BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University's College of Arts and Sciences is honored to host Dr. Richard Alley, a glaciologist and the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, as the 2023 Morgan Science Lecture Series speaker.
Made possible by a gift from the G. William Morgan Family, the Morgan Science Lecture Series seeks to stimulate scientific understanding and research among the sciences by bringing innovative and prominent researchers to App State's campus. This year, the event is hosted by the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences.
Dr. Alley's lecture, titled "Finding the Good News on Climate and Energy," will take place on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 7 p.m. in App State's I.G. Greer Auditorium. While we benefit from energy produced through fossil fuels, scientific evidence indicates that this causes highly-damaging climate changes. In his presentation, Alley will employ his climate change expertise to discuss how we can build a larger economy in a cleaner environment with more jobs, improved health and greater national security more consistent with the Golden Rule. According to Dr. Alley, students today are part of the first generation in human history that knows with confidence that they can build a sustainable energy system, powering everyone everywhere.
Dr. Alley is a glaciologist who studies the flow and stability of ice sheets, their climate records and the way they interact with the landscape. The author of over 400 scholarly publications, Dr. Alley has advised numerous government officials and contributed to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He also serves as a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of The Royal Society.
Dr. Alley received his bachelor's and master's degree in geology and mineralogy from Ohio State University and his doctoral degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined the Penn State faculty in 1988 and was appointed an Evan Pugh University Professor—an honor reserved for faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in research and mentorship—in 2000. Today, Dr. Alley teaches in the Department of Geosciences and leads the Penn State Ice and Climate Research Center, an interdisciplinary group of researchers dedicated to a better understanding of the cryosphere.
Throughout his career, Dr. Alley has been selected for many prestigious awards recognizing his research, teaching, and service, including the Heinz Award, the Tyler Prize and the United States National Academy of Sciences Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship, awarded to skilled speakers. As a leading expert in his field, Dr. Alley is frequently interviewed by the press, including BBC, NPR and The New York Times, and has given over 1,200 public lectures around the world. The Morgan Science Lecture Series will mark Dr. Alley's first presentation in Boone.
“We are incredibly excited to host Dr. Alley, who is truly a leader in the fields of climate science and glaciology,” said Dr. William Armstrong, assistant professor in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences and leader of the 2023 Morgan Science Lecture Committee. “Dr. Alley is an innovative and influential thinker whose work has substantially advanced our understanding of past events of rapid climate change as well as how the ice sheets and sea level respond to climatic change in the past, present and future.”
In addition to the Morgan Science Lecture, Dr. Alley will give a technical science talk titled “Collapsing Cliffs? Ice Sheets and Sea Level” on Friday, October 27, 2023, at 3:30 p.m. in Rankin Science West Room 293 as part of the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences' weekly seminar series. In his talk, Alley, who has completed three field seasons in Antarctica, eight in Greenland and three in Alaska, will discuss the impacts and uncertainties of Arctic ice sheet loss and resulting sea level rise.
Alley's presentations are free and open to the public. For a disability accommodation, visit odr.appstate.edu.
About the Morgan Science Lecture Series at Appalachian
The Morgan Science Lecture Series at Appalachian State University was established with a gift from the G. William Morgan Family. Morgan was a 1934 graduate of Appalachian and a health physicist with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. The series stimulates scientific understanding and research among the sciences by bringing researchers to campus. Previous speakers include David Suzuki, award-winning geneticist and broadcaster, evolutionary biologist Stephen J. Gould, population ecologist Paul Ehrlich, former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and oceanographer and underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu/events/morgan-science-lecture-series.
About the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences
Located in Western North Carolina, Appalachian State University provides the perfect setting to study geological and environmental sciences. The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences provides students with a solid foundation on which to prepare for graduate school or build successful careers as scientists, consultants and secondary education teachers. The department offers six degree options in geology and two degree options in environmental science. Learn more at https://earth.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Appalachian State University is home to 17 academic departments, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. CAS aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. More than 6,400 student majors are enrolled in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing App State’s general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
By Lauren Andersen
August 28, 2023