Climate Science Expert Richard Alley to Speak at CU-Boulder March 29

Published: March 24, 2010

Pennsylvania State University Professor Richard Alley, an internationally known glaciologist and climate change expert, will give the 2010 George Gamow Memorial Lecture at the University of Colorado at Boulder on Monday, March 29.

Free and open to the public, the talk is titled "Learning While Burning: Peak (Whale) Oil, Changing Climate and Our Future." The talk will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Macky Auditorium and is intended for a general audience.

Alley, the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and an associate of the Earth and Environment Systems Institute at Penn State, teaches and conducts research on climatic records, including the flow behavior and sedimentary deposits of large ice sheets, to aid in the prediction of future changes in climate and sea level. Alley has spent three field seasons in Antarctica, eight in Greenland and three in Alaska.

He is the author of "The Two-Mile Time Machine," a popular account of climate change and ice cores that was chosen as the science book of the year by Phi Beta Kappa in 2001. He graduated with a doctorate in geology in 1987 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Alley has served on a variety of advisory panels and steering committees, including chairing the National Research Council's Panel on Abrupt Climate Change and participating in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has provided advice to numerous government officials in multiple administrations, including presidential staffs and committees, as well as to individual members of Congress.

Alley is the recipient of numerous awards, including his election as a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2009 he received the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.

There will be a public reception after the lecture at the CU Heritage Center, located on the third floor of Old Main.

The George Gamow Memorial Lecture Series began in 1971 and honors the late CU-Boulder physics professor who was pivotal in developing the "Big Bang" theory of the creation of the universe. Gamow also was recognized for his many books popularizing science for nonscientific audiences. For more information about the lecture series visit

Richard Alley