WNY Climate Conversations

We work hard to connect to the community. While the primary focus of the organizers is the WNY Youth Climate Summit, on May 30th, 2020, we look to connect in other ways throughout the year. Recently, Keli Grabowski, a founding member and organizer of the summit, along two youth activists, Ella Pascucci and Gates Andrews appeared on WBNY. The interview was recorded on this past Martin Luther King day, on January 20th, 2020. The holiday served as a touchstone for the Keli, Ella and Gates who used the airtime to discuss the intricacies of environmental justice and how people of color and lower income communities around the world, are those most likely to be influenced negatively by environmental degradation and climate change.

If you would like to listen to the radio broadcast, click here to listen!

Here you can listen to the Jan 20, 2020 radio broadcast with Keli Grabowski, Ella Pascucci and Gates Andrews from WBNY

We successfully presented WNY Climate Conversations, at the Burchfield Penney Art Gallery, on February 9, 2019.

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – Discourse on creating a sustainable future in WNY
Learn about climate change in our region and how to prepare for it, create space for climate dialogue, and hear from youth that are making a difference. The WNY Climate Conversations are an opportunity to discuss climate change and environmental justice with the people in our networks and communities. At the end of these presentations we hope participants will walk away with some tools and information needed to take action for climate justice and resilience in our Western NY!

Schedule of Events from February 9th 2019:

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Dr. Stephen Vermette – Buffalo State College Professor
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Dr. Jonathan Garlick – Tufts University Professor
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Sohayla Eldeeb – Zero Hour Youth Movement

Dr. Stephen Vermette – SUNY Buffalo State College

“Weathering Climate Change in WNY”


Dr. Stephen J. Vermetteis a​ professorof geography within the Geography & Planning at SUNY Buffalo State.  His teaching interests are in physical geography; specifically meteorology, climatology, and water-related issues. ​

​Professor Vermette’s  current activities revolve around local meteorology and climatology issues, with a more recent focus on: researching the geography, science and history of WNY’s Weather – content for a book tentatively titled “The Faces of WNY’s Weather”; defining and characterizing WNY’s climate zones; and researching climate trends within Western New York – content for an ongoing effort with the Buffalo NGO “Designing to Live Sustainably” to characterize WNY’s climatic responses and nonresponse in a warming world.

Dr. Vermette’s presentation will highlight the five climate zones of WNY as well as his research about trends and discussion about ways of preparing for the changing climate.

Below is a link to a PDF detailing Dr. Vermette’s presentation:

WNYClimateConversations_Feb 9 2019_Stephen Vermette

Dr. Jonathan Garlick – Tufts University

“Dialogue Beyond Differences”


Dr. Jonathan Garlick is a professor of oral pathology and is a Senior Fellow at Tisch College of Civic Life and Professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, School of Medicine, School of Engineering.  ​

​He received his D.D.S. and Ph. D. from Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine and his oral pathology training from Long Island Jewish Medical Center. He has authored more than 115 articles and book chapters and served on numerous NIH review panels. ​

​Dr. Garlick is leading a national initiative in Civic Science through Tisch College to inform public learning about science and human health as a bridge towards improving our civic lives, teaching students to explore the impact of human health and science in their lives. ​

Dr. Garlick will lead an activity on holding space for values-based discussion around difficult, often controversial, topics we may have with others that disagree or come from different perspectives.


Sohayla Eldeeb – Zero Hour Youth Climate Movement

“Youth Action for Climate Justice”


Sohayla Eldeeb is a high school senior and the Global Outreach Director of Zero Hour. Zero Hour is a youth-led movement that has organized a march and lobby day in Washington D.C. and around the world in over 25 locations. Zero Hour’s inter-sectional platform focuses on the true meaning of climate justice: equity, racial justice, and economic justice. Aside from her activism, Sohayla has pursued environmental research focusing on oil spills. She is developing an environmental curriculum for Egypt and working with a United Nations-affiliated program to establish this curriculum around the world. She hopes her involvement within the community will aid and inspire the path of other youth pursuing STEM research and activism to better their futures.

Sohayla’s presentation will focus on youth activism and centering the voices of diverse youth in the conversation around climate and environmental justice. There will be an in-depth discussion about Zero Hour’s platform and its uniqueness in uplifting the youth voices while creating entry points, training, and resources for new young activists and organizers (and adults who support our vision) wanting to take concrete action around climate change.