Rep. Sarbanes visits ESSIC

By Teri West

A delegation led by Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and University of Maryland President Wallace Loh toured the new Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites Proving Grounds Training Center (PGTC) Visualization Lab on March 13.  Sarbanes spoke with a small group of ESSIC scientists about the Center’s research and the ongoing threat of climate change.
ESSIC interim director Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm gave a brief presentation explaining the breadth and significance of ESSIC’s research, while senior faculty specialist Patrick Meyers demonstrated some of the laboratory’s visualization capabilities.

Sarbanes took the opportunity to ask the scientists about their predictions for the future of the climate. CICS-MD director Hugo Berbery noted that adapting to environmental changes will be paramount but not all communities have the resources to do so.

“Environmental justice is obviously relevant to this discussion of who’s going to make it through this kind of existential reality and who’s not,” Sarbanes said.

The representative of Maryland’s third district also visited the virtual and augmented reality lab on the UMCP campus and the university’s Institute for Biomedical Devices.

Miralles-Wilhelm emphasized that ESSIC can serve as a resource for policy makers.

“If you ever feel the need to poke someone for some quick information, you have 200 scientists here ready,” Miralles-Wilhelm told Sarbanes.