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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Center for Energy and Environmental Education to welcome Dr. Richard Alley Nov. 4 and 5

Renowned geologist and PBS host was part of Nobel Prize-winning team in 2007

Richard Alley

VILLANOVA, Pa. –The Villanova Center for Energy and Environmental Education (VCE3) in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, funded from private gifts to the Dean’s Fund for Strategic Initiatives, will welcome Richard Alley, PhD on November 4 and 5, 2014.  Dr. Alley is the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University and is one of several Penn State earth scientists who are contributors to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore.

Described by The New York Times as a cross between Woody Allen and Carl Sagan,” Dr. Alley will offer two public lectures, engaging the Villanova campus and local community in discussions on glaciology, climate change and a way towards a sustainable future.

The first lecture, to be offered November 4 at 2 pm, is, “Energy, the Environment, and Our Future: Some Good News.” The second, scheduled for November 5 at 2 pm, is “Crumbling at the Edges: Ice Sheets and Sea-Level Rise.”   The talks will take place in the Connelly Cinema in the Connelly Center on Villanova University’s campus.  Both lectures are free and open to the public.

The visit by Dr. Alley, along with the Center’s other events this fall, reflects VCE3 ‘s continuing efforts to facilitate teaching and research on environmental, energy and climate issues, integrating scientific, social, economic and political aspects in meaningful ways.  Housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Center serves as a catalyst for stronger interdisciplinary conversation, teaching and campus learning.  Its overarching goal is to produce the next generation of consumers, business leaders, researchers, policymakers, advocates and problem solvers who are well-informed and educated in the interdisciplinary and global aspects of energy, environmental, climate and sustainability issues. Its directors are Amanda Grannas, PhD, associate professor of Chemistry, and Jared Paul, PhD, associate professor of Chemistry.

In its inaugural year, 2013-2014, VCE3 sponsored a number of activities including an on-campus Science Communication Workshop with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and a monthly brown bag lunch series on topics ranging from the effects of shale gas extraction to the economics of solar and wind power generation.   In addition, the Center played a major role in attracting campus-wide interest in and support for Villanova University’s 2014 signing of the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor, initiated nationally by the Catholic Climate Covenant.  

The Center’s fall semester activities will conclude with  “Faith and Environment Panel: Empowering the Care of Creation,” featuring Rear Admiral David W. Titley, USN (Ret) who led the US Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change; Gaye Burpee, a Sr. Technical Advisor at Catholic Relief Services; and Dan Misleh, Executive Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant. This panel will involve discussion of more concrete steps to caring for the environment and creation.  It will take place on November 11 from 5 to 6:30 pm in Bartley Hall, Room 1011, on Villanova’s campus.  It is free and open to the public.

“VCEstrives to serve as a resource not only for students and faculty but for the broader community as well, offering events that are open to the public and lending faculty expertise in environmental and sustainability issues to the local and regional community,” said Dr. Grannas.  “We very much appreciate the support of the Dean’s Fund for Strategic Initiatives in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which provided our seed funding.”

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.