Reflections on the 2023 Georgia Climate Conference

By: John A. Lanier

The most recent edition of the Georgia Climate Conference was a resounding success. All of us at the Ray C. Anderson Foundation are grateful for the work that went into convening it. We came away inspired and reminded of how important it is to gather as a climate community.

Well dang, if it wasn’t great to be with my people again! Last week, I had the great joy of attending the Georgia Climate Conference, hosted by the Georgia Climate Project at the University of Georgia. It was an excellent few days, filled with learning, fellowship, and a reminder that Georgia’s climate community is remarkable. Now that I’ve had a few days to rest and reflect, I want to share a more philosophical post about what has stayed with me. 

It Takes a Village

First and foremost is gratitude for all of the people who made the conference happen. There were so many students who volunteered their time, presenters whose sessions offered rich content, and staff at the conference center who took excellent care of us. It took a village to pull off, but there were two leaders of the village whom I want to lift up.

Dr. Tish Yager is the Director of the Georgia Climate Project, but she is also a Professor of Marine Science at the University of Georgia. In other words, she has two really big jobs! And in the last academic year, I know that planning for this conference has consumed an inordinate amount of her time. Tish, thank you so much for the long days (and sometimes nights) that you poured into this conference. You should be really proud of it, and I hope you enjoy getting back to your Antarctica research this summer!

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