the "Hopenhagen Ambassador" contest and represented Hopenhagen at the UN climate Conference in Copenhagen. He also covered the UN Climate Conference in Cancun in 2010 and at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2011 for Hub Culture, a social network of urban influencers. 

He holds an undergraduate degree in physics and a master's degree in interdisciplinary climate science, both from StanfordUniversity.  He is the son of Dr. Donald and Melissa Kroodsma, who are each 1968 graduates of Hope and living in Amherst, Mass. 

The A. Paul Schaap Science Center is located at 35 E. 12th St., at 12th Street and College Avenue.