College of the Environment and Life Sciences

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Big Thinkers

cels grad student innovates ways to visualize climate change

peter

Photo credit Skyy-McKendry, courtesy Etched Magazine

“There are massive public policy decisions that need to be made about how we adapt to climate change,” explains PhD candidate Peter Stempel, describing the significance of his research in the University of Rhode Island’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS).

Working under the guidance of his advisor, Dr. Austin Becker in the Department of Marine Affairs, Stempel is developing a new way of visualizing climate change. Incorporating skills from a variety of disciplines including marine affairs, computer science, engineering and his previous experience in design and landscape architecture, he produces highly realistic images of climate change impacts that are scientifically grounded. His images may change the way scientists communicate climate change impacts, policy makers make decisions about coastal infrastructure, and landscape architects draw.

“It was hard for others to understand why I would leave a successful architecture and design practice to do something completely different,” recounts Stempel of his decision to step down …[Read more]

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