By Randy Fiedler
Shelby Dye, a senior environmental science major in the Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences, will get the opportunity this fall to take part in international discussions on climate change sponsored by the United Nations.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) has selected Dye to serve as an observer at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). COP27 was originally scheduled to take place in 2021, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the event has been rescheduled to Nov. 7-18, 2022, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
Dye said the Conference of the Parties focuses on international progress made towards fighting climate change.
“The conference began in 2005 in an attempt to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol, which was signed by developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Dye said. “It’s incredibly important because it gives leaders from different countries a place to come together and discuss the issues surrounding climate change and the possible solutions. I’m so excited to be able to spread the important knowledge I’ll gain there to Baylor students and others around the country. It’s an incredible opportunity, and hopefully I’ll be able to implement the experience into my thesis here at Baylor.”
Dr. George Cobb, chair and professor of environmental science, said Dye is the latest in a line of exceptional Baylor students over the past decade who have been selected by the American Chemical Society to attend the UN-sponsored climate change conference.
“Shelby is an intelligent, insightful and hard-working environmental science major with an emphasis on environmental chemistry. She has also completed courses in environmental law and policy,” Cobb said. “She’s one of only eight undergraduates selected by the ACS to attend COP27 as observers and to report details of the conference proceedings. These students often interact with members of international delegations and obtain a broad spectrum of perspectives regarding approaches and goals of other nations.”
Cobb said that Dye and the other students will also have the opportunity to travel to the ACS offices in Washington, D.C., before their trip to Egypt.
“In Washington, the students will meet U.S. energy and environmental policy makers,” Cobb said. “In the spring of 2023, Shelby and her fellow students will also have the opportunity to travel to the ACS national meeting to present their findings. All of these activities will culminate in each student contributing a chapter to a book that will be published as part of the ACS Symposium Series.”
Cobb said that attending COP27 and meeting with scientists and policy makers from around the world will be an extension of Dye’s studies.
“Each of these events will allow Shelby to apply the breadth of knowledge that she has gained in environmental science here at Baylor,” Cobb said. “Selection as a COP observer has also traditionally served as a stepping stone for our alumni to pursue successful careers.”