Geology Lecture: Projecting Real Sea Level Rise - Moving from Global Assessments to What You Might Actually Experience

Dr Pfeffer Headshot Credit James Balog

Coos Bay, OR  –  Southwestern’s geology lecture series partners with the “State of the Coast” conference to welcome Dr. W. Tad Pfeffer on Friday, October 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm. Dr. Pfeffer will present a lecture on “Projecting Real Sea Level Rise: Moving From Global Assessments to What You Might Actually Experience”. Dr. Pfeffer is a glaciologist, geophysicist, and photographer at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He earned his Bachelor of Science at University of Vermont, Masters of Science at University of Maine, and PhD at University of Washington. He has done field research for more than 30 years in glacier regions of the world, ranging from Alaska to Antarctica and the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Dr. Pfeffer also leads the long-term study of Columbia Glacier, on Alaska’s South Central Coast, one the world’s most extensively studied and most rapidly changing glaciers.  

In the past decade, Dr. Pfeffer’s research focus has shifted to include global assessments of glaciers and ice sheets, their response to environmental change, and their contributions to sea level. This has led to work on the full spectrum of natural hazards and the role of scientific research in decision-making on natural hazards. In these capacities he has served as an advisor to the United Nations Environmental Program, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, and was a Lead Author for Chapter 13 (Sea Level Change) in the IPCC Fifth Assessment/Working Group I.  Dr. Pfeffer was also a member of the National Research Council Committee on Sea Level Rise in California, Washington, and Oregon (2010-2012) and is presently the Editor in Chief of the new Oxford Handbooks Online series in Natural Hazard Science

Tad is also active in photography of glaciers and landscapes, using imagery for both description and analysis of glacier changes.  In addition to scientific publications, his photographic work has appeared in exhibitions in the Boulder/Denver area, in American Scientist, GEO (Germany), Geotimes, BBC television productions, and in the movie and book, An Inconvenient Truth, by Nobel laurete Al Gore.  Dr. Pfeffer’s book, The Opening of a New Landscape: Columbia Glacier at Mid-Retreat was published by the American Geological Union.  Tad was also a team member/scientist in the production of the documentary film Chasing Ice.

Geology Lecture Series talks are free and are held in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on Southwestern’s Coos Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.  For those not able to attend in person, all lectures are Livestreamed and archived, with access from the College's web site at  Additional talks in the series for this academic year include:  Dr. Frederick Simons (Princeton), an IRIS/SSA distinguished speaker on November 30, 2018; Dr. Lucy Jones (The 14th Annual Cascadia Anniversary Lecture) on January 25, 2019; Dr. Shannon Kob (Idaho State) on undersea volcanoes and the search for extraterrestrial life on March 2, 2019; Dr. Julia Reece (Texas A & M) an ODP distinguished lecturer on April 13, 2019; and Dr. Stephen Palumbi (Stanford) on extreme life in the sea on May 17, 2019.  Lecture series sponsors include DB Western, The Mill, the Southwestern Foundation, and the College. 

For additional information, please contact Ron Metzger at 541-888-7216.