Leading Climate Change Scientist to Speak at BLT Annual Meeting

The Branford Land Trust’s 2019 Annual Meeting on June 19 will feature guest speaker Mark C. Urban, an award-winning scientist, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, founder and director of the Center of Biological Risk, and global expert on one of the most important topics of our time: climate change impacts on nature. The event will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 7:00 p.m. at the Willoughby Wallace Library (146 Thimble Island Road, Stony Creek).

Urban’s presentation, “Climate Change Impacts on Connecticut Wildlife,” will follow a brief business meeting which will include the election of officers and directors and a proposed amendment to BLT bylaws allowing all officers to serve an equivalent number of terms (see full text below). Refreshments will be served.  The evening is free and open to the public.

An avid field biologist, Urban takes every opportunity to get out in the field to learn about the diversity of life and its threats. He routinely spends time in ponds, lakes, and streams in regions ranging from New England to the North Slope of Alaska. He founded and directs the Center of Biological Risk, the first center devoted to forecasting the complex risks to society mediated by ecosystems. He has authored over 55 scientific articles, appearing in top journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Nature Climate Change. By integrating ecology, evolution, and genomics, his work has uncovered new principles that routinely challenge existing ideas, including challenging the spatial scale of adaptation, the importance of adaptation in ecology, and an evolutionary reason for autoimmune disease. Most recently, his work has focused on designing global efforts to estimate and mitigate extinction risks from climate change on biodiversity.

His work on climate change impacts on species extinctions was highlighted as one of the top scientific discoveries of 2015 by Discover Magazine and in The Royal Society’s update to the 5th IPCC report. His research has been covered by news outlets around the world including The New York Times, NPR, CBS, CNN, BBC, Associated Press, Washington Post, The Guardian, and National Geographic. He has consulted on stories about climate change appearing in National Geographic, Sir David Attenborough’s documentary Climate Change – The Facts, and the television series, Years of Living Dangerously. His opinion pieces have appeared in The New York Times, Guardian, and Hartford Courant. Since 2015, he has led an annual contingent of UConn students, faculty and staff to the UN COP summits on climate change. Mark has given more than 60 presentations on his work, including to TEDx, World Wildlife Fund, and the Association for the Advancement of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the Young Investigator and Presidential awards from the American Society of Naturalists.

The Branford Land Trust is a non-profit organization, celebrating more than 50 years of protecting Branford’s open space and natural resources.

Photo supplied by Mark C. Urban

Proposed Amendment to Article V(1) of the bylaws:

Officers – The officers of the corporation shall be a president, vice-president, secretary, corresponding secretary and treasurer, each of whom shall be a member and shall be elected at an annual meeting for the term of two years or until a successor is duly elected. Any officer may succeed on re-election, provided that the person who has served two three consecutive terms as an officer shall not be eligible for re-election to the same office until one year has elapsed.



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Branford Land Trust
P.O. Box 254
Branford, CT 06405
(203) 483-5263


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