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Climate change summit at Eckerd College to focus on solutions and jobs

In August, when Gov. Rick Scott met with Florida scientists hoping to convince him that climate change is real, Scott said he wanted to focus on solutions. A conference in St. Petersburg will do just that.

Scientists, policymakers and business leaders are scheduled to gather at Eckerd College's Fox Hall from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to discuss practical initiatives for combating climate change as well as creating jobs, another of the governor's priorities.

The Climate Science & Solutions Summit is free and open to the public. Eckerd is presenting it in partnership with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Last month, more than 40 scientists sent the governor and other state officials an open letter calling for action to combat climate change. Because Florida is so flat, it's expected to feel the effects of rising sea level sooner and more broadly than any other state.

Scientists on a panel at the summit include three of those who met with Scott: David Hastings, a professor of marine science and chemistry at Eckerd College; Ben Kirtman, professor of physical sciences and engineering at the University of Miami; and Jeff Chanton, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University. They will be joined by Gary Mitchum, associate dean of the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science.

For more details and to register, visit or email