The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Diz talks climate change

Gannon University is hosting a lecture on climate change at 7 p.m. Monday in the Waldron Campus Center.

Rick Diz, professor of renewable energy at Gannon, is giving this lecture as part of the Cooney-Jackman Endowed Speaker Series in Energy and the Environment.

The lecture, “Signs of Climate Change in Erie and Around the World,” will include a showing of an award-winning documentary titled “Sun Come Up: The Impact of Rising Sea Levels on Pacific Islanders.”

According to the film’s website,, the documentary won several awards including The Crystal Heart Award at Heartland’s film festival and the Best Cultural/Human Interest Film at the Flagstaff Mountains Film Festival. The film was also an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary (Short Subject) in 2011. According to Diz, the documentary sheds light on the impact of rising sea levels on a group of islanders in The Pacific where people can’t resume their normal lives or grow their crops because of rising sea levels.

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“They have to leave their homes, where they have lived all their lives and relocate to an island called the mainland,” Diz said.

In his lecture, Diz will discuss signs of climate change in Erie and in the world in the past 80 years and the role human activities play in causing such changes.

These activities cause rapid changes in climate at a rate faster than the natural one.

“There is a general scientific agreement among environmental scientists that human activity has altered the atmosphere,” Diz said.

“Activities like burning fuel, trees and coal increase production in greenhouse gases which lead to the depletion of the ozone layer.”

Some of the information Diz will present on Monday will show how the temperature has changed in Erie for the last 80 years.

According to Diz, the temperature has gotten higher in some cases and lower in other cases.

“It is tending to get a little warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer,” Diz said. “I think it is unusual.”

Diz was one of two Gannon University faculty members chosen for the inaugural endowed professorships, which are funded by and named in honor of two Gannon alums, C. Christopher Cooney and Brian Jackman.

According to Diz, the professorships were given to two faculty members who had a research or activity plan to spend the money over a 2 1/2-year period. Part of what Diz promised was to arrange lectures focusing on energy and environment.

“I was lucky to be one of the two people chosen,” Diz said.



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