Conference Penn Event

Climate Change, Resilience, and Environmental Justice in Latin America and the Caribbean


Singh Center for Nanotechnology
3205 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

PLAC conferences promote interaction and collaboration across Penn Schools. This year we focus on climate change as it relates to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

4th Annual Conference: September 28, 2018
with Satellite Events between September 15 – October 15

PLAC conferences promote interaction and collaboration across Penn Schools. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the projected mean warming for Latin America to the end of the century ranges from 1 to 4°C. This warming, already experienced through more frequent extreme weather events, has major social, political, economic, environmental, health, and financial implications. Join us as we aim to understand and showcase the depth and breadth of Penn engagement in the region. 


9:30 – 10:00 AM  Registration and Coffee

10:00 AM  Welcome

  • Antonia Villarruel, Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursin

  • Vijay Kumar, Professor and Nemirovsky Dean of Engineering     


11:15 AM  “100 Years of Hurricanes: Historical and Political Causes of Climate Disaster in Puerto Rico”

  • liana Pagán-Teitelbaum, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Film, Department of Languages   and Cultures (West Chester University)

11:35 AM  “Climate Refugees”

  • Fernando Chang-Muy, Thomas O’Boyle Lecturer in Law (Penn)

11:55 AM Rebuilding Resilient Power in Puerto Rico

  • Panel Sponsored by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

  • Speakers: Nicholas Pevzner, Lecturer in Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Design (Penn), Yadiel Rivera-Diaz, Senior Architectural Designer, Marvel Architects NY

  • Moderator: Angela Pachon, Research Director, Kleinman Center for Energy Policy (Penn)

12:20 PM  Break 

12:40 PM  “MRSEC-PREM an NSF sponsored collaborative between Penn and the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao, active during the last 18 years.”

  • Panelists: Idalia Ramos, Professor of Physics and Electronics (UPRH), Mark Licurse, Director of Education & Outreach, Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (Penn), Andrew McGhie, Associate Director, Emeritus, Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (Penn)

  • Moderator: Jorge Santiago-Aviles, Associate Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering (Penn)


  • “Data, Displacement, and Disaster Response: Two Philadelphia Libraries Take Action in the Aftermath of Hurricane Maria.” Coral Salomon and Tania Rios Merrero

  • “Hurricane San Felipe: Death and Disaster Response in Puerto Rico, 1928-1929.” Brett Robert

  • “Urban Transportation in Mexico.” Erick Guerra

  • “Protecting Lake Atitlan and the health of its residents – Evaluating watershed impact of pour – flush latrines and watershed management in Tzununa, Guatemala.” Erica Depalma

  • “Development of Energy Storage Simple Devices, collaborative between the University of Pennsylvania and the Federal University of Parana in Brazil.” Cyro Ketzer-Saul

  • “Laboratorio para la Vida y el Ambiente (LAVA): A Community Science Model in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador.” Sophia Simon

  • “The Political Economy of Amazon Deforestation Subnational Development and the Uneven Reach of the Colombian state.” Javier Revelo-Rebolledo

  • “Collaborative on the Generation of Educational Material Related to Renewable Energy Between UPenn and Universidad de la Habana, in Cuba.” Jorge Santiago-Aviles

  • “Interdisciplinary research-based training program in nano and environmental sciences: feeding the pipeline and changing perspectives on the environment at the K-16+ continuum.” Ana-Rita Mayol

  • TITLE TBD, Byron Bailey

  • TITLE TBD, Nyasha Zimunhu

2:10 PM  Closing Remarks and Acknowledgements



Engineering & Applied Science
Ocek Eke
Chambrel Jones
Jorge Santiago
Arts & Sciences
Cathy Bartch
Jere Behrman
Tulia Falleti
Mike Hanchard
Morgan Hoke
Center for Hispanic
Excellence: La Casa Latina
Johnny Irizarry
Mike Johanek
Institute for Urban Research
Laura Barron
Kleinman Center for
Energy Policy
Angela Pachon
Fernando Chang-Muy
Manuel de la Cruz Gutierrez
Kent Bream
Ricardo Castillo-Neyra
Michael Levy
Katya Rascovsky
Nancy Biller
Antonia Villarruel
Penn Global/
Perry World House
William Burke-White
Amy Gadsden
LaShawn Jefferson
Social Policy & Practice
Azahara Palomeque