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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student invited to climate conference

Climate+Change
Photo by PROVIDED
Climate Change
An Aggie is among the nine students worldwide chosen to represent the American Chemical Society at the United Nations Climate Change Conference being held in Paris, France.
The conference, which started on Nov. 30 and ends Dec. 11, has been making progressive policy moves to promote environmental conservation. This is the sixth year the ACS has sent students to the conference and the first time an Aggie was chosen.
The conference focuses on addressing renewable energy sources and reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases from a political and scientific perspective. Wilmarie Marrero-Ortiz, chemistry graduate student, along with the ACS, will promote climate change literacy through the use of social media. She and others will interview scientists and politicians and will cover various climate change meetings.
Marrero-Ortiz is working on her doctorate degree and is researching the chemical and physical properties of atmospheric aerosol, the particles in the air, under her supervisor, Professor Renyi Zhang. Zhang said Marrero-Ortiz stands out from previous students.

“She has been working very closely with me on many research projects, and she is highly motivated and highly engaging in her laboratory work,” Zhang said. “She tries to understand the big picture of her research and the impact of her research. So I think that is something very, very unique about Willmarrie.”


Marrero-Ortiz said she was surprised by how many different countries are represented at the conference.


“I have never seen that many countries and so many people,” Marrero-Ortiz said. “Even from their different point of view and different needs, getting in the mind that we have to do something for the conservation and health of the planet.”


Marrero-Ortiz said she has always had an interest in science since growing up in Puerto Rico, and found her niche in chemistry at a high school science fair. Marrero-Ortiz said she thinks attending the conference will improve and network with scientists worldwide.


“As a scientist sometimes forgoes the broader picture in terms of climate change that is not always based on science,” Marrero-Ortiz said. “It’s also socioeconomic problems and each country has different needs. This conference will help me learn that perspective.”


Paris and surrounding cities are promoting the conference in unique ways. Marrero-Ortiz said people at the conference have reusable water bottles and fill them up at stations, similar to the ones on campus. On Sundays and Mondays, the city provides people and tourists free public transportation to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases.
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