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ChatChat - Claudia Cragg

Jun 12, 2012

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The topic of this interview is 'Climate Change' as seen through the lens of the Union of Concerned Scientists. UCS is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. The organization "strives for independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices."

What began as a collaboration between students and faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969 is now an alliance of more than 400,000 citizens and scientists. UCS members are people from all walks of life: parents and businesspeople, biologists and physicists, teachers and students. The organization's achievements over the decades show that thoughtful action based on the best available science can help safeguard our future and the future of our planet. 

In this conversation, KGNU's Claudia Cragg speaks with Dr. Todd Sanford, a climate scientist with the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).  His main areas of focus are the public health impacts of climate change and the “social cost” of carbon—the various financial costs associated with climate change. 

Dr. Sanford was a research scientist at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado in Boulder. There he designed and built a field instrument to measure optical and chemical properties of atmospheric aerosols. He participated in NASA aircraft field missions to study aerosol properties in the tropical upper atmosphere. In addition, he conducted climate modeling studies looking at global climate impacts of various climate forcing scenarios, effects of stratospheric water vapor changes on global warming, and the efficacy of various greenhouse gas trading schemes.  

For the past 10 years, Dr. Sanford has been involved in public lands policy, specifically focusing on wilderness, and worked as an ecological restoration volunteer with a Colorado-based nonprofit.

Dr. Sanford received a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Purdue University.