WESTFIELD, Mass., March 23, 2016- The Westfield State University Guest Lecture Series will host University of Massachusetts Senior Research Fellow Doug Hardy who will present his lecture “Islands in the Sky: Glaciers and Climate on Kilimanjaro and Other Tropical Mountains” on Tuesday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Savignano Auditorium in Wilson Hall.
Hardy studies high-elevation climate and glaciers with the Climate Systems Research Center at UMass Amherst. His research sites include the summit glaciers of Kilimanjaro in Africa, and Earth’s largest tropical glacier, the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru. At the UMass Climate Systems Research Center, research is focused on the climate system and global change issues.
Hardy’s current research involves operating climate stations and conducting glacier measurements at elevations of nearly 19,000 feet, in an effort to understand contemporary climate change and the subsequent glacier responses, as well as to better understand past climate from ice core records.
“In many ways Kilimanjaro is an iconic image of climate change with its rapidly disappearing ice caps,” said event organizer James Wright, associate professor of mathematics. “The role of climate change and local deforestation in this change at the top of Kilimanjaro is very interesting and Doug’s research helps gauge what is contributing to those changes.”
Westfield State has also had a presence in researching glaciers in Kilimanjaro. Hardy partnered with Carsten Braun, associate professor of Geography and Regional Planning, and the two climbed Kilimanjaro in the fall of 2011 to survey the remaining glaciers and to service their satellite-linked weather station on the Northern Icefield. Students at Westfield State followed their progress up the mountain on social media.
The event is sponsored by the Westfield State University Departments of Mathematics, Environmental Science, and Geography and Regional Planning.
The Guest Lecture Series is supported by funding from the Academic Affairs budget with the goal to enhance student learning and service to the larger community.
An advisory committee with representation by the faculty and librarians, staff, and students review proposals and recommend selection for the year.
For more information on upcoming speakers in the Guest Lecture Series, please visit http://www.westfield.ma.edu/guest-lecture-series.