Charleston West Virginia Economic Development

Discussions on Economic and Community Development in West Virginia and the Charleston MSA as well as issues of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, October 06, 2008

UC Speaker Series Begins Wednesday

The University of Charleston's fall speaker series, sponsored by Dow, begins this week.

The presentations begin at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 and 23 in Riggleman Hall Auditorium. They are free and open to the public. Reservations are not necessary. Question and answer sessions, moderated by UC President Edwin Welch, follow each talk.

Harvard University Professor Diana Eck will speak about religioun diversity in America today.
An expert on Comparative Religion and Indian Studies, Dr. Eck is an award-winning author, and since 1991 has led a Harvard research team that explores new religious diversity in America and its meaning for the American Pluralist Project.

In her highly-acclaimed book, "A New Religious America," Dr. Eck draws on her experiences traveling the country, piecing together the most thorough guidebook of American religiosity. Culling stories from Muslims in Indiana and Buddhists in New Jersey, Eck conducted her research “hands-on” and emerged with a compelling look at our true diversity.

On Oct. 23 Dr. Lonnie Thompson, one of the world’s foremost authorities on paleoclimatology and glaciology, will speak about global warming.

Dr. Thompson, who is a professor at The Ohio State University and a native of Gassaway, W.Va., was just named one of the International Heroes of the Environment by Time Magazine. He has led more than 50 expeditions during the last 30 years, conducting ice-core drilling programs in the world’s polar regions as well as in tropical and subtropical ice fields. Recently, Thompson and his team developed lightweight solar-powered drilling equipment for the acquisition of histories from ice fields in the high Andes of Peru and on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The results of these histories, published in more that 200 articles, have contributed greatly toward the understanding of the Earth’s past, present and future climate system.

Other Thompson-led expeditions have recovered a 460-meter-long ice core, the world’s longest from a mountain range (Alaska, 2002); the first tropic ice core (Peru, 1983); and cores containing the entire sequence of the Last Glacial Stage as well as cores dating over 750,000 years in age, the oldest outside the polar regions (Tibet, 1992). Thompson’s research has resulted in major revisions in the field of paleoclimatology, in particular, by demonstrating how tropical regions have undergone significant climate variability, countering an earlier view that higher latitudes dominate climate change.

Thompson has received numerous honors and awards. In 2005, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the John and Alice Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. He has been selected by Time magazine and CNN as one of “America’s Best” in science and medicine. His research has been featured in hundreds of publications, including National Geographic and the National Geographic Adventure magazines. He and his team are the subject of a new book entitled: Thin Ice: Unlocking the Secrets of Climate in the World’s Highest Mountains by Mark Bowen published in late 2005. In 2006, he became an elected member of the American Philosophical Society, Alumni member of Phi Beta Kappa and chosen to receive the Roy Chapman Andrews Society, 2007 Distinguished Explorer Award. He served as Contributing Author on Chapter 6: Paleoclimate IPCC AR4 WG, 2007 volume. In 2008 he has received both the Dan David Prize and the Seligman Crystal award.

For more information, call 304-357-4717.


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