Gustavus Looks Ahead to 45th Nobel Conference

Posted on October 14th, 2008 by

Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will speak at the 2009 Nobel Conference.

Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will speak at the 2009 Nobel Conference.

Dr. Charles Niederriter

Dr. Charles Niederriter

The 45th annual Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College, scheduled for Oct. 6-7, 2009, is titled H2O: Uncertain Resource and will focus on global issues surrounding water resources.

The College has already booked the following lecturers for next year’s conference:

  • Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva, Switzerland and Director General of the Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi, India;
  • Asit Biswas, President of the Third World Centre for Water Management, Atizapan, Mexico;
  • Peter H. Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute, Oakland, Calif.;
  • William L. Graf, Chair of the Department of Geography, University of South Carolina;
  • Nancy N. Rabalais, Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium;
  • Larry Rasmussen, Emeritus Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, New York City; and
  • David Sedlak, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Califorina, Berkeley.

The 45th Nobel Conference will also be under new leadership as Dr. Charles Niederriter, professor of physics at the College, will assume the role of director. Niederriter replaces Dr. Timothy Robinson who stepped down from that post at the conclusion of this year’s conference after serving for nine years.

Niederriter holds both an M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from Ohio University and a B.S. in physics from Gannon College in Erie, Penn. He has taught physics classes at Gustavus since 1985 and was awarded the Swenson and Bunn Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence in 1995.

His past involvement with the Nobel Conference includes serving as co-chair for the 31st Nobel Conference (The New Shape of Matter: Materials Challenge Science) in 1995, and as chair for the 33rd Nobel Conference (Unveiling the Solar System: 30 Years of Exploration) in 1997, and the 41st Nobel Conference (The Legacy of Einstein) in 2005.

“Next year’s conference should attract a broad audience because water is essential to all life and our supply of water is both finite and vulnerable,” Niederriter said. “Water resources are bound to key socioecological issues including global population growth, migrations to arid regions, increased use of irrigation, industrialization, climate change, and international resource conflicts.”

Tickets for the 45th Nobel Conference will go on sale in the spring of 2009. To get the latest news regarding past and future Nobel Conferences, go online to

For more than four decades, Gustavus has organized and hosted the two-day Nobel Conference, which draws about 6,000 people to the college campus in St. Peter, Minn. The conference links a general audience, including high school students and teachers, with the world’s foremost scholars and researchers in discussion centered on contemporary issues relating to the natural and social sciences.

The Nobel Conference is the first ongoing education conference in the United States to have the official authorization of The Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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