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Distinguished Research Lecture

The 106th Distinguished Research Lectureship has been awarded to Professor Peter Molnar of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, CIRES. 

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research is pleased to announce that this year’s Distinguished Research Lecturer will be Professor Peter Molnar of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, and the Department of Geological Science.  Few scientists have consistently tackled as a broad a spectrum of challenging problems in the physics of the Earth at such a fundamental level as Professor Molnar.  What distinguishes him from other leading Earth scientist is the remarkable range of tools that he brings to his work; his observational skills in seismology, tectonic physics, and geological field work, and his extensive theoretical abilities that allow contributions to understanding the related heat and mass transfer mechanisms in solid earth, the oceans and the atmosphere. Professor Molnar’s exemplary scholarship and service reflect the best the University has to offer.

This fall’s lecture title is “Did the emergence of Indonesian islands (the “Maritime Continent”) transform a warm world to one with recurring Ice Ages?” Professor Molnar will argue that when the Maritime continent arose from the sea 3 million years ago it transformed tropical climates, which then, due to prevailing atmospheric circulation patterns, led to the high latitude cooling over Canada that made the ice ages possible.

Please mark your calendars for Friday, September 5th from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in Muenzinger E050, followed by a reception in the CIRES Atrium.  Please see this link for directions:  Event is filled, no RSVP's taken at this time.

Peter Molnar, this year's Distinguished Research Lecture recipient

See past recipients of the Distinguished Research Lectureship.

The nomination deadline for the 2014 Distinguished Research Lecture was Feb. 12, 2014.

The Distinguished Research Lectureship is among the highest honors bestowed by the faculty upon a faculty member at CU-Boulder. Each year, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research requests nominations from faculty for this award, and a faculty review panel recommends one faculty member as a recipient.  Nominations for the 2014 Distinguished Research Lecturer are due by 5:00 p.m. on February 12, 2014.

The lectureship honors a tenured faculty member widely recognized for a distinguished body of academic or creative achievement and prominence, as well as contributions to the educational and service missions of CU-Boulder.

Normally, one Distinguished Research Lectureship is awarded each year. The recipient presents a lecture in the fall or spring following selection and receives a $2,000 honorarium.


Nominees for the Distinguished Research Lectureship must be CU-Boulder faculty members who are:

  • Tenured members of the faculty who have been at CU-Boulder for at least five years,
  • Extremely distinguished nationally/internationally for scholarship, research, and creative work,
  • Highly regarded for contributions to the University of Colorado and to its national/international reputation.

Nomination Procedure

Any faculty member may nominate another member by submitting to the Vice Chancellor for Research the appropriate supporting materials, including:

  • A statement (2-3 pages) explaining the importance of the nominee’s research or creative work in his/her field and summarizing the research record,
  • A current record of the nominee’s accomplishments;
  • A limited number of letters from experts outside CU-Boulder (as well as inside letters if appropriate),
  • If an applicant is not a recipient, the submission will be in a pool of submissions for the following year. It may be appended as necessary before the next application deadline.

Basis of Awards

The selection of the Distinguished Research Lecturer is based on the research and creative record of the nominee as presented in the nomination application and as recognized by experts in the field.  

Submit nominations to:

Vice Chancellor for Research Stein Sture
Regent 333, UCB 26

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