Global Perspectives Guest Speaker
Ken is a research professor with Nevada’s Desert Research Institute. He was first drawn to Antarctica in 1981 by a desire to better understand the physics of the Earth, and because it was the biggest blank spot on the globe. Currently he is the chief scientist for a project that is investigating the role of greenhouse gases in climate change and the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet. The WAIS Divide ice core project is a decade long effort funded by the National Science Foundation which includes 44 scientists.
Ken is leading the effort to recover and analyze the ice core, which is a continuous sampling of the two mile thick ice sheet. The ancient ice in the core contains a record of atmospheric gases and climate that extends 60,000 years into the past. Information extracted from the ice will be used to test and improve the models that are used to predict future climate and sea level.
He was the chief scientist on the Siple Dome Antarctica ice core project and has worked on many other projects in Antarctica and Greenland. He has been the science leader on most of his 17 polar research trips. In addition to his 53 scientific publications his work has been featured on national television and in the national print media. In between the ice projects he has lead projects related to water quality in the Western United States and water development in rural Africa.
Ken is still seeking out the blank areas of maps, and enjoys traveling by ski, kayak or foot. He is especially fond of the wild areas close to his home, the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin.
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