UMFK professor addresses global climate change threats in new publication

FORT KENT – Dr. Kennedy Rubert-Nason, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, in collaboration with an international team of scholars, recently published a perspective paper in the peer-reviewed journal Rethinking Ecology that brings attention to the importance of translational science–a discipline focused on putting the results of scientific discovery to use.


“Framed around seven major global change threats (landscape change, climate change, pollution, resource depletion, extreme events, biodiversity loss, and invasive species/diseases), our paper explores why humans fail to follow what science says when it comes to caring for their environment, and showcases the vital need to build trusting, equitable, inclusive relationships among scientists, administrators, and the public in order to deal with wicked problems such as climate change,” said Dr. Rubert-Nason. 


Their paper also showcases opportunities for ecologists and others with an interest in environmental issues to work more harmoniously with public officials, businesses, and communities to build resilience to global change threats through synchronized actions in communication, policy, education, research, and personal actions. This work is timely, being published before the COP26 Climate Change Conference, where world leaders are now grappling with how to manage their impacts on the environment. 

Dr. Rubert-Nason teaches UMFK students about various flora and the impact climate change has on biodiversity. (Courtesy photo)

Drawing from over 150 prominent scholarly works spanning the environmental and social sciences, Dr. Rubert-Nason’s paper presents a roadmap for turning scientific discoveries into meaningful action, which he plans to build into the environmental studies curriculum at UMFK in order to prepare students for careers in conservation, education, policy, business, and healthcare. 


“We are proud that Dr. Rubert-Nason is taking such a bold approach with his research,” said UMFK President Dr. Deb Hedeen. “He is turning his research into a learning opportunity for students in order to educate them on how to improve their environment and their communities.” 

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