Juliette Rooney-Varga

Juliette Rooney-Varga

Juliette Rooney-Varga is Director of the UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative and Associate Professor of Environmental Science. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a research scientist, studying microbial ecology and biogeochemistry in diverse environments, including marine algal blooms, climate change-carbon cycle feedbacks in Arctic peatlands, and anaerobic microbial community dynamics and performance in microbial fuel cells. Her recent work, funded by NASA and NSF, is focused on climate change education, communication, and decision support. She led the Climate Education in an Age of Media (CAM) Project, which designed, implemented and evaluated student media production as a tool to engage students with climate change science and empower them to add their own voices to broader societal discourse. In collaboration with Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan School of Management, Rooney-Varga is developing decision-support simulations and immersive role-playing exercises that enable students, citizens, and decision-makers to come to their own insights about climate and energy systems. She currently leads the Geo-Interactive Project -- a collaboration with the Council for Opportunity in Education, Auburn University, and SageFox Consulting Group that is developing, propagating, and researching the impact of interactive, simulation-based climate and energy education tools to low-income, first-generation college students across the U.S..