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Climate Change With Urban Disaster Experts, Artist

Academy Town Square Series, March-April

PHILADELPHIA, February 7, 2019

Climate change is happening now and all around us. The Academy Town Square series in March and April presents urban disaster experts and a prominent industrial landscape photographer to ignite the discussion about the effects of climate change and how to cope.

Another event in the series features an illustrated presentation by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University’s curator of paleontology, who spent the winter in Antarctica collecting fossils to shed new light on the origins of life.

Academy Town Square programs are free and held at the Academy. To ensure a seat, registration is recommended.

Academy Town Square is designed to engage and provide relevant educational content to the public on critical global issues in environmental science by featuring prominent thought leaders and their findings about water, climate change, evolution, and biodiversity and extinction.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Tomorrow Is Now: How Will We Survive a Changing Climate?

Monday, March 4, 6:30 p.m.



Extreme storms, increased flooding, deadly heat waves, sea level rise. Climate change is happening now, and it is affecting our own neighborhoods. Join us for an Academy Town Square about what Philadelphia and the region are doing — or should be doing — to address this critical issue. Drexel University Professor Scott Knowles, an expert on urban disasters, will lead the discussion among city and regional officials and scientists. They will provide insight into how we can prepare for climate changes ahead.


Scott Knowles, PhD, Head, Department of History, Drexel University, and urban disaster expert


  • Saleem Chapman, Deputy Director of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia

  • Howard C. Kunreuther, PhD, James G. Dinan Professor, Operations and Information Management, Professor, Decision Sciences and Business Economics and Public Policy, Co-Director, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Nathaniel Popkin, Author, Editor, Historian, Co-author: Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City

  • Mira S. Olson, PhD, Associate Professor, Civil Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Drexel University


Academy Town Square

Global Shifts: Earth Through the Lens of Artist Edward Burtynsky

Co-Presented by Philadelphia Contemporary

Wednesday, April 3, 5:30 p.m.



We are now living in the era scientists have dubbed the Anthropocene, the time period when human activity is the dominant influence on climate, extinction events and the geological landscape of the planet. Celebrated Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has spent years documenting this dilemma of our modern existence. His photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are housed in over 60 public collections and exhibited by museums around the world. In his talk, Burtynsky will discuss works from his decades-long career, including his most recent photographic series, Anthropocene. Photographs from Anthropocene and earlier series are featured in his upcoming exhibition Megaresources, presented by Philadelphia Contemporary and opening May 2019 at Atelier FAS Gallery, 1301 N. 31st St.


Academy Town Square

Cold Hard Science in Antarctica: A Paleontology Adventure

Presented with WHYY’s The Pulse

Tuesday, April 30, 6:30 p.m.



What’s it like to dig for fossils in one of the most inhospitable places on earth? Academy Curator of Paleontology Ted Daeschler recently returned from his second action-packed expedition to Antarctica in search of Devonian-age fish. Join Daeschler in his conversation with Maiken Scott, host of WHYY’s The Pulse, as he reveals the complex logistics and challenging conditions he and his team endured to reach a treasure trove of fossils they hope will shed new light on the origins of life. This Academy Town Square talk is free.


For images, visit the Press Room or contact Public Relations.