14:39 PM

Biology Department hosts Impacts of Climate Change

The Biology Department held a live stream event called "Impacts of Climate Change in the Lower Rio Grande Valley" on April 8 by Dr. Christopher Gabler.

Dr. Gabler leads the Plant Ecology and Sustainability Lab at UTRGV and focuses on global change and finding practical ways to reverse the current rapid decline in biodiversity and ecosystem function. He received his Ph.D. from Rice University in 2012 and held postdoctoral positions at the University of Houston and the USGS National Wetlands Research Center. Dr. Gabler joined the faculty at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2016. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences with a joint appointment in the Department of Biology. Dr. Gabler is also the Program Coordinator for UTRGV's B.S. program in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. His research focuses mainly on ecological restoration, climate change, invasive species, and sustainable agriculture, and he works most frequently in coastal habitats, wetlands, forests, and urban agroecosystems.

Students and community members learned about the critical ecological, economic, and social impacts of climate change on the U.S. Gulf Coast people and ecosystems, focusing on the Lower Rio Grande Valley. After an enlightening and reality check that climate change is already affecting our planet and it will get worse, Dr. Gabler spoke about ways to reduce our carbon footprint and otherwise act to help mitigate climate change in the coming decades. He explained that the significant components of carbon footprints are transportation, energy use, food, goods, and services.

Dr. Gabler listed recommendations on what each of us can change in our daily lives that will help reduce our carbon footprint.

  • Drive less, walk, or bike when feasible. Plan and take fewer trips by minimizing connecting flights or teleconference when possible.
  • Reduce home energy consumption by setting your thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter
  • Reduce appliance use by hanging your clothes to dry, hand wash dishes, and disconnect devices when they are on standby.
  • Transition to cleaner energy sources by incorporating on-site generation-solar roofs and choosing cleaner fuels when selecting appliances and energy providers.
  • Eat less meat by minimizing beef and lamb or eat lower on the food chain. Avoid anything produced unsustainably and buy locally sourced foods to reduce food miles.
  • Spread the word, get involved and help alter the current course of society.

Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel called "STC Biology Department to watch this seminar and our previous events."

The South Texas College Biology Department, Speaker Series Committee, is committed to participating in outreach initiatives for students and community members. Speaker Series events are free of cost and bring awareness to various topics.