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Climate Solutions for West Virginia

Part of a Global Dialogue on Green Recovery, Climate Solutions and Just Transition

As part of the global initiative Solve Climate by 2030, the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences is hosting a webinar on climate solutions by and for West Virginians. Four local leaders will share their ambitious but achievable goals for the region followed by a Q&A. Join university and high school students across the planet, along with civil society, faith organizations and businesses, by taking part in this virtual program that's among 100 events in 50 countries. This initiative also hopes to encourage teachers and students of all ages to include climate change solutions in a class through the project #MakeClimateAClass

Register now. Take the pledge to #MakeClimateAClass.

Speakers and Topics

Note: Full bios of the speakers are below the video.

  • Jacob Hannah: "New Solutions from the Old Troubles: How Negatives Create a Positive for an Appalachian Just Transition"
  • Leah Mason: "Relationship restoration: How regionalized food systems intersect climate change and food insecurity"
  • Pamela Nixon: "Understanding the Challenge of Climate Change in Vulnerable Communities"
  • Jim Probst: "A New Day for the Coalfields"

Meet the Speakers

Jacob Hannah

Jacob Hannah

Jacob Israel Hannah from Kelly Knob, West Virginia, is the conservation coordinator for Coalfield Development. Hannah graduated as a first-generation student in business management from Garrett College and holds a bachelor's degree in management for sustainability from Bucknell University. He also studied cultural sustainability in France and Scotland and spent three years testing triple-bottom line sustainability concepts for coal towns in central Pennsylvania and social sustainability programs in Western Maryland. He enjoys spending his time writing music on his guitar and piano, getting lost in the woods, spending time with his family and harvesting fresh dank memes from the internet.

Leah Mason

Leah Mason in a lab coat

Leah Mason is a graduate student at Marshall University. She is completing a dietetic internship through the university’s distance dietetic program. Last fall, she spent her rotations in the kitchen at The Wild Ramp, a local farmers’ market, and working with Lacy Davidson-Ferguson on various community nutrition projects. Her most recent project was a lecture-style presentation on the art of seed saving and how this is related to cultural preservation, biodiversity and food security. She will finish her internship this June in Montana at the Gallatin Valley Farm to School program, where she will work (and play) in the garden with first and second graders. After her internship, she plans to focus her interests through community efforts in the Huntington area. She is interested in understanding community health disparities, food systems and food insecurity to know how these issues are related and can be addressed through community nutrition and service efforts. She enjoys baking anything from focaccia to berry Chantilly cake and watching seeds grow with her fiancé and his son.

Pamela Nixon

Pam Nixon

Pam Nixon worked 24 years as a medical laboratory technologist in clinical laboratories in the Charleston area. In 1998, she was appointed to the position of environmental advocate at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Nixon was the conduit between the public and the DEP by organizing public education forums on state and federal environmental regulations, the pollution control permitting process and how to participate in public hearings. She testified before U.S. Congress in April 2009 on behalf of residents negatively impacted by the 2008 fire and explosion at a chemical facility in the town of Institute. Nixon retired from the DEP in early 2014. Nixon’s history in community service began in the mid-1980s by promoting environmental and social justice issues, and she has received various awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and civic organizations. She is a member of the Charleston Branch NAACP and has served on the boards of directors for the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and for People Concerned about Chemical Safety. In 2019, she testified twice before U.S. House committees about securing chemical facilities and upholding the Clean Water Act.

Jim Probst

Jim Probst woodworking with two children

Jim Probst is a semi-retired furniture maker and furniture designer having run a small business creating high end custom furniture for the past 40 years. He trained with Al Gore’s organization, Climate Reality, in 2013 and has been a state coordinator for Citizens Climate Lobby in West Virginia since 2014. He works with CCL members across the state to lobby Congress to pass a carbon fee on fossil fuels that returns revenues collected to U.S. households in the form of a dividend. Probst is a father of two daughters and grandfather to four.