Second Nature at COP28

Connect with us at COP28!

Second Nature will be leading a small delegation on behalf of the Climate Leadership Network and University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) to this year’s COP in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. If you are in Dubai, we invite you to attend these events that we will be a part of:

Panel: Senior Leaders Shaping Institutional Action

December 4, 3 – 4:30 pm
Blue Zone: Higher Education Pavilion

Click each panelist’s name to learn more:

Dr. Karin Hilgersom, President, Truckee Meadows Community College

Dr. Karin Hilgersom serves as the president of Truckee Meadows Community College, an HSI serving the Reno-Sparks region. Dr. Hilgersom’s doctorate in Educational Policy and Management and her Master’s in Rhetoric and Communication were earned at the University of Oregon in 1994 and 1986, respectively. 

The community college mission has been Dr. Hilgersom’s lifelong passion. She has taught thousands of students in numerous professional technical, health careers, and transfer majors. Her management experience has included the supervision of executive leadership teams, academic programs, tutoring centers, community and extended learning, small business development centers, libraries, distance learning, capital projects, and campus IT. She has worked steadily to transform the lives of students at urban and rural community colleges and believes that workforce education is vital to the health of communities and regions. She spent most of her professional life in Washington State and served on leadership committees convened by the SBCTC. Dr. Hilgersom was an active AHE member, campus leader, and state leader during these years.

Dr. Hilgersom has engaged with external and internal TMCC stakeholders and charted new directions for TMCC.  These directions include a college-wide commitment to campus sustainability; expanding access to higher education; navigating approvals and resource needs for new programs, including Bachelor’s degrees in Nursing, Dental Hygiene, and Architecture; growing and sustaining excellent workforce and transfer prep programs; expanding dual credit options for high school students; setting and meeting fundraising goals with the Foundation team, and improving student engagement offerings that create vibrant campus experiences. She is also proud of major renovations to the TMCC library, now known as the Learning Commons (includes centralized tutoring), and the completion of a Health Fitness Center and Soccer field (a persistent request by Student Government and funded with student fees).  

Dr. Hilgersom is active in the Reno/Sparks community. She serves ex-officio on the Board of Directors of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) and PBS Reno. She also serves as Board Chair for the nonprofit organization iCelerate, whose mission is to serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the families who support them. She has been an active Rotarian for twelve years.

She previously served as the president of SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake, NY.  During her time at SUNY Sullivan, her work included the Sullivan Solar Garden, a two-megawatt solar array that brought SUNY Sullivan close to carbon neutrality. 

Dr. Maurie McInnis, President, Stony Brook University and Chair, New York Climate Exchange

Maurie McInnis is the sixth president of Stony Brook University, an internationally recognized research flagship institution ranked as the number one public university in New York. She also oversees Stony Brook Medicine, Long Island’s premier academic medical center, and serves on the management team of nearby Brookhaven National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy facility. President McInnis is the inaugural board chair of the New York Climate Exchange that was selected in April 2023 to build an international climate solutions center on Governors Island. This historic partnership brings together universities, researchers, non-profits, community leaders, entrepreneurs and businesses to develop equitable climate solutions for New York City that can be scaled and applied globally.

Dr. Julie Zimmerman, Vice Provost of Planetary Solutions, Yale University

Julie Beth Zimmerman serves as the inaugural Vice Provost for Planetary Solutions at Yale University. Julie holds joint appointments as a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of the Environment.  Her research focuses on innovations in sustainable technologies and the policies necessary to advance them.  She serves as the deputy director for the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale and holds leadership positions in both national and international research consortia. In addition, Julie teaches in the Yale School of Management’s Executive Education program on sustainability and leadership. Throughout her career, Julie has consulted for a wide range of organizations and institutions, including Fortune 500 companies and state and international organizations, providing guidance on sustainability, innovation, green chemistry, and green engineering. Beyond her roles at Yale, Julie is the editor-in-chief of Environmental Science & Technology, the most highly cited journal in the fields of environmental science and engineering. Prior to joining Yale, Dr. Zimmerman was an Engineer and program manager at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development.  Dr. Zimmerman earned her B.S. from the University of Virginia and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan jointly from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Environment and Sustainability.


Panel: Higher Education’s Path to Net Zero: Navigating GHG Emissions Measurement Opportunities and Challenges

December 5, 12:15 – 1:15 pm
Green Zone: Greening Education Hub


Workshop: Achieving Net Zero on Campus: Unlocking Finance

December 5, 9:30 – 11:30 am
Blue Zone: Monash Pavilion


Additional Events at COP28

Second Nature is maintaining a growing list of events at this year’s COP that are directly related to or supported by the higher education sector. View the list of events here. Know of an event that’s not listed? Submit details here. The spreadsheet will automatically populate your submission.

Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion and President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, on the role of colleges and universities in driving climate action at COP, produced by our partners at Race to Zero.

Resources for COP28

Whether this is your first COP or you’ve been attending for years, the resources below will help you prepare for COP28. Find maps, handbooks, and webinars to help you navigate the experience.

America Is All In Action Center COP28 Guide for Partners and Delegates

U.S. Department of State: U.S. Center at COP28 Schedule

Higher Education Pavilion at COP28: Panel Details and Full Agenda


Blue Zone Site Map

Green Zone Map

Higher Education Pavilions

More pavilion schedules of events are being added. See a full list of pavilions here.

Recording now available! Webinar: “Key Issues to Watch at COP28”

Join Second Nature, the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), and the Research and Independent Non-Governmental Organizations (RINGO) constituency to discuss key issues on the negotiation agenda.

Revisit Our COP27 Webinar Series

This webinar series was developed by Second Nature, UC3, and the RINGOs constituency to provide anyone interested in the international climate negotiations with a comprehensive overview of the UNFCCC process. New information for COP28, including venue maps, will be added as materials become available. 

Webinar 1: Overview of the UNFCCC Negotiation Process and Structure
Get familiar with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) governance structure, how the negotiations work, side events, green spaces, negotiation area, and how to plan out participation during COP.

Webinar 2: Engaging with the UNFCCC: COPs, Bodies, and Issues
Learn more about the UNFCCC objectives and processes and how to engage with the UNFCCC outside of COPs, and enhance your understanding of how the Subsidiary Bodies (SBs) and Constituted Bodies (CBs) support the work of the UNFCCC. 

Webinar 3: Key Issues to Watch at COP27
Explore the key agenda items and outcomes for COP27. 

Join Second Nature at COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

In December 2023, Second Nature will once again be leading a small higher education delegation at this year’s United Nations Conference on Climate Change. If you or someone at your institution are planning to attend, let us know so that we can connect with you throughout this global event and share details about sessions, receptions, side events, and more. 

Questions? Please contact us.