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   from the issue of October 18, 2007

Climate change focus of Nov. 1 Nebraska Lecture


Climate change is one of the world's most critical issues and University of Nebraska-Lincoln geoscientist Sheri Fritz will discuss the history of climate change Nov. 1 during the fall UNL Nebraska Lecture.

The free public lecture, "Through Layers of Mud and Time: A Long-Term Perspective on Environmental Change," will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Nebraska Union auditorium, with a reception to follow.

The presentation is part of the Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series.

Fritz, a Willa Cather professor of geosciences and biological sciences, will explain how her research on mud that accumulates in the bottom of lakes holds clues to the history of the lake as well as the surrounding land and climate. Fritz and her colleagues study lake mud and its contents to reconstruct the history of climate change and develop a long-term perspective on how humans impact their environment.

"We know from the recent geologic record that 20th century environmental history is not representative of the full range of natural variability," Fritz said. "Developing our knowledge of what has happened in the past is critical to understanding how the environment works and thus for dealing with the unknown future."

Fritz joined UNL in 1999 as an associate professor, was promoted to full professor in 2002 and was named a Willa Cather professor in 2004.

Her research incorporates geological, ecological and atmospheric sciences and focuses on the interaction of lakes with the atmosphere and the land over time. She specializes in analyzing diatoms, microscopic algae found in fresh and salt water, to understand climate change. Fritz has studied modern and ancient lakes from the high Andes in South America to Greenland to the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains of the United States and Canada.

Her research is featured in the national "Explore Evolution" exhibit, which is on display at Morrill Hall.

The Nebraska Lectures feature distinguished UNL faculty, are designed for general audiences and provide insights about some of the university's leading research, scholarly and creative activity.



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