Climate Solutions Webinar Series 2021

5:30 p.m. via Zoom
Monday-Thursday, Sept. 20-23
Sunday, Sept. 26 — Climate Solutions Day

We are proud to host four representatives of local community organizations addressing climate change issues and showcasing what you can do to help. Together we can support our community to make a difference in climate change! 

Advance registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Monday, Sept. 20

Missouri River Flood Control

Jim Karpowicz
Missouri Coalition for the Environment

For the past thirty years, Jim has combined his passion for wildlife, wild places and environmental issues with high-quality video production. Transforming complex scientific concepts into compelling stories has become his hallmark, and the numerous awards and honors his work has received speak to the popularity of his programs with the general public. For over 20 years, Jim was a lead producer for the Missouri Department of Conservation's Missouri Outdoors program. With over 100 story segments in the can, Jim evolved into long-form production, not only for the Missouri Department of Conservation, but other state and federal resource agencies as well. Jim has produced dozens of award-winning documentary films concerning a wide range of natural history and environmental issues. In 2001, Jim stepped from behind the camera to found Missouri River Relief, a hands-on, on-the-river advocacy group devoted to physically cleaning up the wide Missouri. Thousands of volunteers have picked up hundreds of tons of trash on the lower Missouri as a result of this organization. Jim's river-adjacent Boone County property has served as the organizations boatyard and equipment headquarters for nearly 20 years.

Watch the webinar recording here

Tuesday, Sept. 21

Saint Louis Building Energy Improvements

Rajiv Ravulapati
Saint Louis Building Division, Building Energy Performance Standards Program

Rajiv Ravulapati is an analyst for the Building Division for the City of St. Louis. He has overseen the implementation of the City's benchmarking ordinance since 2017. Beginning this year, Rajiv will also oversee the Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) law that was passed in April 2020. Before working for the Building Division, Rajiv has worked under many hats as a consumer advocate, organizer, and lobbyist in Illinois and Missouri on issues of environmental justice, energy efficiency, clean energy, and public health.

Watch webinar recording here

Wednesday, Sept. 22

Science-based Climate Action

Crystal Chissell
Project Drawdown

As Senior Director of new initiative Drawdown Communities, Crystal Chissell leads efforts to produce informational programming and guides to support local, collective climate action. These efforts will focus on scaling adoption of Project Drawdown solutions in a way that values the well-being of all people and nature.

Since joining Project Drawdown in 2015, Crystal has held a wide variety of responsibilities and is a senior leader in the organization. She helped to build and support the organization's flagship Research Fellowship program, guided the organization through its initial phases as a startup, and led operations, finance, human resources, technology, grant management, management of the organization's brand, and served as in-house legal counsel.

In her previous role as Senior Director of Partnerships, Crystal cultivated a number of strategic partnerships to foster engagement with Project Drawdown's framework of climate solutions.

Crystal has a multidisciplinary background in law, environmental science, business, and nonprofit stewardship. She has close to two decades of experience advising elected and appointed state and municipal officials in a range of subject areas, including solutions to environmental problems.

Speaking frequently on behalf of Project Drawdown, Crystal serves as an expert resource for news media, interest groups, and advocacy organizations. She holds a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, an M.S. in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University, an M.B.A. from the University of San Francisco, and a B.A. in Journalism from Howard University.

Watch webinar recording here

Thursday, Sept. 23

Holistic Betterment of the Community through Urban Farming and Access to Healthy Foods and Illegal Dumping

Erica Williams
A Red Circle

Erica R. Williams holds a BA in Paralegal Studies and an MBA, both from Maryville University. She is working on her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University, with a concentration on policy analysis.

  • St. Louis Master Gardener
  • Chairs MOCAN – Missouri Council on Activity and Nutrition and member of the Food Systems Work Group
  • Led a Peer Circle for Executive Directors of Color for Winrock International's Food Systems Leadership Network
  • Sits on the Youth Ed & Development committee of Kids Win Missouri and participates in HomeGrown StL
  • Member of the Nine Network Community Advisory Board
  • Recipient of several awards from local entities.

When not working for A Red Circle, Erica is on the Board of Directors for Kids Win Missouri and Propel Kitchens, and on the Community Advisory Board for Refuge and Restoration Nonprofit Organization in Ferguson, Missouri.  

Watch webinar recording here

Sunday, Sept. 26 

Climate Solutions Day Q&A

Join in the climate solutions discussion and recap with our panelists:

  • Jim Karpowicz, Missouri Coalition for the Environment
  • Crystal Chissell, Project Drawdown
  • Erica Williams, A Red Circle

Watch webinar recording here

Climate Change Position of the Saint Louis Zoo

Throughout its history, the Earth's climate has varied, reflecting our environment's complex interactions and dependences. Humans have been changing the planet ever since the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago. However, during the 20th century, the rate of climate change increased dramatically—the greatest in the last 150 years. This increase is due to the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. The rampant burning of these fossil fuels has increased the amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere at a rate too fast for the earth's regular processes to handle.

Scientific consensus holds that climate change is interrupting natural cycles, causing habitat loss and prompting more extreme weather patterns. All of this affects animals. As a conservation organization, the Saint Louis Zoo has a responsibility to constructively engage in climate change solutions.

See the more on the climate change position of the Saint Louis Zoo.

St. Louis Area Conservation & Sustainability Organizations

Want to get involved? Here are some local organizations you can follow and/or volunteer with. 

St. Louis Sustainability and Conservation Organizations