Climate Justice and Silent Impacts

Panel Topic

This panel will focus on topics centered on the scaling and disproportionate impacts of climate change on silenced and/or marginalized communities, various disciplinary perspectives on climate and energy justice and possible interventions and paths forward. All are welcome. Snacks will be provided. RSVP for the event on our Agenda page.

Tuesday, February 21, 5:00-6:30 PM EST
Pfendler Hall 241 - Deans Auditorium


Jonathan DayDr. Jonathon Day, an internationally recognized sustainable tourism expert and an Associate Professor in Purdue’s White Lodging – J.W. Marriott, Jr School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, has over 30 years of experience in tourism management. Jonathon is the coauthor of The Tourism System 8th edition, and author of “Introduction to Sustainable Tourism and Responsible Travel”, as well as over 35 peer-reviewed. He was recognized by the International Hospitality Institute as one of the Global 25 most influential educators in hospitality and the Global Top 30 Champions of Environmental Sustainability in Hospitality and Tourism for 2021. He currently chairs the Travel Care Code Initiative (, a network of academic and marketing organizations promoting responsible travel.

Dr. Days’ research and engagement activities include projects in Nepal, Colombia, Uzbekistan, as well as the United States, and Australia. Jonathon’s work is focused on sustainable tourism and responsible travel. His work focuses on how tourism can be used to not only enrich travelers but improve the quality of life in destination communities.

Michael MendezDr. Michael Méndez is an assistant professor of environmental policy and planning at the University of California, Irvine, an Andrew Carnegie Fellow, and Visiting Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). He previously was the inaugural James and Mary Pinchot Faculty Fellow in Sustainability Studies and Associate Research Scientist at the Yale School of the Environment. Michael has more than a decade of senior-level experience in the public and private sectors, where he consulted and actively engaged in the policymaking process. This included working for the California State Legislature as a senior consultant, lobbyist, a member of the California State Mining & Geology Board, and as vice-chair of the Sacramento City Planning Commission. In 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Dr. Méndez to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. The board regulates water quality in a region of 11 million people.

​During his time as a scholar, he has contributed to state and national research policy initiatives, including serving as an advisor to a California Air Resources Board member, and as a co-author of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s study on “Climate Vulnerability and Social Science Perspectives.” Michael is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS), a co-author of the forthcoming National Academies of Sciences’ consensus study, "Accelerating Decarbonization in the United States: Technology, Policy, and Societal Dimensions," and a co-author of the upcoming National Climate Assessment (NCA5), the U.S. Government's premier report on climate change impacts, risks, and adaptation across the Nation (a Congressionally mandated, interagency effort).

Dr. Méndez holds three degrees in environmental planning and policy, including a PhD from UC Berkeley's Department of City and Regional Planning, and a graduate degree from MIT. His research on the intersection of climate change and communities of color has been featured in national publications including National Geographic, Los Angeles Times, Politico, NPR, Bloomberg News, USA Today; and Fox Latino News. His new award-winning book “Climate Change from the Streets,” published through Yale University Press (2020), is an urgent and timely story of the contentious politics of incorporating environmental justice into global climate change policy. The book was the winner of the Harold and Margaret Sprout Award, sponsored by the International Studies Association (ISA) and the Betty and Alfred McClung Lee Award by the Association for Humanist Sociology; and a finalist for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning’s John Friedmann Book Award.

Dr. Méndez's new research focuses on climate-induced disasters and social vulnerability. This research has been supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Faculty Award. In conjunction with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), this project explores the disparate impacts of extreme wildfire, heatwave, and drought events on undocumented Latino/a and Indigenous migrants.

David SavageDr. David Savage is a researcher focused on the application of data to solve environmental problems. His graduate research focused on the development of novel frameworks for biodiversity monitoring using acoustics and the integration of this data into economic decision making. He now serves as a US Department of Energy Clean Energy Innovator Fellow, working with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission focusing on transmission planning.  Dr. Savage is an ESE and Purdue University Alumni.

Event Co-Sponsor

Institute for a Sustainable Future