NESTA Speakers at NSTA National

NESTA participation in the annual NSTA National Conference on Science Education includes a lunch-time lecture on Saturday. In addition to NESTA lectures, we work collaboratively with the American Geophysical Union to organize and promote the AGU Lecture at the National NSTA Conference. Check below for upcoming talks or check back as the National conference draws closer. See you at the talks!

NSTA National Conference in San Antonio, Texas

Friday, April 12

2:00 – 3:00 pm American Geophysical Union Lecture: The Climate Science Debate: What Does the Science Tell Us and Why People on Both Sides Are So Angry About It, by Dr. Andrew Dessler, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station. Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Grand Ballroom C1.

In this talk, Prof. Dessler will review the state of the science of climate change and discuss why climate scientists are so worried about this problem. He will also talk about the polarized debate over climate change and why there is such an enormous split over both the scientific reality of the problem and the policy options.

Andrew Dessler is a climate scientist who studies both the science and politics of climate change. His scientific research revolves around climate feedbacks, in particular how water vapor and clouds act to amplify warming from the carbon dioxide that humans emit. In 2012, he received the AGU’s Ascent Award from the atmospheric sciences section to reward exceptional achievement by a mid-career scientist. During the last year of the Clinton Administration, he served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Based on his research and policy experience, he has authored two books on climate change: The science and politics of global climate change: A guide to the debate (Cambridge University Press, 2006, 2010, co-written with Edward Parson), and Introduction to modern climate change (Cambridge University Press, 2011). In recognition of his work on outreach, in 2011 he was named a Google Science Communication Fellow. Prior to his work on climate, his research focused on stratospheric ozone depletion. He is presently a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University. His educational background includes a BA in physics from Rice University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University. He also did postdoctoral work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and spent nine years on the research faculty of the University of Maryland. In a previous life, he worked in the energy group at The First Boston Corporation doing mergers and acquisitions analysis.

Saturday, April 13

12:30 - 1:30 pm
NESTA Advances in Earth and Space Science Lunchtime Lecture:If these rocks could talk: Earth’s climate in the deep past
, by Dr. Mark Nielsen Science Education Fellow, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Ballroom A.

The study of paleoclimate tells a fascinating story of deep Earth history and the varying conditions under which life on our planet has evolved. But another reason to study paleoclimate is to give context to current climate change and shed light into its potential severity and impact. For example, the carbonate-silicate weathering cycle consists of a series of chemical reactions in which carbon cycles between Earth and atmosphere. Because these reactions are temperature sensitive, they act as a natural thermostat, maintaining a relatively stable climate over millions of years. A close look at the cycle reveals how it is being affected by rapidly increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Because carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for an extremely long time, human emissions will continue to affect the planet’s climate for tens of thousands of years.

This talk will draw connections between Earth’s climate past and present and showcase classroom-ready resources for teaching about climate, available from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). HHMI is one of the nation’s largest philanthropies dedicated to supporting research and science education. The resources we develop are freely available from They are designed to enhance science education from middle school through graduate school.

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