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10/15/2007 Canadian scientist to discuss climate change at Linfield

press image McMINNVILLE – Climate change and glaciers will be the focus of a lecture on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall at Linfield College.

Hester Jiskoot, assistant professor in physical geography at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, will present "Slip-Sliding Away: the Effects of Climate Change on Glaciers."

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Jiskoot's talk will focus on glacier dynamics, glacier-climate interactions, water issues and the impact glaciers have on the environment. Prior to the lecture, Jiskoot will meet with Linfield students in political science and environmental studies classes.

Global climate change has caused widespread accelerated glacier retreat, which has negative effects on the fresh water available for humans and the freshwater found in ecosystems. In turn, changing glaciers cause global sea levels to rise, alter the landscape and affect climate at the local and global scale. In order to understand how glaciers fit into the world, it is important to understand how glaciers work and what causes them to change.

Glaciers and ice sheets play an important role in the global environment, according to Jiskoot. Not only are they storage systems of most of the world's fresh water, but they dramatically alter the landscape and sea level, affect ecosystems and provide records of climate and atmospheric conditions dating back hundreds of thousands of years.

Jiskoot, an award-winning NSERC-funded glaciologist, teaches glaciology, physical geography, geology and field techniques. Her main research interests are in ice flow dynamics, glacier-environment and glacier-climate interactions. In 2005, Jiskoot was invited by the Canadian Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources to advise about the role of glaciers in the water supply prognosis for western Canada. She uses multiple approaches to tackle problems in glaciology, including field work, remote sensing, statistical and numerical analysis of glacier systems and glacier inventories, and laboratory models. Since 1991, Jiskoot has been a member and leader of glaciological expedition teams, and has been on glaciers in Greenland, Svalbard (Spitsbergen), Iceland, the Yukon Territory, Alaska, the European Alps, the Canadian Rockies and the Himalayas.

The lecture is sponsored by the Linfield College Office of Academic Affairs and the Canadian Consulate. For more information, call 503-883-2308.