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UNE undergrad Jessica White attends U.N. Framework on Climate Change Convention in Germany

A visual display of the Earth at Rheinaue Park, where one of the two conference venues, the Bonn zone, was held. Each of the var
A visual display of the Earth at Rheinaue Park, where one of the two conference venues, the Bonn zone, was held. Each of the various segments of the white ring surrounding the Earth represent a U.N. climate change goal for sustainable development.

February 16, 2018

Jessica White
Jessica White

UNE student Jessica White (Biochemistry and Applied Mathematics, ’19) attended the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, from November 13 to 17, after being selected as one of eight students from across the country to represent the American Chemical Society at the conference. She is the third UNE student in four years to be awarded this honor.

White was accredited as a non-governmental observer at the conference, which had an attendance of approximately 25,000 people. Participants included world leaders, policymakers, scientists, members of industry and climate activists.

“Attending the Conference of Parties was an eye opening experience,” White shared. “I was able to see first-hand just how important the role of science can be in policy, and, given the political climate of this particular COP, my presence made me feel as if I were a part of something much bigger.” 

In addition to attending the conference, she participated in a COP23 excursion sponsored by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where she visited a hydropower plant and learned about renewable energy potential in the Sauerland region.

She and the other student delegates of the American Chemical Society created a blog as they prepared for, attended and reflected upon the conference.

White will present at the upcoming American Chemical Society national meeting, to be held March 18-22 in New Orleans. Her presentation will be based on her experiences at the COP23 and will compare local and global perspectives on climate change.

Sources of funding for White’s trip to Germany included the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Chemistry and Physics, the Department of Mathematical Sciences, the Hills Lab, and the NSF SSTEM Success Scholarship

Amy Keirstead, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, serves as the faculty advisor to UNE’s award winning student chapter of the American Chemical Society.

Read the student delegate blog

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