News | September 18, 2023
Connect the dots between climate solutions and your actions with Drawdown Ecochallenge
Conversations about climate change and climate solutions often include traditional leaders while overlooking everyday people trying to effect change. But people – both individually and collectively – have a pivotal role to play in stopping climate change. So how can individuals take action to integrate climate solutions into their own lives? And how can they leverage that action to increase their understanding of and connection with the broader systemic changes our world needs? While Project Drawdown has created a number of resources to help people discover solutions and take action – including our Climate Solutions at Work report, Job Function Action Guides, Drawdown’s Neighborhood series, and the Solutions Library – our partnership with Ecochallenge.org serves as another entry point for individuals and communities to help stop climate change. This October advocates and changemakers from around the world (including you!) are invited to register and participate in Drawdown Ecochallenge, a digital platform that gamifies behavior change, providing fun challenges that encourage new habits and help communities, corporations, students, and everyday people contribute to a more sustainable world.
Perspective | September 5, 2023
Hats off to climate champions at work
The United States recently observed Labor Day, a celebration of the contributions of the American worker. It’s a time to acknowledge the people who build and maintain the foundation our country rests on—the people who, often without being noticed, enable us to power our lives, move from place to place, access food and shelter, and much more. Today, for a world in the throes of an increasingly unstable climate and with a vanishing window of time to slash the greenhouse gas pollution that is causing it, the holiday is particularly meaningful. Because to solve climate change, we need to dramatically scale up climate solutions, and fast. That will take massive numbers of skilled workers building a future replete with heat pumps, mass transit, electric vehicles and chargers, solar panels, and much more, all aimed at permanently and comprehensively displacing the polluting industries of the past. In other words, Labor Day celebrates the power of the worker to transform the world. We also need people in desk jobs transforming the existing system from the inside. Businesses, especially large, multinational corporations, are disproportionately responsible for the planet-warming emissions that cause climate change, and they have a grave responsibility—as well as the resources—to address it. Employees across every business and every department can apply a climate lens to their job to help their company advance their climate work more expediently and expansively, and hold their employer accountable to their climate promises. The phrase “every job is a climate job” is not hyperbole. We need all people engaged from wherever they stand. Within every sector, every trade, and every business, workers must be protected, equipped, and supported in building the world of the future and transitioning us away from the polluting businesses and industries of the past. Worker power—whether it’s security to ask for safer, more sustainable working conditions, tools to take climate action at work, or solidarity in holding employers accountable—is core to the work of Drawdown Labs. This Labor Day, we’re taking a moment to celebrate those who are bringing climate solutions into the world and their work, transforming the existing system from the inside. Last week, we asked Project Drawdown newsletter subscribers to share how they are taking climate action at work. We were inspired by what we heard, and reminded that it is workers themselves who are best positioned to lead us into the future because they are closest to the issues and they know best how to implement solutions. Here are some highlights from what you all have shared: Theme #1: You are making your everyday work—and that of your team members—more efficient and sustainable. Some anesthesiologists are averting tons of greenhouse gas emissions by switching the anesthetic they use away from a potent greenhouse gas toward a more sustainable product. These anesthesiologists are also spreading the word with the goal of getting others to make the switch. Concerned for their respiratory health, a fleet manager at a large tech company convinced their employer to switch to an all-electric fleet. Community workers pledged to use cargo bicycle services instead of diesel vans to transport equipment to local schools for scientific outreach events. Leadership at a top law firm decided to offer pro bono legal counsel to climate organizations and worker protection initiatives. Theme #2: You are integrating climate action or reduced emissions into the product or service you or your business provides. Product designers are sharing ways they have successfully integrated “sustainable nudges” into digital products. (For more specifically on the gaming sector, please see here.) Consultants are integrating climate action into their work by translating climate solutions into “business speak” for clients. Event caterers have transitioned their business model to offer fully vegetarian menus for events and meetings. A senior manager at a large multinational corporation established a task force to review and revise the organization’s procurement policy to include preferences and requirements for sustainable products, services, and suppliers. At a university, faculty and student services are working together to host green travel workshops for visiting students. The workshops provide practical support and encourage students to use public transit rather than flying for leisure travel. A field scientist pledged to work with their IT and procurement departments to clean the data from 200 mobile phones left over from one research project in order to reuse and/or recycle them. A mathematics professor decided to pause their research and instead invest their time organizing other professors and academic resources to support local climate projects in need of their expertise. A retiree is using their skills to perform energy audits for households that can't normally afford them, not only helping them make their homes more energy-efficient, but also helping stop climate change. Theme #3: You are pushing your company to use its influence to affect climate change in the broader world. An executive in the treasurer’s office for a private company is exploring how the company can decarbonize its banking and bring other businesses along with them on their journey. An advertising sales manager helped launch and acquire executive sponsorship for their company’s first employee green group and is helping others do the same within their own companies. Employees in the healthcare sector are encouraging low-carbon travel policies and calculating the carbon footprint of scientific research conferences. Solving climate change will require that each of us chooses, day after day, shift after shift, to work toward a healthier, more vibrant, more resilient future. We can’t just sit back and wait for our leaders to take us there. Every one of us must bring our unique talents and skills to bear on the task of shaping a better future together. The climate solutions that we know can do the job are the result of the work of countless farmers, builders, Indigenous people, engineers, educators, foresters, healthcare workers, and others who have brought these actions to light. Whether they will be applied at the scope and scale needed to stop climate change depends on what we choose to do next. Labor Day celebrates the power of the worker to transform the world. This year it matters more than ever. Because ultimately, our future rests on each and every one of us.
News | September 1, 2023
Join us at Climate Week NYC!
Project Drawdown is headed to Climate Week NYC – an annual event in partnership with the United Nations General Assembly and run in coordination with the United Nations and the City of New York. According to Climate Group, an international nonprofit focused on climate action and the host for this annual gathering, "Climate Week NYC is the largest annual climate event of its kind, bringing together some 400 events and activities across the City of New York – in person, hybrid, and online. Each year, business leaders, political change makers, local decision-makers, and civil society representatives of all ages and backgrounds, from all over the world, gather to drive the transition, speed up progress, and champion change that is already happening." At this year’s event, Project Drawdown will have its biggest presence ever, with presentations and workshops happening almost daily between September 18–22. Here’s a day-by-day rundown of where we’ll be in the city and how you can sign up to attend in person and virtually (where possible). MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 Climate Clarity: Let’s debunk the myths 8:30–10:00 a.m. ET 999 3rd Ave., New York City Kicking off the week, senior scientist Kate Marvel will be joining the Action Speaks Summit for a panel titled “Climate Clarity: Let’s debunk the myths.” The summit – presented by IKEA | Ingka Group – is open to the public during Climate Week and takes place at 999 3rd Ave., New York, NY 10022. Stop by to explore the scientific reality of climate change, experience a positive vision for the future, and get inspired by impactful climate solutions already out there. The exhibition features actions from over 30 companies and organizations working to create a better tomorrow, plus the space will host a series of dialogues throughout Climate Week to further explore solutions, debunk myths and barriers, and delve into what is accelerating climate action. Learn more about the exhibition and save your seat today for the hosted dialogues. Climate Capital: Investing in science-based climate solutions 1:30–3:00 p.m. ET 999 3rd Ave., New York City Stephan Nicoleau, partner at FullCycle and Project Drawdown board member, will also be joining the Action Speak Summit for a session titled “Climate Capital: Investing in science-based climate solutions.” Visit the summit website to learn more and register for free. Up2Us2023: A Better World is Possible 7:00–8:30 p.m. ET 2 W. 64th St., New York City Rounding out the day, Kate Marvel will join filmmakers, climate scientists, activists, storytellers, movement builders, and journalists who are transforming the climate conversation for Up2Us2023. The event is both live and live-streamed, so register now before it’s sold out. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 ONE HOME, ONE PLANET dialogue 12:00–2:00 p.m. ET 999 3rd Ave., New York City Project Drawdown managing director Elizabeth Bagley will be attending the ONE HOME, ONE PLANET dialogue featuring Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group, and others at the Action Speaks Summit. During this invitation-only session, high-level contributors from business, government, and civil society will discuss what we can do to raise awareness about existing solutions and the actions being taken to implement them. Project Drawdown served as a key scientific advisor for the Action Speaks Summit. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 The Drawdown Roadmap: Using science to guide climate action 9:00–9:30 a.m. ET 445 11th Ave. (4th Floor), New York City Project Drawdown executive director Jonathan Foley will be delivering the opening keynote on day two of the Nest Climate Campus at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Foley’s talk – titled “The Drawdown Roadmap: Using science to guide climate action” – will highlight which climate actions governments, businesses, investors, philanthropists, community leaders, and others should prioritize to make the most of our efforts to stop climate change. He’ll also share details about the Drawdown Labs Capital Accelerator – a new initiative aiming to strategically guide billions of dollars of investments into the most urgent climate solutions. The Nest Climate Campus is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so register early. Please note, this keynote will be recorded and shared online following Climate Week. Narratives of Change: How storytelling shapes climate solutions 4:00–6:00 p.m. ET 999 3rd Ave., New York City Back at the Action Speaks Summit, Project Drawdown’s Matt Scott, director of storytelling and engagement, and Drew Arrieta, storytelling coordinator, along with Jothsna Harris of Change Narrative, will be leading a session titled “Narratives of Change: How storytelling shapes climate solutions.” How do we ensure that every voice, especially those most immediately impacted by the climate crisis (Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color), is heard and valued in the climate conversation? Join this conversation featuring Jennifer Seda, volunteer program assistant, Bronx River Alliance; Xóchitl Garcia, environmental justice community leader; Clara Kitongo, tree equity manager, Tree Pittsburgh; and Joshua Benitez, co-director, Common Ground Relief. Live musical performances by Clara and Joshua will add a stirring, soulful backdrop to the panel, reflecting the heartbeat of communities engaged in building a better climate future. Visit the summit website to learn more and register for free. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 The Path to Net Zero: Collaborate, Innovate, Change 8:45–9:30 a.m. ET 225 Liberty St., New York City Kicking off the day, Jonathan Foley will be joining a panel at the Fast Company Innovation Festival titled “The Path to Net Zero: Collaborate, Innovate, Change.” This session – presented by 3M – will explore the economic transformation needed to reach net zero, the power of global collaboration, and opportunities for adopting scalable climate technologies. Register here (for a fee) to attend the Innovation Festival.
Video | August 23, 2023
The End of Normal: Understanding—and correcting—Earth’s troubling climate trajectory
The planet is now more than 1.1°C warmer than before the Industrial Revolution—and it shows. This summer, we’ve experienced punishing heat waves, devastating floods, and toxic levels of wildfire smoke filling our skies. As temperatures climb, the risk of extreme weather rises, too. And we’re facing an even hotter, more dangerous future. Humans are conducting an unprecedented experiment on the entire planet, and no one is sure exactly how bad it will turn out. But there is hope. Most of the solutions we need to stop climate change and avoid the worst-case scenarios are already here. Join Kate Marvel, senior climate scientist at Project Drawdown, as she draws on her own experiences as a scientist and vocal advocate for climate solutions to explore the science behind current climate changes and future projections. In this webinar recording, Marvel discusses in easy-to-grasp terms the science of attributing extreme weather events to our warming climate, the different ways humans affect climate, and the things science doesn’t yet understand. This webinar is part of Project Drawdown’s new monthly Drawdown Ignite webinar series. Drawdown Ignite provides information and inspiration to guide your climate solutions journey. Updates on future webinars can be found by visiting drawdown.org/events
News | August 22, 2023
Many maps, many routes—one destination
A roadmap is an incredibly useful tool for getting from one place to another. It shows you where you’re heading and the various routes to get there. Even more useful, however, is a customized version – a roadmap that shows in detail which route to take if you want to get from where YOU are to YOUR destination in the most efficient way possible, given the resources (time, money, transportation options) available. Similarly, the Drawdown Roadmap is invaluable for showing in a general way how we can achieve a climate-stable future. But it doesn’t necessarily lay out the best path for those focusing on a specific sector, such as electricity, industry, transportation, buildings, or food, agriculture, and land use. Enter Drawdown Roadmaps – with an “s.” Where the Drawdown Roadmap describes how to strategically mobilize solutions across sectors, time, and place; engage the power of co-benefits; and recognize and remove obstacles, Drawdown Roadmaps will offer specific recommendations customized to solutions or solutions categories, allowing companies, philanthropies, investors, development banks, and policymakers to select the route that best fits their circumstances. First up, in the early part of 2024, will be a Drawdown Roadmap for Food, Agriculture, and Land Use. This tool will apply the Roadmap framework to food systems to identify “emergency brake” solutions that will lead to rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It will highlight which solutions can be implemented quickly and have the biggest bang-for-the-buck in specific regions around the world. Other areas of focus we’re hoping to develop as funding allows include buildings and win-wins for nature and climate. For each customized roadmap, reports, infographics, fact sheets, videos, and map layers will allow users to align considerations such as suitability, feasibility, impact, and co-benefits to identify the best path forward under their unique circumstances. Eventually – again, as funding allows – we hope to produce interactive web-based apps that enable users to design a roadmap around their specific circumstances to help their company or organization reduce their emissions quickly. We’ll share more as our work develops. Do you have suggestions for specific Roadmaps that might be of most use to you and your colleagues? Interested in helping to fund the Roadmaps initiative? Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perspective | August 16, 2023
Stop giving Big Oil a carbon fig leaf
The Biden Administration is backing industrial carbon capture schemes that overwhelmingly benefit Big Oil – bolstering their bottom lines and extending a PR lifeline that ensures they can continue polluting – all under the guise of climate action. Record heat waves. Widespread fires. Devastating storms. The tragic toll of climate change is becoming more evident every day. To avoid even more severe impacts in the future, we must quickly and dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions – largely caused by fossil fuels. Fortunately, the tools we need to cut emissions through energy efficiency, renewable energy, and beyond are growing quickly, becoming better and more affordable over time. We will also need some “carbon removal” in the future – where we use nature (with trees or soils) or industrial processes to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, sequester it, and keep it from adding to our climate woes. In the last few years, more attention has focused on industrial methods, because they can bury carbon in permanent, geologic reservoirs, unlike trees and soils that can burn down or be plowed up. In principle, this makes sense. But in practice, industrial carbon removal is wildly expensive, far too energy- and resource-intensive, and only removes pathetically small amounts of carbon. It’s nowhere near being a viable solution to climate change. For the foreseeable future, cutting emissions is the most feasible means of addressing climate change. And whatever carbon removal we might eventually develop should only be used to address the final, hard-to-abate emissions left after fossil fuels are phased out. Most of all, carbon removal should never be used as a substitute for cutting emissions, or to help delay phasing out fossil fuels. So why is the federal government doing exactly the opposite – putting big money behind dubious carbon capture projects, in ways that specifically benefit Big Oil and help delay climate action? Last week Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm announced $1.2 billion in new funding for “Direct Air Capture” projects, including a giant project led by Occidental Petroleum. Unbelievably, we will be giving tax dollars to an oil company – as Big Oil makes record profits – to try to mop up some of the pollution they created. And this is only part of a $3.5 billion DOE commitment to Direct Air Capture projects, and a much larger portfolio of government funding and tax breaks that reads like a love letter to the fossil fuel industry. (This is on top of the estimated $20 billion in other annual subsidies the government already gives Big Oil.) But this isn’t new. Previous administrations also funded Big Oil’s industrial carbon capture schemes, including ridiculous “Clean Coal” and Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) projects that claimed they would reduce carbon pollution from fossil power plants. Of course, the projects flopped and wasted billions of tax dollars – even prompting a rebuke from the Government Accountability Office. While these projects were spectacular failures – financially, technologically, and operationally – they did serve one powerful purpose: They provided a fig leaf to the fossil fuel industry. These projects distracted the world with greenwash and helped delay policies intended to phase out dirty fuels. And that’s exactly what they were intended to do. Now, the Biden Administration is repeating this move. But it’s a mistake, for six big reasons. First, industrial carbon capture is still far too clunky and expensive – costing thousands of dollars per ton – to put on the taxpayer’s dime. By comparison, cutting emissions through energy efficiency or renewable energy is far cheaper, and saves taxpayers money in the long run. Instead of billion-dollar Big Oil boondoggles, the government should invest in proven climate solutions while funding smaller, more innovative R&D projects that explore cheaper, scalable ways to capture carbon. Second, industrial carbon removal is comically undersized. Even the largest projects only sequester seconds worth of our annual emissions, at tremendous expense. And no meaningful scaling of this technology – to a size needed to help address climate change – is in sight. Basic physics, and common sense, tells us this is exceptionally challenging.
Video | August 3, 2023
The Weather Channel’s Pattrn joins in “passing the mic” with Drawdown’s Neighborhood
“Passing the mic” in the context of the climate crisis is all about recognizing that the communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change – Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color – are often the least represented in the conversations we have and the stories we tell. Thankfully, a number of platforms are stepping up to amplify the voices that have long been excluded. One of them is Pattrn, a digital platform in partnership with The Weather Channel, “for those who love the earth, fight for its future, and want to learn more about how to protect it.” Recently, Pattrn added Drawdown’s Neighborhood, the climate solutions short documentary series presented by Project Drawdown centering the underrepresented climate heroes that have often gone unheard, to its lineup. Project Drawdown’s Director of Storytelling & Engagement Matt Scott, who created and hosts Drawdown’s Neighborhood, recently spoke with Stephanie Abrams and Jordan Steele on The Weather Channel’s Pattrn Show about Drawdown’s Neighborhood and the significance of telling stories like those featured in the series. “For so long, as [climate] storytellers, we’ve thought that what we need to do is scare people,” Scott says during the interview. “[But] while we need to bring in the story of the problem and the crisis and those realities so people know it’s there, we also need to bring in the other half of the story of the solutions and what people can do.” To date, the series has interviewed 48 climate heroes across seven locations with 11 of those stories set to premiere this fall. “There are so many voices and stories, and I’m just so thankful that some of them can be out there through Pattrn and The Weather Channel,” Scott says. Pattrn's mission is to explore, inform, engage, and revel in the patterns of our amazing planet. Since Pattrn's launch, the brand has evolved from a social media community to a free ad-supported streaming TV channel whose content is dedicated to climate and sustainability news and programming.
Perspective | July 25, 2023
Reflections from Bonn: Climate negotiations must face reality and rebuild credibility
Last month, Project Drawdown policy advisor Dan Jasper attended climate negotiations in Bonn to promote climate solutions that also improve human well-being. Hosted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the negotiations in Bonn provided a space for technical conversations in the lead-up to COP28. Sitting in a surreal daze, I couldn’t help but look back and forth between the conference screen and my phone. On the conference screen, delegates argued about the importance of including historical emissions data in the upcoming Global Stocktake report (the first assessment of how far we’ve come since the Paris Agreement). One delegate chided the suggestion that the data be included, stating it would be “confusing for the public.” On my phone screen, texts from friends back home in Washington, D.C., with chilling pictures of the wildfire smoke blanketing the National Mall and iconic monuments. One text from a friend in New York offered an orange view from her hotel room; the text read simply, “Our world is dying.” This seemed to contradict the delegate’s point. Climate change is visible now; it’s no longer hidden by the depth of science, it’s a lived reality for much of the planet. The dual screens before me painted a clear picture: The focus of these talks must shift to urgent, scalable solutions for people and the planet, or these forums will lose all buy-in from many countries and the public. That scene is, unfortunately, indicative of the confusing lack of progress made in Bonn this year. Parties (read “countries”) failed to even agree on an agenda until the second to last day of the two-week conference. While conversations carried on under provisional agendas for subsidiary bodies, the clash over the program reveals a widening chasm between countries that want to focus on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions (mainly high-income countries, or HICs) and those that want to focus on adapting as well as dealing with the losses and damages that climate change has already brought for many of the world’s most vulnerable (mainly low- and middle-income countries, or LMICs).
Video | July 24, 2023
Hidden voices: Why inclusive storytelling is critical to accelerating climate solutions
According to climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe, one of the most important things we can do when it comes to climate change is talk about it. While conversation is a step in the right direction, how we talk about climate and whose voices we uplift also matter. Too often the voices of those on the frontlines of the crisis—including Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color (BIPOC)—are overlooked or ignored. How can we use stories to “pass the mic” to those who frequently go unheard – and, in the process, bring effective solutions to life? In this webinar, we invite you to join director of storytelling & engagement Matt Scott to learn how and why Project Drawdown is embracing storytelling and “passing the mic” to unheard voices. Learn about the work of the Drawdown Stories program and the Drawdown’s Neighborhood documentary series, which has featured nearly 50 everyday climate heroes to date across the United States. What is the problem with the climate stories we currently tell? Why do stories matter in climate solutions? How can stories help build power, shape culture, and change behavior? Why are BIPOC voices critical to the dialogue? How can you and your communities leverage stories to address climate change? Watch this webinar now for those answers, and to walk away with a better understanding of the power of stories in solutions. This webinar is part of Project Drawdown’s new monthly Drawdown Ignite webinar series. Drawdown Ignite provides information and inspiration to guide your climate solutions journey. Visit drawdown.org/events for updates on future webinars.
Profile | June 27, 2023
Drawdown Science Profile: Tina Swanson
This article is the sixth in a series introducing the members of Project Drawdown’s science team. Tina Swanson joined the Drawdown Science team as a visiting scholar in June 2023. An environmental scientist with a background in cross-disciplinary research and engagement at the science/policy interface, she is passionate about applying science to benefit society. Tina comes to Project Drawdown with more than two decades of experience in the environmental nonprofit arena, including with The Bay Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Here, Tina explains why Project Drawdown is the perfect next step in her long and illustrious career, describes how she once found herself clinging to a ship’s mast high above the ocean, vouches for the therapeutic value of punching clay, and more. Q: What is your role with the Project Drawdown Science team? A: I bring to Project Drawdown a very broad expertise and knowledge base, and I hope one of the values I offer is to help periodically identify some of the cross-connections and synergies that my teammates may not have yet considered. I want to complement their expertise, which is very deep and very impressive, with some of my experience with how the policy arena works in its intersection with science. Q: Why Project Drawdown? A: I have been a scientist working at the intersection of science and policy for more than 20 years. I went into it as a very deliberate professional decision after a number of years in academia because I wanted to be in a position to say, “This is what the science says, and based on what the science says this is what you should do.” When I left NRDC, I was not quite ready to retire. Climate change is such an urgent and existential problem that I felt an obligation to stay engaged. I was drawn to Project Drawdown because it’s a science-based organization devoted to the solutions rather than just defining the problem. I think we need to apply more science to the solutions—not just what they should be, but how to get them into the world. Q: Do you have pets? A: I do! A dog, Griffin, half German shepherd and half Dutch shepherd. A cat, Tess, and a splendid horse, Shiloh. I have a fish tank, too. I’m a fisheries biologist, so I always have a fish tank. I can’t imagine life without them. Q: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done on purpose? A: When I was in college I did a semester-long program at Woods Hole and spent six weeks on a 100-foot-long topsail schooner in the Caribbean and Atlantic. I’m afraid of heights, and one of the things I made myself do is climb up the shrouds to the working platform on the mainmast. It was really high above the ocean and swayed sickeningly as the ship sailed. Once was enough! Q: What superpower(s) do you bring to this job? A: I think what I bring is a result of decades of experience working in this arena—an interest and ability to see the big picture and an understanding of where the various knobs and levers are for being able to effect change. Another really important thing is a sense of both humility and humor. Q: What gives you hope? A: What gives me hope is being able to work with people at Project Drawdown as well as other organizations that are working really, really hard to solve the problems we have and to do it in ways that work. The best solutions are the ones that will solve the problems and also provide other useful co-benefits. I have hope that we can solve this. I do not underestimate how much of a challenge it's going to be, but I have hope. Q: What makes you crazy? A: The thing that makes me the craziest is the increasing ability of people to ignore and resist factual information. As a scientist, that maddens me because all of my training and personality are like, “Figure out how something works based on the facts, and respond in kind.” I’m maddened when people instead rely on magical thinking designed to support their preconceived notions. Q: Do you have a happy place? A: Out in the California countryside riding a horse. Q: Tell me about your artwork. A: I started taking classes in ceramics sculpture when I was at UC Davis, partly to counterbalance the intense research, analysis, and number crunching part of my life. I use a technique called handbuilding to sculpt human and animal figures, vessels, and tiles. I’ve sculpted a lot of fish. I find working with clay very therapeutic, both physically and mentally. To push and mold and smack and craft it into shape is very satisfying. It’s an exercise in three-dimensional thinking. I would recommend it to anybody.