Reconstructing past climate and ice-sheet history in Antarctica: What does it tell us about sea-level rise? 

On April 8th 2014, the MIT Club of Maine will be proud to host a presentation by Dr. Brenda Hall of The University of Maine's Climate Change Institute, entitled: "Reconstructing past climate and ice-sheet history in Antarctica: What does it tell us about sea-level rise?"

This is a timely and vital subject, given that a sizable fraction of the world's human population dwells in coastal regions (including Maine's) whose livability is heavily dependent on sea levels, and Dr. Hall is eminently well-qualified to tell us about it. She holds an undergraduate degree in Geology and Russian from Bates College, and MS and PhD degrees in Geology from the University of Maine (UMO), has published and taught widely, and presently is Associate Professor of Glacial and Quaternary Studies at UMO's Climate Change Institute. In her own words: "My primary research interests are in understanding the causes of ice ages and of rapid, millennial-scale climate changes. I also work on the stability of ice sheets."

In outlining her forthcoming talk to the Maine MIT Club, Dr. Hall noted that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is thought to be inherently unstable and susceptible to rapid collapse – an event that could raise global sea levels by 4-6 m. She said that she and her colleagues try to gain insight into possible future behavior of the ice sheet by using a wide variety of approaches, including on -site observations and measurements, climatic modeling, and analyses of variations in both the former extent of Antarctic ice, and of the climatic conditions under which it fluctuated.

In the course of her presentation, Dr. Hall intends to discuss how we know this ice sheet has changed size in the past, based on geologic records. She also will describe ongoing research - using past and present distributions of marine mammals and birds - to reconstruct the Antarctic climate  and to gain insight into ice-sheet behavior under warmer-than-present conditions. Finally, Dr. Hall will touch-upon the implications that this work has on research into the effect of climate change on Antarctic seals and penguins. Q & A and discussion to follow the lecture.
When: Tuesday, April 8, Time: Social Hour: 5:30 PM, Dinner: 6:30 PM
Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 5 Park Street, Freeport, Maine 04032

Looking For Alums who were Tutoring Plus Volunteers 

Tutoring Plus of Cambridge,, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding in 2014. In preparation for this very special celebration with a Mardi Gras themed event on Friday February 28th, 2014, the organization is making an effort to contact former volunteer tutors. Tutoring Plus hopes to include as many comments and reminiscences as possible as part of the program for the event, and of course they would be thrilled if you could deliver them in person!

If you were a Tutoring Plus volunteer as an MIT student, please contact Ellen McLaughlin, Executive Director at:, and let her know how she can best reach you to follow up, get your comments and reminiscences and send you an invitation to the event.

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