Noted scientist, WGN’s Skilling to address climate change at Benedictine

March 22, 2016

Lisle, Illinois ~ Longer heat waves. Rising sea levels. Stronger hurricanes. More intense droughts. An ice-free summer in the Arctic Ocean by 2050.

That’s what future generations can expect as the effects of global warming, accelerated by heat-trapping gasses like methane and carbon dioxide, continue to alter weather patterns around the world.

James Hansen, Ph.D., a leading climate change researcher and Tom Skilling, WGN-TV’s chief meteorologist, will take an in-depth look at this phenomenon and discuss potential efforts to reduce its impact when they visit Benedictine University on Thursday, April 21.

Hansen will present “Energy and Climate Change: How Can Justice be Achieved for Young People?” at 7:00 p.m. in the Goodwin Hall Auditorium. Skilling will serve as the event’s moderator and emcee. The event is free and open to the public, however seating is limited.

Hansen is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute where he directs the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions program and is a former director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He is widely known for his work and testimony to Congress on climate change in the 1980s that helped raise awareness of global warming.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Hansen has received numerous awards including the Sophie and Blue Planet prizes and is recognized for outlining actions needed to protect the future of young people and all species on the planet.

Skilling is a nationally recognized meteorologist who has been called “a weatherman’s weatherman” and has more than 30 years of experience at WGN-TV in Chicago. He is known for his in-depth reports, enthusiasm and use of state-of-the-art technology, and has written about the need for meteorologists to acknowledge and educate the public about the threat of climate change.

In addition to his TV, radio and print work, Skilling has created many weather specials and informative documentaries. He received the Award for Outstanding Service by a Broadcast Meteorologist from the American Meteorological Society in 1997.

Skilling and Hansen were invited to speak at Benedictine by the University’s nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Civic Leadership (CCL), which seeks to bring dynamic speakers to campus so that students and the larger community can immerse themselves in multiple issues and topics of public concern.

For more information on the event, visit or contact Jen Zingg at or (630) 829-6460.


 Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the fifth consecutive year in 2015, and the University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area.

Marketing and Communications

Gary Kohn
Assoc. Vice President of Marketing and Communications
(630) 829-6095