Space Gal and WVU alumna Emily Calandrelli giving a TEDx talk in 2015.Courtesy of WVU College of Law.

Free climate change and energy conference will feature national science TV host.

Emily Calandrelli is an Emmy-nominated television host, executive producer of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space, and author of a children’s science and math mystery series. Now, the WVU alumna—nicknamed “The Space Gal”—is returning to Morgantown to give the keynote address at the National Energy Conference 2018: Climate Issues Update on Saturday, December 1.

Calandrelli will keynote a day of talks and panel discussions on climate change communication, solar power opportunities, putting a price on carbon, and controlling methane emissions. “More than any other conference, this one is a call to action,” says conference coordinator Logan Thorne.

This year is the first time the WVU College of Law and the Allegheny Highlands Climate Change Impacts Initiative—a project of the conservation group Friends of Blackwater—are partnering to create an event that merges energy concerns and climate change. In the past, the law school’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development has hosted programs about energy, while Friends of Blackwater ran programs on climate. Thorne says the connection between the two topics is becoming more apparent, though. “Climate is the biggest issue we’re facing lately,” he says. “It’s an overarching issue that’s affecting every other issue we’re dealing with, such as those with the environment or economy.”

One of the goals of the conference is for participants to leave with enough knowledge to cast informed votes and to speak knowledgeably with representatives who have legislative power. Doing so can lead to the widespread change needed to improve energy practices and slow effects on climate.

For those concerned that the nitty-gritty of the science will go over their heads, the conference is a good learning opportunity. “The basic tenets of climate change are relatively easy to understand, and the effects are apparent,” Thorne says. With young, cutting-edge presenters like Calandrelli, it promises to be as engaging as it is informative.

College students are also encouraged to attend. Presenters’ backgrounds span disciplines from communications to biology and economics to engineering. Hearing about current research and networking with experts just might spark a future career aspiration.

The free educational event will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the WVU College of Law’s Event Hall. Registration includes a buffet lunch and on-site parking.

Register online by November 16.


Pam Kasey
Written by Pam Kasey
Pam Kasey has traveled, brewed, farmed, counseled, and renovated, but most loves to write. She has degrees in economics from the University of Chicago and in journalism from West Virginia University. She loves celebrating Morgantown and West Virginia as executive editor at New South Media.