University News

Geography Awareness Week to Feature Three Guest Speakers

November 14, 2008

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University will celebrate Geography Awareness Week Nov. 17-21 with three featured guest speakers. The talks are open free to the public.

Greg McFarquhar, associate professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present "Adventures in Cloud Physics" at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17 in the University Union Lamoine Room. His primary research is in climate and weather, and his efforts are advancing the understanding of how clouds affect the transmission of radiation through the atmosphere; how clouds and their impacts are represented in climate and weather models; how cloud processes affect hurricane evolution; and how anthropogenic aerosols affect clouds and earth's energy and water cycle.

"The most fundamental and complex problems in climate and weather research today are our poor understandings of the basic properties of clouds and our inability to determine quantitatively the many effects cloud processes have on weather and climate," he stated.

McFarquhar currently receives funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support his research.

Michael Albert, professor emeritus in geography and mapping sciences from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF), will speak about "The Landscape of Abandonment in Rural North Dakota" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18 in the University Union Sandburg Theatre. Albert's research interests focused on the cultural and ethnic geography of the United States. Throughout his 25 years of teaching at UWRF, Albert said his favorite courses included Geography of the United States, The American Landscape, Urban Geography and Poverty in the United States.

Jack Flynn, an associate professor of geography and chair of the history-geography-classics department at College of St. Catherine (St. Paul, MN), will present "Landscapes and Art in the Four Corners Region" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19 in the University Union Sandburg Theatre.

At St. Kate's, Flynn teaches human (cultural) geography, regional geography of the United States, Global Search for Justice: The Immigrant Experience and Pueblo, Navajo, Hispano: An Historical Geography of the American Southwest. His scholarly interests include ethnic geography and cultural landscapes; architecture and urban design; and the portrayal of place, nature and culture in art, photography and literature.

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