Cool Campus Hero: Whendee Silver, UC Berkeley

Whendee Silver, UC Berkeley's Climate Action Champion
Whendee Silver, UC Berkeley’s 2015 Climate Action Champion (Credit: Kira Stoll, UC Berkeley)

When it comes to climate change, UC Berkeley Professor Whendee Silver likes to get her hands dirty. “It is critical that we translate science into action,” says Silver.

Silver, a professor in the Environmental Science, Policy and Management department was named UC Berkeley’s first Faculty Climate Action Champion for 2015. The honor, for outstanding teaching, research and public service in the areas of climate change solutions, action and broad engagement, is awarded to one faculty member on each UC campus as part of a program that supports the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative.

“The complexity and sheer magnitude of climate change can leave people feeling helpless, and scientists are not immune to this,” says Silver. “It derives in large part from focusing on the severity of environmental problems without offering viable and actionable solutions. I hope to change that trend in my teaching and outreach activities by providing a modicum of hope and a roadmap for critically exploring and changing behavior. I hope to motivate others to explore ways in which they can contribute to climate change mitigation.”

Next up, as part of her research on soils and carbon uptake, Silver hopes to engage the city of Berkeley in a “garbage to grasslands” project that would capture organic waste and identify options for land application.

Read more about Professor Silver and her work on climate change.