January 21, 2009


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By Sam Alcorn

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Internationally recognized climate scientist Ronald Stouffer will cap a day-long program at Bucknell University designed to raise climate change awareness.

Part of the Focus the Nation Global Climate Change Symposium 2009 taking place primarily on college and university campuses across the United States, Stouffer’s talk, “The Role of the Oceans in Climate Change,” will be given at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in Trout Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell will introduce the keynote speaker. The event is being organized by the Bucknell Environmental Center.

New events added Additional Focus the Nation events have been scheduled:

On Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. the film, “Wall-E,” will be shown in the Elaine Langone Center Forum. It is free and open to the public.

At noon Thursday, Feb. 5, John Hanger, secretary-designee for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, will speak in the Elaine Langone Center Forum. Following his talk, Hanger will take questions from a student panel. Also, educational displays will be shown in several Elaine Langone Center locations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In addition, throughout Thursday, there will be a series of interdisciplinary faculty panel discussions in Trout Auditorium:

  • 8-9:30 a.m. – “At the Forefront: The Latest on Global Climate Change” with Duane Griffin, associate professor of geography; Tia Stokes Brown, assistant professor of political science; Warren Abrahamson, professor of biology; and Thomas Kinnaman, associate professor of economics.
  • 9:30-11 a.m. – Dreaming Solutions: Technology and Climate Change” with Peter Stryker, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Thomas DiStefano, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering; Carl Kirby, associate professor of geography; and Kevin Gilmore, visiting assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering.
  • 1-2:30 p.m. – “Thinking Globally: International Dimensions of Climate Change” with Ellen Herman, assistant professor of geology; Paul Susman, associate professor of geography; Peter Wilshusen, assistant professor of environmental studies; and Rose Shinko, visiting assistant professor of international relations.
  • 2:30-4 p.m. – “The Future of Sustainability: Human Dimensions of Environmental Issues” with John Doces, assistant professor of political science; Diana DiStefano, assistant professor of history and environmental studies; Nick Martyniak, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies; and Sheila Lintott, assistant professor of philosophy.

Capping the day-long event will be the talk by Stouffer, who is recognized as one of the world’s leading climate modelers. He is a senior research meteorologist and leader of the Climate and Ecology Group of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J. The federal research facility is part of the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). || Listen to an NOAA podcast with Stouffer about his research.

He also was a chapter author for the three most recent assessment reports for the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change and part of the group of scientists awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 along with former Vice President Al Gore.

Climate change
Stouffer, who uses complex numerical models to study and predict the behavior of the Earth’s climate system, joined the Geophysical Dynamic laboratory in 1977 from Penn State University, where he received bachelor and master’s degrees in meteorology. He has since authored more than 100 papers on global climate change. Many are considered ground-breaking in the field of meteorology.

A member and chair of the World Climate Research Program, Stouffer is editor of the academic journal Climate Dynamics and the recipient of numerous awards.

According to Ali Blumenstock, Class of ’09 and the Bucknell student coordinator for Focus the Nation, more than 1 million people around the nation at more than 1,900 locations are expected to participate in the day-long event.

Focus attention
“The event seeks to concentrate the University’s attention on the issue of climate change and encourages faculty, students and staff to fully engage and participate in the various activities throughout the day,” said Blumenstock.

The event has been endorsed by the Office of the President.

During last year’s Focus the Nation event, Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell announced that he would sign the American College and University President's Climate Commitment and initiate a broad series of steps designed to reduce the University's carbon footprint. To date, more than 600 colleges and universities have signed the climate commitment.

Contact: Division of Communications

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