Initiated in the spring of 2012, the interdisciplinary Climate Change Working Group operates under the auspices of the University Center for the Humanities.


The group has three main goals:

  • Enhance the education of WMU students, faculty and staff to increase their awareness and understanding of climate change
  • Provide community outreach to increase awareness and understanding of climate change and to engage interested citizens in activities related to climate change mitigation
  • Support interdisciplinary research and grant-seeking related to climate change


The CCWG consists of over 100 members including leaders of local climate-related groups, community members, local government officials, Kalamazoo College faculty, WMU students, faculty and staff from several colleges, representatives from the Office for Sustainability and the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society. The active ‘core’ group of faculty, all of whom teach and research on topics related to climate change, represent various perspectives from the humanities, social sciences and physical sciences. Currently, much of our effort is coordinated with the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition (KCCC), which is a consortium of many local groups working to heighten the awareness of, and action toward, climate change.

Climate Change Working Group executive committee


Dr. Steve Bertman (Environment, Geography, and Sustainability)

Original conveners

Dr. David Karowe (Biological Sciences)
Dr. Paul Clements (Political Science)
Dr. Ron Kramer (Sociology)

At large members

Dr. Lisa DeChano-Cook (Environment, Geography, and Sustainability)
Dr. Kathryn Docherty (Biological Sciences)
Dr. Lei Meng (Environment, Geography, and Sustainability)
Dr. Cynthia Pietras (Psychology)
Dr. Cybelle Shattuck (Comparative Religion)
Jeff Spoelstra (Office for Sustainability)
Dr. Allen Webb (English)
Dr. Laiyin Zhu (Environment, Geography, and Sustainability)

Book club coordinator

Dr. Allen Webb

Climate Change Minor Advisory Board and Graduate Climate Change Scholarship Review Board

Dr. Steve Bertman
Dr. Lisa DeChano-Cook (advisor)
Dr. David Karowe
Dr. Ron Kramer
Dr. Allen Webb

Climate Change Policy and Management Graduate Certificate Program Committee

Dr. Paul Clements (chair)
Dr. Lisa DeChano-Cook
Dr. David Karowe
Dr. Ron Kramer
Dr. Lei Meng
Dr. Laiyin Zhu
Wayne Bond