CCNF ceased operations in February 2016, and this website is no longer active. Thank you to all the contributors that made the Forum a success. We had a good run! -MAQ

CCNF Board and Staff


Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon*

Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon--Texas State Climatologist and Regents Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M UniversityDr. John Nielsen-Gammon is the Regents Professor of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University and serves as the Texas State Climatologist, having held the latter position since his appointment in 2000 by then-Governor George W. Bush. He was also the first founding board-member of CCNF. Thanks to his leadership, universal respect among the scientific community, guidance in the nonprofit’s formation and project’s development, and regular participation in the Forum, CCNF is where it is today. CCNF will be well served by his continued leadership on the Board.

Dr. Scott Denning*

Dr. Scott DenningDr. Scott Denning is the Monfort Professor of Atmospheric Science and the Director of Education and Diversity for the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes at Colorado State University. Dr. Denning joined CCNF a few months into the Forum and has been an active contributor ever since. His debut post, Cause & Effect, effectively broke down the forcing-and-response physics of climate sensitivity for thousands of lay readers. In fact, no other post has contributed more to the development of the working common knowledge on the science in the Forum, which will soon be serving as the foundation for the policy discussion and debate in Phase II. Dr. Denning has also contributed numerous insights as a regular voice in CCNF’s fact checker section and as an interviewee. CCNF is honored to have such a distinguished scientist, educator, and committed climate-science communicator on the Board.

Dr. Bart Verheggen*

Dr. Bart VerheggenDr. Bart Verheggen is a lecturer and tutor at Amsterdam University College in the Netherlands, where he’s teaching several earth and climate science related courses. Since receiving his PhD in atmospheric chemistry from York University, Canada in 2004,  he spent several years doing postdoctoral research in Switzerland and then worked as a research scientist at the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN). While on a temporary assignment at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), he conducted a large and detailed survey about climate science among international scientists. An adept writer and avid blogger on climate change and the interface between science and society, Dr. Verheggen was part of the initial community of science columnists when the Forum started and has proven to be a regular and influential voice in the Forum this past year. He has without a doubt shown the broadest purview as a writer in the community. CCNF will surely benefit from his leadership as a member of the Board.


Professor Tracy Hester**

Tracy HesterProfessor Tracy Hester is part of the Law faculty and the former Director of the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Center at the University of Houston Law Center and has once again stepped up to the plate as a board-member of CCNF. Professor Hester is one of the nation’s premiere environmental lawyers and one of the most respected experts in the area of climate change law in the nation. He was elected as a member of the American Law Institute in 2004, named the Top Environmental Lawyer in Houston in 2011 by Best Lawyers of America, and elected to the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) that same year. He is also currently serving as vice-chair of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Environmental Policy Advisory Committee. Now that Phase II of the CCNF project is beginning, Professor Hester will be taking on a more active role as a board member and plans on contributing to the policy dialogue on what can or should be done about climate change as a nation. We are honored to have him on the Board.

Michael Quirke**

Michael QuirkeMichael Quirke is the founding journalist and executive director of CCNF, a law student at the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC), and a former Captain in the U.S. Army. He is currently preparing to take the bar exam in late February. Michael created the beta for this blog, forum, and fact checker website while doing some web development work in between his military service and law school. He built it as a potential new media journalism model — one that is particularly designed to be an objective and open forum for experts. After attending a presentation on climate change by Dr. Barry Lefer during his 2L year at UHLC, he chose climate change as the issue to test the platform out on. The project grew from there. Michael accepted a nomination to serve on the CCNF Board because he may or may not continue to serve as the executive director and acting journalist (that depends on funding), but, come what may, he still wants to serve CCNF in a leadership role.

* Science Columnist Committee member

** Subject Matter and Policy Columnist Committee member


Executive Director & (acting) Journalist: Michael Quirke

Michael Quirke, Climate Change National Forum

Michael Quirke is a law student at the University of Houston Law Center, web developer, and former U.S. Army infantry officer.

Director of Development: David Leib


David Leib is a law student at American University.