Published: April 19, 2021

For Earth Day’s 51st anniversary on April 22, 2021, CU Boulder’s chancellor issues a Call to Climate Action, and internationally recognized environmental, law and history experts are available for media interviews about significant present and past environmental events, movements and research. They can also give context to the work still ahead of us to maintain healthy ecosystems and a stable planet. For help arranging interviews, email

CU Boulder chancellor issues Call to Climate Action  

“The imperative to address climate change has never been greater. … In discussing this issue with student leaders, we agree that the scientific evidence of climate change overwhelmingly demands action now to address the climate emergency. This means redoubling our resolve to unleash the immense human capacity for innovation and applied solutions at sufficient speed and scale,” said Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. Read the complete Call to Climate Action.  

History of Earth Day and the environmental movement 

Paul Sutter, professor of environmental history, can talk about the first Earth Day in 1970 and the history of the postwar American environmental movement and events that were critical to its development. He can also speak to the history of the wilderness preservation movement, the history of public lands conservation and the history of American agriculture and its environmental impacts. 

Law and public lands

Alice Madden, executive director of the University of Colorado Law School’s Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment, can discuss the Biden administration’s efforts to reverse Trump administration rollbacks of environmental protections. She can also discuss new climate policies proposed by the new administration.

Mark Squillace, professor of natural resources law, can discuss the impact of the Biden administration’s executive orders and other actions on public lands, oil and gas and mining and water resources. He previously worked as a lawyer at the Department of the Interior, including a stint at the end of the Clinton administration when he worked for Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt on a wide range of legal and policy issues. 

Ecology and the oceans

Julian Resasco, assistant professor of ecology and early career fellow in the Ecological Society of America (ESA), can speak to the importance of common plants and pollinators, how they play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity and may also serve as buffers against some impacts of climate change. His new findings, published this month in Ecology, provide valuable insights for prioritizing the conservation of species that strengthen ecological communities. 

Mike Gil, a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow in ecology and evolutionary biology, was recently recognized by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for his research in 2020 that found increasing fishing harvests too quickly can cause coral reef ecosystems to collapse. He can discuss how understanding the social behaviors of individual coral reef fish can help inform sustainable fish harvest quotas on local and regional scales. 

Nikki Lovenduski, associate professor in atmospheric and oceanic sciences, has helped develop a method that could enable scientists to accurately forecast ocean acidity up to five years in advance. She can also speak to the growing threat of ocean acidification and the impact (or lack thereof) of COVID-19 pandemic on the world’s oceans

Climate change and comedy 

Beth Osnes is an associate professor of theatre and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Theatre & Dance. She co-leads CU Boulder’s Stand Up for Climate Comedy production that features climate comedy performances from professional comedians and students. She can discuss the power of humor in communicating issues on climate change.