HCC to present 22nd annual Boyer Colloquium: Climate Change, Polar Canaries, and the Upper Midwest

The 2016 Boyer Colloquium, "Climate Change, Polar Canaries, and the Upper Midwest," is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 20, 2016. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend this presentation, which will be held in the Highland Community College Student/Conference Center, room H-201.

This year's colloquium will feature two scientists involved in cutting-edge research on glacial processes and climate science. The discussion will speak to the question, "is climate change a conspiracy theory or serious global concern."

Reed Scherer and Ross Powell from Northern Illinois University have spent decades doing research in Antarctica. Their recent work has involved evaluating glaciers ending in fjords on the Svalbard archipelagoand drilling through the Antarctic ice sheet to study processes along the base of the glacier and evaluating glacial movement and stability of the ice sheet. Study techniques have also involved analysis of marine microfossils obtained from sediment cores along the margins of Antarctica and using robotic submarines to study the water and sediment beneath glaciers and ice shelves. This research has revealed a great deal about the history of past changes in Polar ice and its relationship to climate change and provides data to predict future climate and ice changes.

Speaker bios:

A native of New York City, Dr. Reed Scherer earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from South Hampton College in Long Island, New York, Master's from the University of South Carolina, and Ph.D from Ohio State University. He is currently a tenured faculty member with the Geology & Environmental Geosciences department at Northern Illinois University. He holds titles of Distinguished Research Professor and Board of Trustees Professor. Since 1986, he has spent seven field seasons in the Antarctic and has participated in two Ocean Drilling Program expeditions. His current research involves using marine microfossils (mostly diatoms) to learn about changes in Antarctic climate and ice sheets.

Dr. Reed Scherer

Ross Powell is a native of New Zealand and received his undergraduate and Master's degrees from Victoria University from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. After earning his PhD. at Ohio State University, Powell began teaching at Northern Illinois University in 1980. Since beginning his career in polar research, he has spent 32 field seasons in the Arctic regions of Alaska, Baffin Island, and Svalbard and 16 seasons in the Antarctic. He has presented lectures in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom and numerous places in the United States. He has been invited or voted on 30 national and international scientific committees that guide future major research fields. Most recently, he has been chief scientist on the WISSARD project, which investigated processes in the water beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Dr. Ross Powell

The Boyer Colloquium, an annual event sponsored by the late Dr. M.E. Boyer, was created in 1994, to help students and communities understand the importance of the inter-relationships between ethics, economics, and ecology. The Boyer Colloquium Committee believes that if communities comprehend issues, the history of previous decisions and ramifications of prior actions, they will be better positioned to make informed decisions.

For more information about this year’s Boyer Colloquium visit or contact HCC instructor Steve Simpson at or 815.599.3474.

2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

Fax 815-235-6130

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