New Hampshire Audubon's Environmental Research Lecture Series Starts Jan. 17 with Climate Change

January 4, 2007 (Concord, New Hampshire)-New Hampshire Audubon is encouraging high school and college students, business people, legislators, science teachers, nature lovers, and lifelong learners of all persuasions to convene on January 17 and monthly there after for a series of public lectures focused on the latest research on critical environmental issues.

The lectures will touch on topics ranging from climate change and new energy technologies to forest fires and the quest to save the California Condor. The first speakers include four scientists and a historian, all of whom are affiliated with the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and all of whom are expert at conveying advanced research in familiar terms. The lectures will be held at the organization's McLane Center in Concord.

"Our goal," explained Rick Minard, president of N.H. Audubon, "is to satisfy people's hunger for the latest information about the environment. Anyone who has ever watched Nova or a National Geographic special will find these topics and speakers absolutely fascinating. Young people considering careers in science or environmental policy will learn what it's like to be on the cutting edge of research. These lectures won't be preachy or political, but they will help all of us make better sense of the policy choices facing New Hampshire and the world."

The Lectures
§     All events are open to the public.
§     There is a $10 suggested donation (no charge for N.H. Audubon members).
§     There is no general pre-registration.
§     Teachers wishing to reserve seats for groups of students should contact 224-9909, ext. 333.

Location:
New Hampshire Audubon's McLane Center at Silk Farm
3 Silk Farm Road
Concord, NH 03301

Time:     7-8:30pm

January 17
Climate Change and Hurricanes
David Thompson, Ph.D.
Environmental Fellow at Harvard University

February 22
Not Cold Enough: The Melting Arctic
Jim McCarthy
Professor of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

March 14
Fire, Forests, and Fuel
Elizabeth Reinhardt, Ph.D.
Research Forester, U.S. Forest Service Missoula Fire Science      
Laboratory, & Fellow, Harvard University Center for the Environment

April 11
Clean Energy for the World: Fuel Cells & Beyond
Alex Johnson, Ph.D.
Environmental Fellow at Harvard University

May 10
The California Condor Controversy
Peter Alagona, Ph.D.
Environmental Fellow at Harvard University

About the Speakers:

David Thompson, Ph.D.
Environmental Fellow at Harvard University

David is a string theorist with a deeper interest in global climate change. He holds a B.S. in mathematics and both a B.S. and M.S. in physics from Yale. The Physics Department at Harvard awarded him a Ph.D in 2005. He has worked on climate change in the Arctic and energy technology and policy issues as a joint postdoctoral fellow at the Woods Hole Research Center and the Harvard Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

While teaching at Harvard, he developed software that allows blind students to read papers in physics and mathematics. As the lead researcher in Harvard's Alternative Fuel Vehicle Project in 2001, David assembled recommendations that led to the use of environmentally-friendly biodiesel in all of Harvard's trucks and buses. His work on string theory has been published in Physical Review, and he has authored a book: Processes that Shape the Earth.

As an Environmental Fellow, David works in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. He will build analytical and numerical models of moist convection over the tropical oceans, which will help to illuminate the relationship between warming temperatures and hurricanes.

Jim McCarthy
Professor of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

James J. McCarthy is Harvard's Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography, and former director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. He teaches courses in ocean and climate science and oversees Harvard's program in Environmental Science and Public Policy. His research interests relate to marine plankton, biogeochemical cycles and climate. He received his undergraduate degree from Gonzaga University and his doctorate from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He has served on and led many national and international groups charged with planning and implementing studies of global change. In 2001 he headed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group II, which had responsibilities for assessing impacts of current and future global climate change. He was also a lead author on the recently completed Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.

Elizabeth Reinhardt, Ph.D.
Research Forester, U.S. Forest Service Missoula Fire Science      
Laboratory, & Fellow, Harvard University Center for the Environment

Elizabeth D. Reinhardt leads the Fire Ecology and Fuels Project at the Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT., and is Director of the Forest Service's Fire Modeling Institute. She has degrees in English (A.B., Harvard University), and forestry (M.S. 1982, and Ph.D., 1991, University of Montana). Her research has included studies of tree mortality, fuel consumption, modeling fire effects, and canopy fuels. She is currently an associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment.

Alex Johnson, Ph.D.
Environmental Fellow at Harvard University

Alex Johnson is a physicist working on a new generation of fuel cells that might be used to power portable electronics or cars.

He received a B.S. in physics from Harvey Mudd College where he worked on gravitation and semiconductor optics, and spent a summer working on laser-based manufacturing techniques for Panasonic. He then worked as a research assistant at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory working on X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

With a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship, he came to Harvard in 2000 to work on his Ph.D., which he earned in November 2005. Research for his thesis ("Charge Sensing and Spin Dynamics in GaAs Quantum Dots") included what his advisor, Charles Marcus, called "a series of groundbreaking experiments" which resulted in a set of papers by Alex and his colleagues that were published in Nature, Science, and Physical Review.

As an Environmental Fellow, Alex left the Physics Department for engineering in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is working to develop cleaner and more efficient energy technologies that will accelerate the transition away from a fossil-fuel based energy infrastructure.

Peter Alagona, Ph.D.
Environmental Fellow at Harvard University

Peter Alagona received his Ph.D. in history, with emphases in environmental history and the history of science, from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2006. He also holds a B.A. in history from Northwestern University, an M.A. in geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M.A. in history from UCLA.

Peter's research focuses on the cultural and political histories of ecology and the related life, environmental, and conservation sciences. He has published a wide variety of articles and reviews on these topics, in journals such as Ecology, Space and Culture, and the Journal of the History of Biology. He comes to Harvard with an extensive pedagogical record, including teaching assistantships in history and geography, a teaching fellowship in environmental science, lectureships in geography and earth science, and four summers co-leading environmental studies field courses in California's High Sierra.

As an Environmental Fellow, Peter's primary goal is to convert his dissertation, on the history of biodiversity conservation in California, into a book.

About New Hampshire Audubon
New Hampshire Audubon is an independent statewide membership organization whose mission is to protect New Hampshire's natural environment for wildlife and for people. It operates five nature centers throughout the state that provide educational programs for children and adults. It is also involved in statewide conservation research and wildlife monitoring projects, protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, and advocates for sound public policy on environmental issues. For information on New Hampshire Audubon, including membership, volunteering, programs, and publications, call 603-224-9909, or visit www.nhaudubon.org.