‘Science’ Editor to Discuss Methods to Reduce Climate Change

Marcia McNutt

Dr. Marcia McNutt will present “Geoengineering: No Hope or Planet’s Last Hope?” at the 2015 Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture on Monday.

Despite growing concerns about the impact carbon emissions have on climate, such emissions continue to increase, prompting geoscientists to propose large-scale interventions that may help the planet avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Dr. Marcia McNutt, a distinguished geophysicist and editor-in-chief of the journal Science, will visit UT Dallas next week to share her insights on geoengineering methods under consideration for reducing global warming.

McNutt will deliver the 2015 Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture, “Geoengineering: No Hope or Planet’s Last Hope?” at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Clark Center Lecture Hall (CN 1.112). The talk is free and open to the public.

McNutt, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, chaired a committee of experts who recently released a two-volume report that evaluated two proposed climate-change interventions, which she will discuss in her lecture: carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and albedo-modification techniques, also known as solar radiation management. Removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere would result in less trapped heat, while reflecting more sunlight away from the Earth would allow less heat to reach the atmosphere.

“Questions remain as to whether CDR techniques can be scaled up to the problem at hand, and whether they are affordable, and can work fast enough,” McNutt said. “Albedo modification can be deployed cheaply with relatively quick effects, but the risks are not entirely known, quantified or manageable.”

At noon on Tuesday, April 14, McNutt also will give a technical lecture for graduate students and share her insights into important elements that can affect an aspiring scientist’s chance of success.

2015 Anson L. Clark
Memorial Lecture

Topic: “Geoengineering: No Hope or Planet’s Last Hope?”

Speaker: Dr. Marcia McNutt, editor-in-chief of Science

When: 4:30 p.m. Monday

Where: Clark Center Lecture Hall (CN 1.112)

“Marcia McNutt has led an exemplary scientific career,” said Dr. Bruce Novak, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, which sponsors the annual event. “She has held academic appointments, gotten her hands dirty in field research, and has served her country as one of its top scientific experts. She is truly an inspiration to students who are considering a career in STEM fields, and I’m thrilled that she will share her insights on geoengineering during the Clark Lecture.”

Before becoming editor of Science, one of the world’s top scientific journals, in 2013, McNutt was the director of the U.S. Geological Survey. During her tenure, the federal agency responded to a number of major disasters, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. For her work to help contain that spill, she was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Service Medal.

Before her appointment to the USGS in 2009, McNutt was president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, an oceanographic research center, and she held academic appointments at Stanford, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and MIT. Her work in oceanography has included training with Navy SEALs in how to use underwater explosives, going on more than a dozen ocean study voyages, researching volcanoes and studying the forces behind the uplift of the Himalayas. In addition, she chaired the President’s Panel on Ocean Exploration in President Bill Clintons administration.

The Anson L. Clark Memorial Lecture series began in the early 1970s and has drawn distinguished speakers to UT Dallas. The lectures honor the memory of Clark, who amassed a sizable fortune throughout his career — first, as an engineer, then as a physician at the Mayo Clinic, and finally as a businessman in the oil and banking industries. Clark’s philanthropic activities have for many decades supported scholarly endeavors at a number of Texas colleges and universities, including the Clark Summer Research Program and the Clark Presidential Scholarship at UT Dallas.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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