Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Ghan

Steve Ghan citizens climate lobby

Steve Ghan (center) and fellow CCL volunteers organized the Water, Wind & Fire tour last year.

Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Ghan

By Emma Marvil

Steve Ghan, a Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteer and climate researcher, leads CCL’s Tri-Cities Washington Chapter. Outside of his time with CCL, Steve is a climate scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He develops global climate models and uses them to simulate future climate change, including impacts on mountain snow.

Steve’s research is what drives him to take climate action. “My research shows how critical it is to get started on reducing carbon emissions now,” Steve says. “I am highly motivated to build political will to mitigate climate change.” We’re lucky to have this highly cited climate scientist in our midst—and he’s even offering to help CCLers with their science questions.

What do you like about CCL?

Steve Ghan

Steve Ghan

I joined CCL in 2013 when Mark Reynolds traveled to the Tri-Cities for a group start. I joined because CCL empowers citizens to advocate for a durable solution to climate change that appeals across the political spectrum. The Tri-Cities chapter is in a rather conservative congressional district, which therefore offers plenty of room for moving political will toward action on climate change. Our chapter has become a powerful voice for climate action in eastern Washington.

Tell us about your main efforts or projects within CCL.

I cut back my hours at work so I had time to organize the 2017 Greater Pacific Northwest Regional Conference and to organize and participate in the Water, Wind and Fire Tour of 12 towns in eastern Washington and Northern Idaho in November 2017. I am now learning how to lead Climate Advocate Training Workshops so that I can start new CCL chapters in the towns I visited on the tour.

Is there anything else it’s important to know about you?

I’m moving on from a productive professional career to give more time to CCL. In my career, I contributed to three of the assessment reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (which was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007), and for each of the last three years, I have been recognized by Clarivate Analytics for my impact as a highly cited researcher in the field of geosciences, based on the number of my papers ranked in the top 1% of most cited papers.

[Author’s note: Check out this story from The Seattle Times, which explains that Steve’s work has been cited more than 11,000 times.]

Can you help CCLers with science questions?

Sure! There are a lot of talented people in CCL, but if people need help with science, I am happy to help. My Gmail account would be appropriate: steven (dot) ghan (at) gmail.com.

My expertise is climate modeling, so I would certainly address questions related to that, particularly the role of clouds and aerosol particles. I could also handle questions on the effectiveness and dangers of geoengineering, and impacts of global warming on tropical cyclones, mountain snowpack, and sea level rise.

Got a suggestion for our Volunteer Spotlight series? Send the name, chapter and some brief info about the volunteer to Flannery Winchester at flannery @ citizensclimatelobby.org.

Emma Marvil is an intern for Citizens’ Climate Lobby and a volunteer with the Atlanta chapter. She recently graduated high school and is taking a gap year before she heads to college in the fall to study environmental science and business.

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