March 31, 2011

Dr. Wallace Broecker, "the Grandfather of Climate Science," to deliver 2011 MIT Sea Grant Lecture, April 4th

Dr. Wallace Broecker, the Newberry Professor of Geology at Columbia University's Earth Institute and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, will deliver the 2011 MIT Sea Grant Lecture on April 4th.

The title of the lecture will be, “Climate and the Oceans: Where We’ve Been and What’s Ahead.” The lecture will take place at Wong Auditorium in the Tang Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Bldg. 51), at the corner of Wadsworth and Amherst Streets, Cambridge, MA. There will be a reception in the Ting Foyer starting at 6 PM, with the lecture following at 7 PM.

As one of the first climate scientists to understand the thermohaline circulation of the global ocean and it's moderating effects on our climate, Broecker has been described as one of the world's greatest living geoscientists, "a genius and a pioneer" and "the Grandfather of climate science." His visionary work have earned him the National Medal of Science and the Tyler Prize, among many other awards.

For more than half a century, Dr. Wallace Broecker’s major research interest has been the ocean’s role in climate change. He was among the pioneers in radiocarbon and isotope dating – the quintessential processes for creating maps of the Earth’s past climate fluctuations since as early as the Pleistocene period. He was also the first person ever to recognize the Ocean Conveyor Belt (which he named), arguably the most important discovery in the history of oceanography and its critical relation to climate. Broecker's research interests center on climate systems, especially as they involve the role of oceans in climate change. He places strong emphasis on utilizing isotopes in investigating physical mixing and chemical cycling in the ocean and the climate history as recorded in marine sediments. A prolific researcher, teacher and author, Dr. Broecker has published over 400 scientific articles and is the author or coauthor of several textbooks.

The mission of the MIT Sea Grant College Program is to employ innovative research, education and outreach strategies to responsibly use and sustain the vital marine resources of Massachusetts. The issues we address manifest locally but many are global in nature. Compelling challenges demand our attention as a solo entity and in partnership with other groups living and working on the coasts and at sea. MIT Sea Grant brings the substantial intellectual abilities of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and our sister universities to bear on ocean-related challenges requiring an extraordinary technical contribution. In meeting these challenges, we expand human understanding of the ocean and establish the infrastructure to sustain the initiatives and talent pool needed to address complex issues of critical and fragile marine resources.


Dr. Wallace Broecker.

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