Professor Richard Alley to present Earth Week lecture on climate and energy

April 14, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Penn State, will present the fourth quadrennial Frank Whitmore Lecture on Chemistry Education and Public Policy at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, in 100 Thomas Building at University Park. Titled “Climate and Energy: Big Challenges and Bigger Opportunities,” Alley’s special Earth Week lecture is free and open to the public.

A renowned climate scientist, researcher, science communicator and educator, Alley has served on numerous panels and committees related to climate change, such as the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which jointly received the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore Jr.

Alley also hosted “Earth: The Operators’ Manual,” a series on climate change and its relationship with the Earth that originally aired on the Public Broadcasting System in 2011. A prolific researcher and writer, Alley is the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers, several textbooks and two popular books, "The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future" (Princeton Press, 2000) and "Earth — The Operators' Manual" (Norton, 2011). 

Alley earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from Ohio State University and a doctorate, also in geology, from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The Frank Whitmore Lecture on Chemistry Education and Public Policy honors Frank C. Whitmore, dean of the Penn State College of Chemistry and Physics from 1929 until his death in 1947, for his contributions as a teacher, educator and formulator of policy in chemistry education and curriculum reform.

Sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Section of the American Chemical Society and hosted by the Penn State Department of Chemistry, the lecture recognizes Whitmore's service to the American Chemical Society, which began in the society’s Central Pennsylvania Section and culminated with his election as American Chemical Society president in 1938. For a decade Whitmore was the de facto public spokesman for chemistry and was one of three chemists who coordinated the organic chemistry war effort in the United States during World War II.

For information about the lecture, contact Dan Sykes at 814-863-0796 or

  • Richard Alley Earth Week Climate and Energy Lecture
    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated April 15, 2016