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A view of the Duluth harbor in winter

Our Climate Futures: Meeting the Challenge in Duluth

Climate Futures is a free conference focused on local and regional adaptation to climate change in Northern Minnesota. Jesse Keenan will present the keynote address.

Jesse Keenan

Jesse Keenan

Panel discussions with representatives from academia, government, and businesses. Audience participation is encouraged and Q&A events will be featured.

Keynote Speaker: Jesse Keenan

Jesse M. Keenan is a social scientist and a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Keenan's principle research focus is on climate change adaptation and the built environment, including aspects of design, engineering, financing and planning.

Keenan's presentation will be: Destination Duluth: The Fact and Fiction of a Shared Climate Future.

Keenan holds concurrent appointments as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, research advisor to California's governor and as a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Keenan's research has partnered with a variety of global actors, including The American Institute of Architects, Audi, Carnegie Corporation, EPA, Goldman Sachs, Google, International Code Council, Knight Foundation, MoMA, Mori Memorial Foundation, Lennar Foundation, NASA, National Security Council, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation, Open Society Foundation, Regional Plan Association, RAND Corporation, the White House and the United Nations. Keenan's books include Blue Dunes: Climate Change by Design (Columbia University Press), Climate Change Adaptation in North America: Experiences, Case Studies and Best Practices (Springer) and Climate Adaptation Finance and Investment in California (Routledge). Keenan holds degrees in the law (J.D., LL.M.) and science of the built environment (M.Sc.), including a Ph.D. from the Delft University of Technology.

Keynote Event

Keenan's presentation is at 7 pm, Wednesday, March 20 in the Marshall Performing Arts Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth. It will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Emily Larson (City of Duluth Mayor), Karen Diver (College of St. Scholastica and a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), Al Rudeck (Allete Clean Energy), with Andrea Schokker (UMD) as moderator.

Keynote Event

For free tickets to the keynote event see or contact the MPAC box office at 218-726-8561


Plants and Wildlife


The conference is hosted by the UMD Research Scholarship and Creative Activities Committee and Institute on the Environment - Duluth with financial support from the UMD Distinguished Visiting Speakers Series Endowment, University for Seniors, Natural Resources Research Institute, and Minnesota Sea Grant.


Patrick Schoff, Research Associate, Natural Resources Research Institute,, 281-788-2768,

Climate Futures Conference News

Climate Futures Conference Program

The Program at a Glance