Colorado-Boulder Professor to Lecture on Climate Change

Posted on March 6th, 2013 by

Dr. James White

Dr. James White

Professor James White, Fellow of the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will visit Gustavus Adolphus College on March 25-26 for a pair of climate change lectures.

White will deliver a general audience level lecture titled “Sustainability, Climate Change and You,” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 25 in room 103 of Olin Hall. On Tuesday, March 26, Dr. White will deliver a lecture on the science of ice cores titled “Ice Core Stories: Abrupt Climate Change and Future Sea Level,” at 7:30 p.m. in room 103 of Olin Hall. Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Dr. White earned his Ph.D. in geological sciences from Columbia University in 1983. At CU-Boulder he holds the titles of Professor of Geological Sciences, Director of the Environmental Studies Program, and Director of the Stable Isotope Lab within the Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research.

Dr. White’s research interests are broad, but all revolve around the use of environmental stable isotope ratios. His specific areas of research include modeling the global carbon cycle using isotope ratios in atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane, development of techniques for measuring isotope ratios in atmospheric gases, reconstructions of paleo-environmental conditions using isotopes in ice cores, reconstructions of past environments from isotopes in organic materials, and tracing of ground water flow and recharge.

He has been a member of several deep ice coring projects in Greenland and Antarctica. Starting in the late 1980s, his ice core research has helped to show that large climate changes tend to occur in the natural system as abrupt and rapid shifts, probably driven by internal adjustments in the Earth climate system, rather than slow and gradual adjustments to changing external conditions, such as the amount of energy received from the sun.

His research has been published extensively and he has also been successful in securing grant funding at CU. He has had grants funded by NASA as well as a multi-million dollar NSF-IGERT graduate training grant. The grant supported 13 graduate students per year for five years in an experiment in team building, disciplinary silo breaking, and co-educating social science, natural science, and journalism graduate students in carbon cycle dynamics, economics, and policy.

If you have questions or need more information about Dr. White’s visit to Gustavus, contact Professor of Physics Chuck Niederriter at or 507-933-7315.


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


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