University of Delaware
Richard Alley will speak Nov. 8 at UD as part of the DENIN Dialogue Lecture Series.

Nov. 8: DENIN Dialogue Lecture

Geoscientist Richard Alley next speaker in the popular environmental lecture series


8:53 a.m., Oct. 12, 2012--The Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) welcomes the fifth speaker in its DENIN Dialogue Lecture Series when renowned scientist Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, visits the University of Delaware on Thursday, Nov. 8.

In this presentation, which will begin at 7 p.m. in Mitchell Hall, Alley will be engaged in an on-stage dialogue with UD history professor Adam Rome, and the evening will include a substantial question-and-answer period with the audience as well.

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Alley is best known for his research on ice sheets in the polar regions. His studies of the prehistoric climate record preserved in layers of ice deep beneath the surface of the great ice sheets have revealed that relatively sudden shifts in Earth's climate have occurred in the past.

Alley has been compared to a cross between Carl Sagan and Woody Allen for his enthusiastic efforts to communicate the excitement and importance of science to everyone. To that end, he hosted the recent PBS television series Earth: The Operator's Manual and authored the companion book.

Members of the University community are invited to submit questions for Alley ahead of time via email or through DENIN’s Facebook page. The person who submits the best question (based on originality and relevance) will be invited to attend the pre-event dinner with Alley and to ask the first question during the question-and-answer period.

About Richard Alley

Richard Alley is an associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at Penn State and member of the Department of Geosciences. He received his doctorate in 1987 in geology from the University of Wisconsin. He studies the great ice sheets to aid in prediction of future changes in climate and sea level and has conducted three field seasons in Antarctica, eight in Greenland and three in Alaska. Alley has published over 225 refereed papers.

He has been honored for his research with numerous awards, including election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the Heinz Prize, the Revelle Medal of the American Geophysical Union, the Seligman Crystal of the International Glaciological Society, and others. His teaching has also been recognized for teaching with four awards at Penn State and for service, including the Public Service Award of the Geological Society of America, the American Geological Institute Award For Outstanding Contribution To Public Understanding of the Geosciences, and the Schneider Award for Science Communication.

Alley is committed to making science accessible to the public. In addition to his work on Earth: The Operators’ Manual, his popular account of climate change and ice cores, The Two-Mile Time Machine, was Phi Beta Kappa’s science book of the year in 2001.

Alley has served on many advisory panels, including chairing the National Research Council’s Panel on Abrupt Climate Change and participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He has provided requested advice to numerous government officials in multiple administrations including a U.S. vice president, the president's science adviser, and various committees and individual members of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

About Adam Rome

Adam Rome is a leading environmental historian of the United States who joined the Department of History at UD in January 2012. His first book, The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism, won the Organization of American Historians’ Frederick Jackson Turner award. His history of the first Earth Day in 1970 is forthcoming from Hill and Wang. 

He also has written about environmental reform in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era – the period when Americans first tried to stop pollution, conserve natural resources, and preserve wild places and wild creatures. 

From 2002 through 2005, he edited Environmental History, the leading journal in the field. He also is a member of the English department at UD, where he teaches courses on environmental nonfiction, and he is co-director of the College of Arts and Sciences Environmental Humanities Initiative. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from Yale University and his doctorate from the University of Kansas.

Article by Beth Chajes

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