Guest Speaker Joylette Portlock to Discuss Climate Communication Through Video: Humor, Education, and Action

Posted on 11/10/2014 8:27:34 AM

The Sustainability Studies Colloquium Series continues on November 12 with its second guest speaker, Joylette Portlock, PhD. Portlock is president of Communitopia, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that focuses on climate change communication, where she stars in a series of funny, short Web videos on climate change for the general public, called “Don’t Just Sit There—Do Something!

  • Wednesday, November 12
  • 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Johnson Hall, room 247

Portluck has a degree from MIT and a PhD in genetics from Stanford University; she now works to give the public important scientific information it can use. She has worked on environmental issues at the local, state, and federal levels and has been focused on global climate change since 2007. Portlock also currently serves on the Allegheny County Board of Health.


The conclusion drawn from decades of research by hundreds of climate scientists across the world is that global climate change is happening, and human activity (specifically, the production of carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial agriculture) is the biggest cause. Here in the U.S., public understanding of the issue lags far behind the scientific understanding. As the president of Communitopia and star of “Don’t Just Sit There—Do Something!” she approaches the issue with the facts—and a sense of humor. 

Come learn something about climate change, find easy steps you can take to make a difference, and discover ways to overcome the fear and dread commonly associated with the subject. The talk will use humor, storytelling, and science to weave a discourse on science literacy in the U.S., the key findings that demonstrate the presence and extent of global climate change, best practices for communicating about the topic, and prescriptions for things that both nations and individuals can do to help.

Please join us at the second guest lecture on Wednesday, November 12, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in Johnson Hall, room 247.

Sustainability Studies