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Climate Change, Geographic Concepts in Research Topics of Two Guest Lectures

November 9, 2005

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MACOMB, IL - - Two guest lecturers will bring diverse topics to Western Illinois University for Geography Awareness Week presentations.

The first on Monday, Nov. 14, will deal with geographic concepts in department store market area research. The second on Wednesday, Nov. 16 will present the global interest issue of climate change.

Ken Smith, vice president for area research for The May Department Stores Company, will present “Market Area Research: Geographic Concepts and Applications in the Development Process for Department Stores” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in Tillman Hall 214. May is the nation’s second largest traditional department store group with more than $14 billion in annual sales. The area research department which Smith oversees is responsible for market analysis and sales forecasting. Smith, who earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota, began in the retail industry in 1979, following a six-year college teaching career. He also served on the editorial board of The Professional Geographer (1992-1997).

“Human-Induced Climate Change: Is it Real? Is it Important?” is the topic of the 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 lecture in the University Union Sandburg Theatre by Don Wuebbles, professor and head of the department of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wuebbles will present evidence which strongly indicates that human activities are playing a significant role in climate changes, especially in the last few decades of the 20th century. Significant changes in climate as a result of these human activities are projected for the 21st century. Wuebbles will discuss the current understanding of the concerns about climate change and the role being played by human activities, and also consider past and future changes in the Midwest and Great Lakes region.

Both presentations are open free to the public. For more information, contact the Western Illinois geography department, 309/298-1648.

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