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Phi Beta Kappa Society, UW Chapter

1000 E University Ave, Dept 3413

Merica Hall room 10

Laramie, WY 82071


Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)

PBK Visiting Scholars

RICHARD ALLEY, Pennsylvania State University

Two-Mile Time Machines: Ice cores and abrupt climate change

Public talk:  November 4, 2019, 3:10 p.m. in Geology Lecture Room 216


Richard Alley

With t-shirts proclaiming “Big boots, big science” worn under a lot of warmer layers, ice-core drillers bring up remarkable histories of Earth’s climate extending a million years into the past.  Annual layers in the ice provide age and accumulation rate, while materials in the ice including wind-blown dust, sea salt, micrometeorites, and more reveal what was in the air, and bubbles yield trapped samples of the old air itself.  Analysis of these histories increases confidence that fossil-fuel carbon dioxide will drive rapid warming and opens the possibility that the changes will be larger and more damaging than generally expected.  

Richard Alley is Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences at Penn State. He studies the great ice sheets to help predict future changes in climate and sea level, including multiple trips to Antarctica, Greenland, Alaska, and elsewhere. He has been honored for research (including election to the US National Academy of Sciences and Foreign Membership in the Royal Society), teaching, and service. Dr. Alley participated in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize) and has provided requested advice to numerous government officials in multiple administrations. He has authored or coauthored over 300 refereed scientific papers. He was presenter for the PBS TV miniseries on climate and energy Earth: The Operators’ Manual, and author of the book. His popular account of climate change and ice cores, The Two-Mile Time Machine, won the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science.

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program  

Since 1956, the Society's Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America's most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.   They meet informally with students and faculty members, participate in classroom discussions and seminars, and give a public lecture open to the entire academic community. The visits are designed primarily for undergraduate participation. 

Past Scholars:

Fall 2018

Dava Newman
Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at MIT, and a Harvard-MIT Health, Sciences, and Technology faculty member
"Exploring Space for Earth: Earth's Vital Signs revealed"

Fall 2017

Stephen Walt
Professor of International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government
"U.S. Foreign Policy Today and in the Future"
Wyoming Public Media Interview - "America's Place on the World Stage"

Fall 2015

Hazel Carby
Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies and American Studies and director of the Initiative on Race, Gender, and Globalization, Yale
"Black Futurities: Shape-Shifting Beyond the Limits of the Human"

Spring 2015

Kathleen McGarry
Professor of Economics, UCLA
"50 Years of the War on Poverty: What it Meant for the Elderly"

Spring 2014

Christine M. Thomas, Professor of Religious Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara
"Finding Paul in the Landscape of the Ancient City: Urban Space at Ephesos, Real and Imagined"

Fall 2012

Tyler Burge, Professor of Philosophy, UCLA
Perception: Origins of Mind

Fall 2010

Dr. Jack Goldstone
Global Population Trends and How They Shape Our Future

Contact Us

Phi Beta Kappa Society, UW Chapter

1000 E University Ave, Dept 3413

Merica Hall room 10

Laramie, WY 82071


Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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