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March 1, 2007
Contact: Jill Hummels, School of Engineering, (785) 864-2934.

KUís Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets takes part in global research effort

LAWRENCE — The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, headquartered at the University of Kansas, will play a significant role in the International Polar Year that begins today.

The International Polar Year is a global research effort to better understand the polar regions and their climatic effects on the Earth. The “year” runs from March 1, 2007, to March 1, 2009, which gives researchers two summer cycles to conduct research in both polar regions, where winters, which last for six months, are shrouded in darkness and inhospitable cold. More than 60 countries will participate in the research.

As part of the effort, KU’s Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets will conduct two major field experiments — one in Greenland and another in Antarctica. The center also will host a seminar series to highlight issues related to climate change.

The series features several internationally regarded speakers who will cover a variety of topics related to polar ice, global climate change and society. All are welcome to attend the free presentations:

— “The Human Dimensions of Climate Change Science” by James Rodger Fleming, professor of science, technology and society at Colby College, Maine; 1-2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8, Hall Center for the Humanities conference hall.

— “Peak Oil” by Seppo A. Korpela, professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State University; 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, Spahr Engineering Classroom, Eaton Hall.

— “Ice Sheets on the Edge: A Golden Age for Glaciology” by Robert Bindschadler, senior fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, Spahr Engineering Classroom, Eaton Hall.

— “Winds of Change” by author and journalist Eugene Linden; 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, location to be determined.

— “Feeling the Heat” by Don Worster, the Hall Family Foundation Distinguished Professor of History at KU; 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, Spahr Engineering Classroom, Eaton Hall.

Students, staff and faculty affiliated with KU’s National Science Foundation-funded Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets are developing technologies and techniques to characterize the ongoing, rapid changes in polar ice sheets and develop models that explain and predict ice sheet interactions with climate. The center will also train next-generation scientists and engineers, work with industry, share scientific knowledge and educate policymakers and the public about climate change and its impacts.

Center staff members are working on additional activities during the International Polar Year to share with others on the KU campus and the public.

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