Clark University’s Graduate School of Geography will host distinguished earth scientist Cathy Whitlock for “Paleoecology, Climate Change, and Conservation,” a Wallace W. Atwood lecture, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in Tilton Hall.
Whitlock is professor of Earth Sciences at Montana State University and a fellow of the Montana Institute on Ecosystems; her research focuses on long-term climate and ecological change, and she has spent the last 40 years studying the environmental history of Greater Yellowstone as well as comparable large landscapes in New Zealand, Tasmania, and Patagonia.
In the face of changing climate, the relevance of the past as a baseline for assessing the future and for conservation planning becomes ever more problematic. In her talk, Professor Whitlock will focus on the past and future of the Greater Yellowstone region, one of the last intact ecosystems in temperate latitudes. Paleoecology provides insight into the evolution of the Yellowstone ecosystem in response to past climate variations, but to what extent do rising temperatures, more fires, and decreased water supplies in the present exceed the range of historical variability and our notions of resilience? Professor Whitlock will share efforts to engage a rural, politically conservative populace on the topic of climate and ecological change by drawing on shared concerns for this extraordinary region.
Professor Whitlock has co-authored more than 200 scientific publications and has trained more than 40 graduate students in her field, and is the lead author of the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment. She is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and the Association for the Advancement of Science, and was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences — the first person from a Montana institution to receive this honor.
The annual Wallace W. Atwood Lecture honors the founder of the Graduate School and President of Clark University from 1921 to 1946. For more information, contact Matt Cobuccio at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 508-793-7434.