Earth Week lectures at Western Nevada College to highlight global warming, Lake Tahoe geology
Earth and science will be in the spotlight at Western Nevada College next week with two free lectures in Carson City that will feature discussions on global warming and the geologic history of Lake Tahoe. The events highlight a series of activities during Earth Week, April 22-27.
The lecture on global warming and ways that plants, wildlife and humans living in the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin will adapt to climate change will be the focus of a free forum Tuesday, April 23, at Western Nevada College in Carson City.
Sponsored by Sierra Nevada Forums and the WNC office of Student Life, the forum will feature Dr. Michael Dettinger, research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Research Program, and a research associate of the Climate, Atmospheric Sciences and Physical Oceanography Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif. Dettinger worked in Carson City during the 1980’s, assessing groundwater resources, flow and chemistry in bedrock and aquifers.
The forum will be moderated by Dr. Tim Brown, research professor and director of Atmospheric Sciences, Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute.
The forum will be in the Aspen building, Carson Nugget Hall (upstairs) at WNC, 2201 W. College Parkway, Carson City. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the presentation beginning at 6 p.m. A Meet the Scientists wine reception will follow. The cost of the reception is $10. RSVP is required. Call Judy Welch at (775) 721-1731 or Andie Wilson, (775) 721-2980. (See flier below.)
Background on Scientists
Dr. Michael Dettinger is a renowned research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Research Program, and a research associate of the Climate, Atmospheric Sciences and Physical Oceanography Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif.
Dettinger has monitored and researched the hydrology, climates, and water resources of the West for more than 30 years, focusing on regional surface water and groundwater resources, watershed modeling, causes of hydro-climatic variability, and climatic-change influences.
He has authored over 90 scientific articles in scholarly journals and books, 20 government reports, and another 70 articles in less formal outlets. Among other activities, he was the physical-sciences team leader for DOI-DOD ecosystem planning in the Mojave Desert, founding member of the CIRMONT Western Mountain Climate Sciences Consortium, climate advisor to the CALFED Bay-Delta Restoration Program, research advisor for USGS Surface-Water Discipline, member of the USGS Global Change Science Strategic Planning Team, and lead author of the Water Resources chapter of the 2013 National Climate Assessment.
He has degrees from the University of California San Diego, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (Atmospheric Sciences).
Dr. Tim Brown is the director of the Desert Research Institute and conducts research and applications development in applied climatology and meteorology, with emphasis on the application of data analysis, statistical methods and scientific visualization to atmospheric sciences and wildland fire related data.
His primary academic interests include analysis of wildland fire-climate and fire-weather relationships and applications product development for wildland fire management planning, decision-making and policy, and the interface between science and decision-making.
Dr. Brown is Director of the Western Regional Climate Center, and established and directs the Program for Climate, Ecosystem and Fire Applications (CEFA) at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. He is graduate faculty in the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Lecture on Lake Tahoe Geology
On Thursday there will be a free lecture by Dr. Winnie Kortemeier: "Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Tsunamis: The Violent History of Lake Tahoe."
World famous Lake Tahoe is a year-round recreational mecca that is cherished by area residents. But how much do we know about our magnificent lake? How did the lake form? Could Lake Tahoe be affected by a destructive earthquake or volcanic eruption? Is a massive landslide and tsunami possible?
Western Nevada College Geology Professor Winnie Kortemeier will share the most recent scientific insight about the formation and history of Lake Tahoe in a lecture at WNC Carson City. The free event will be in Marlette Hall, Cedar Building, on Thursday, April 25, 7 p.m. Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The event is sponsored by the WNC Recycling Committee, in celebration of Earth Week. Dr. Kortemeier will present photographs, diagrams, and rock samples she collected while working toward her doctorate at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research focused on the young volcanic rocks at Lake Tahoe.
“My research indicates that volcanism is much younger in the Tahoe Basin than previously thought,” she said. “This suggests that future eruptions may, indeed, occur.”
Dr. Kortemeier said that by applying a thorough knowledge of the history of the lake, we may better understand the possibility of future violent events.
“It’s not my intent to scare anyone, but Lake Tahoe has been prone to violent geologic activity in the past. I think it would behoove us all to be aware of what is possible in the future.”