delware environmental institute

DENIN Dialogue Lecture Series: Richard Alley

Thursday, November 8, 2012
7:00 p.m.
Mitchell Hall, Newark, DE
Free and open to the public

Download a PDF flyer for the event here

Watch the recorded presentation here

Photo of Richard AlleyDENIN welcomes the fifth speaker in our DENIN Dialogue Lecture Series, renowned scientist Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at The Pennsylvania State University. 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.

In this presentation, Alley will be engaged in an on-stage dialogue with University of Delaware history professor Adam Rome. The main presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. We encourage the submission of questions ahead of time via email or the DENIN Facebook page. The person submitting the best question (based on originality and relevance) will be invited to the pre-event dinner with Alley and to begin the Q&A session with the winning question.

About Richard Alley
Dr. Richard Alley is Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and an associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. 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. 

Alley is happily married with two daughters, two cats, a bicycle, and a pair of soccer cleats.

About Adam Rome
Adam Rome is an environmental historian of the United States. 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 B.A. from Yale and his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.