Mountain Area Information Network

Western North Carolina Community Calendar
View Full Calendar | Add an Event

Smithsonian scientist to speak on climate change

17 Apr 2014

Brian T. Huber, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian Institution, will give a public presentation April 17 at Warren Wilson College. His talk, titled “Planktonic Foraminifera: Recording Climate Change for 120 Million Years,” begins at 7 p.m. in Canon Lounge of Gladfelter Student Center.

Planktonic foraminifera are unicellular organisms that live in the upper zone of the ocean. These creatures are distributed worldwide, but found only in the open ocean. When they die, they settle to the bottom of the ocean. Huber does research on what they can tell us about how Earth’s environment has changed during the past 120 million years.

Because of their small size, relatively short geologic age ranges and wide distribution in a variety of marine sediments worldwide, foraminifera assemblages provide valuable insight to the age of the sediments in which they are found (biostratigraphy); the type of environment in which they were deposited (paleoecology); and the temperature of the ocean water in which they grew (paleoclimatology and paleoceanography).

In addition to, and directly related to, his research on Planktonic foraminifera, Huber’s responsibilities as a curator of the National Museum of Natural History include educating and informing policy makers on the issue of climate change.

For more information about Huber’s April 17 presentation at Warren Wilson, call Stephen Cartier, Ph.D., WWC Department of Chemistry chair, at 828-771-3786.