Renowned Climate Scientist Visits the Department of Geography

Posted on March 26th, 2013 by

Dr. James White, Professor of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies, and Director of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at Colorado University-Boulder, spent the past two days at Gustavus as part of a National Science Foundation grant (Integrating Sustainability Across and Within the Science Curriculum).  As part of his visit, Dr. White gave two public lectures, “Ice Core Stories: Abrupt Climate Change and Future Sea Level”, and “Sustainability, Climate Change and You.”  In addition, Dr. White took time out of his busy schedule to visit with students in GEG 108 – Introduction to Weather and Climate.  While originally scheduled to talk for only 15 minutes, he ended up spending over an hour and a half with students.  In the process students learned what drew Dr. White to climatology (his interest in oceanography), the importance of stable isotope analysis in determining past climates, how an understanding of weather and climate is critical to understanding climate change, and how his PhD advisor dashed his dreams of being an oceanographer.  I would seem that Dr. White and his four fellow students were lined up in the hallway and each were randomly assigned a thesis topic.  The student to his left received oceanography, Dr. White received tree cores.  Dr. White spent the last half hour discussing everyday life on an ice core research team and how the greatest challenges were military flights to Greenland, almost missing his wedding due to weather, and not showering for six months at a time.  We are extremely honored to have had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with such an important figure in climate science research.

 

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