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HELENA — University professors and a climate researcher at Glacier National Park are among the seven people who will be scientific advisers for Montana's new state committee on climate change.

Environmental Quality Director Richard Opper formed the committee earlier this year at the request of Gov. Brian Schweitzer. Opper announced the scientific advisers Thursday.

"Montana has some of the best and brightest experts in the field of climate change," he said. "I'm thrilled they are willing to share their time, knowledge and expertise to help the committee accomplish its goals."

The scientific advisers include Dan Fagre of the U.S. Geological Survey at West Glacier; Steven Running, a professor of ecology at the University of Montana-Missoula; Don Potts, the state climatologist and a UM professor; and David McGinnis, a geographer and co-director of Montana State University-Billings' office for grants and sponsored programs.

Also on the panel of scientific advisers are Lisa Graumlich, director of the Big Sky Institute for Science and Natural History at MSU-Bozeman; Susan Capalbo of Bozeman; and Ted Dodge of Butte.

Capalbo directs the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership, which works with the U.S. Department of Energy on issues of sustainable energy and greenhouse gas. The Department of Energy has seven such partnerships around the country.

Dodge directs the National Carbon Offset Coalition, consisting of seven nonprofit organizations. According to its Web site, the coalition based in Butte gives landowners, businesses and governments an opportunity to "participate in a market-based conservation program that can help offset the environmental impacts of greenhouse gases."

The Climate Change Advisory Committee, scheduled for its inaugural meeting July 13 in Helena, consists of 18 people from fields that include energy, education, government and environmental activism.

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The committee is to make recommendations about energy, energy-efficient technology and greenhouse gases.

In announcing the committee members April 25, Opper said that "in the absence of real action at the federal level, states, cities and other nations are stepping forward to address the serious issues presented by climate change."

He expects the committee to complete its work by July 2007.

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